Trying on ladies’ underwear? Check. Trying cosplay, drag and even extremely disturbing Halloween costumes? Check. Even fighting UFC fighters and simulating motherhood? Yup. They’ve pretty much tried it all, and there’s still so much more to do. If you haven’t heard of the Try Guys, they’re a group of four hilarious men: Eugene Lee, Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld, who take it upon themselves to try an array of scenarios and situations for entertainment and educational value.
On Thursday night at Hub 302, the dynamic quartet hosted a lecture and Q-and-A session entitled “The Try Guys Try UCR” which allowed fans to become better acquainted with them. My videographer Cameron and I packed up the equipment and headed upstairs toward Hub 302, passing by the insanely long line of fans that stretched from the opposite side of the HUB to Latitude hoping to get into the event despite the limited seating of the conference room, only allowing a maximum of 700 attendees. “The people that get to sit in the front row have been lining up since the morning!” revealed Jaspery, our photographer, astonished with the idea of people skipping their entire day to have a chance to see the Try Guys.
As the event started with an uproar of screams from the audience, the members of ASPB played a small game of trivia with the audience to give out meet-and-greet passes for the fans that had the correct answer first. Sadly, those who surpassed the 700-person mark had to be dismissed and even so, there was still a small crowd of fans trying to look into windows of the door leading into the conference room.
The uproar increased, with fans waving posters and phones, jumping up and down screaming, signaling the arrival of the Try Guys. After an introduction of each of the members, who were seated on tall stools on the stage in a row, their coordinator began the onstage interview. Each response was met with an outrageous amount of screaming and waving, as well as “aww’s” and laughter at the first mention of Fulmer’s wife.
The Try Guys discussed more in depth how they began pursuing film, inspired by creating lego movies at a young age, as well as their next plan of recreating a boy-band album cover photo. They discussed their experiences throughout life and working under Buzzfeed as well as their unanticipated acquaintances, ending the lecture on a positive note while encouraging the audience to pursue their dreams.
Following the interview was a preview of one of their Halloween videos, which involved the four guys trying on ridiculous costumes such as a giant inflatable penis, a fake vagina, a sexy snake charmer and even an elderly flasher. Met with an extensive amount of laughter, they announced that this was only the first part, which will be released on Saturday.
“Go live life and be unafraid, try a bunch of stuff. Just do it so you can make stories that you would want to tell for the rest of your lives; go have some fun!” encouraged Kornfeld, as the Try Guys left the audience in a starstruck awe, concluding the highly anticipated and laughter-filled event.
Cameron and I received the exclusive opportunity to have a formal interview, and I must admit that it took some very strong willpower to keep the inner fangirl from showing through as I sat face to face with the Try Guys.
Before the formation of the group, they truly had no intention of even being the internet sensations that they are now. Starting off as interns for Buzzfeed in different fields with completely different backgrounds and not too much experience in front of the camera, the timing was perfect for the four guys. “It really came down to who was willing to show show their butts,” admits Kornfeld, referring to the first video where they try on ladies’ underwear, seemingly the one video that sparked the flame. “It also happened really organically and our dauntlessness matched the comedic dynamic,” added Lee proudly.
After receiving extremely positive feedback from their viewers, they decided unanimously that they should step out from behind the camera to become not only the producers of their own episodes, but also the talent. “Our content comes from our concept of identity and going after what a group of people also go after,” exclaims Fulmer. And they basically share the rule that if they’re afraid to do something, that means they should do it — as long as it isn’t evil or harmful. And if it involves butts, then all the better.
“My favorite would be the one where we test the legal alcohol limit since it served as an experiment as well as a teaching device!” remarked Habersberger enthusiastically. However, the drag video was easily Fulmer’s favorite (and one that received more crowd appeal) as it opened up their eyes to the entire drag culture that they weren’t necessarily aware of before.
It definitely set the blueprint for future shows, since their support for drag culture was heavily encouraged by their viewers.They had a lot of fun coming up with hilarious drag names such as Ginger Vitis, Champagne Canne, Kornucopia and Cheyenne Pepper. This led to the Try Guys being more open to explore other groups, culturally and sexually.
Despite the outspoken weirdness and purely comedic value of their content, with each video, there is also a hunger to learn about different social structures, cultures and people in general. “Being an Asian-American, it’s cool to see the value of being seen and heard,” says Lee. Therefore, as a group of four extremely open-minded guys, they hope to shed more light on what happens in the world and the endless conversation topics that the internet provides.
“We try to impact people’s lives in positive ways. It’s a unique way to give people a voice (that they once didn’t have),” encourages Kornfeld. Whether it’s through getting in touch with their feminine sides by trying boob contouring, or rubbing oil on each others’ butts for a Kim Kardashian-inspired video, or representing more serious groups such as moms and the LGBTIQ community, they always strive to open our eyes while making us laugh.
“The Motherhood series,” began Lee, “it blew Facebook up and it really gave the moms out there strong positivity,” as he referenced the five-part series that involved the guys trying a fake pregnancy belly, caring for robot babies, changing diapers and even simulating labor pain. “I’m actually hoping to start a family with my wife (Ariel, as you might be familiar with him mentioning from time to time) so it makes me have a better understanding of what she would have to go through — it also makes me want a baby but not want one at the same time,” revealed Fulmer.
Although they have shamelessly tried just about everything, there’s still room for more. Expanding content through education and traveling is only one of the few ideas they have in store, including more branding, more seemingly impossible things, more butts and hopefully space travel.
As our brief interview neared an end, we parted with advice from the Try Guys to “fail hard and often to see what happens,” “embrace all your differences” and that “the sky’s the limit.”