From Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list to Hamilton lyrics and mounds of fanart, there’s a certain trio of brothers that has been taking over the internet and pop culture step by step. They’re the podcast-hosting McElroy brothers — a.k.a. the McElboys.
Maybe you’ve noticed posts on the internet using phrases and words like “those good, good [blank]” or “boy” in a comical fashion. Perhaps you’ve heard of the bros because of Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda’s fandom for and friendship with them. Or, you could just be looking for some new funny stuff to watch or listen to. This guide is here to help you get the lowdown on these awesome brothers and the best way to start chuckling at their goofs.
Who are these good, good boys?
The brothers, from Huntington, Virginia, are funny, nerdy media-creators who launched their legacy through podcast hosting. They’ve gained a fandom not just because of their funny jokes and their approachability — they feel like down-to-earth people you could easily talk to, not intimidating celebs — but also because of their inclusive and respectful attitude.
The trio is made up of your oldest brother Justin, your “middlest” brother Travis and your “sweet baby brother” Griffin. You might know Justin and Griffin for their work with Polygon, a gaming news website. Griffin was also chosen as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in media for 2017.
Where to start
This is the podcast that started it all. Self-labelled as an “advice show for the modern era,” My Brother, My Brother and Me is a comedy advice podcast that answers listeners’ questions as well as ones from the wildest corners of Yahoo! Answers. The best way to find out if you’ll like it is to listen to clips of some of the show’s best moments. As alluded to previously, the great Lin-Manuel considers this his favorite podcast of all time. And if you read further, you’ll learn more about how it’s being made into a TV show.
If you’re looking for something more geeky and with more of a narrative to it, check out my favorite podcast, The Adventure Zone. In it, the brothers play Dungeons & Dragons with their also-hilarious dad. It starts out a bit slow as something fun to listen to to get a few laughs, and turns into an epic story with subplots, characterization, mysteries and even funnier jokes. This podcast is one you have to start at the beginning, but once you get into it, you won’t mind having to listen to a bunch to get caught up because you won’t want it to end. PS: You don’t need to know anything about D&D to enjoy it. (But hey, D&D is super fun, so maybe you should check that out too.)
This is the perfect starter show for someone who prefers to watch rather than listen. It’s a YouTube series in which Justin and Griffin try to make the oddest, ugliest and most monstrous possible characters they can make with the character creation engines in certain video games. If that sounded like gibberish to you, don’t worry. You don’t need to be into video games to find the hilarity in these videos. Just try one out — I recommend the “Final Pam” saga from Fallout 4 or the episode featuring Daz from Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08.
While MBMBaM and The Adventure Zone are the brothers’ most-known podcasts, there are numerous others.
CoolGames Inc is a game design podcast hosted by Griffin and Nick Robinson of Polygon. They take suggestions from listeners for video game ideas and then expand on them. I promise you, it is a comedy podcast. We’re not talking technical discussions, we’re talking Nintendogs for DOOM demons, Super Mario Galaxy for flat-Earthers, and competitive food truck simulators. Here are two of my favorite episodes.
Justin and his wife Dr. Sydnee McElroy host this podcast that’s all about medical history. Aside from having the most fun title ever, it’s also super interesting, gross and funny. The best jumping-off point is to scroll through the archive, find the episode that looks most interesting to you and see if you like it. Maybe the Dancing Plague or self-surgery sound the most intriguing to you?
If you often wonder how you would survive the apocalypse — zombie or otherwise — check out Bunker Buddies. It’s hosted by Andie Bolt and Travis. They’ve covered topics from super volcanoes to werewolves to how to parent in a post-apocalyptic world. Like Sawbones, pick an episode that stands out to you and test the waters.
Griffin and his wife Rachel McElroy host what Travis calls his favorite podcast of all time. The couple watches The Bachelor and discusses the show the day after it airs. If you love The Bachelor, this is clearly up your alley, but even if you don’t, you will still enjoy it. Start at the beginning of the most recent (or any) season they’re watching.
One of my favorite ways to hear some hot takes while walking to class, Trends Like These is a podcast about what’s trending in news and what hosts Brent Black and Travis think of it. They make sure to verify what the actual story is before discussing their opinions on it, which is always nice. Check it out if you like news and opinion talk, starting with the most recent episode.
Manners, shmanners. Travis and his wife Teresa McElroy center each episode around learning etiquette for certain events or instances. It can help you with adulting (e.g. how to properly tip or write a thank-you note) or college (e.g. etiquette for bars and parties with alcohol). Start listening to whichever episode offers the advice you’re looking for.
If your friend group is like mine, this podcast is just like your group chat: describing the wonderful dogs you met that week. The hosts, Allegra Ringo and Renee Colvert, and producer Travis also talk to guests about their dogs, give updates on dog news and report from dog-based events. Start with the most recent episode or one guest-starring someone you know.
Quality Control, like Cool Games Inc., is a Polygon podcast about — you guessed it — video games. Justin talks to Polygon writers who just reviewed a game for their website to allow them to add more context. It’s also great if you like game reviews, but have more time to listen than read. Start with a game you’d read the review of.
Can you believe the list is still going? There are a lot of podcasts out there to listen to. In Interrobang, hosts Tybee Diskin and Travis yell about whatever is confusing and frustrating in the world. It’ll want to make you turn you and your friend’s own “WTF?” conversations into a podcast. Start with the most recent episode.
’Til Death Do Us Blart has one of the best premises in all of podcasting: every American Thanksgiving, the hosts of the show watch Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 and subsequently release a podcast of them talking about the viewing. The hosts say they will continue this tradition for the rest of linear time. And they truly mean this. When one of the hosts — the three brothers and the hosts of The Worst Idea Of All Time podcast — passes away, someone is left the duty to take their place. There’s currently only two episodes, so starting at the beginning of this journey is no problem.
YouTube series & TV shows
My Brother, My Brother and Me (Seeso TV show)
The brothers’ flagship podcast will continue in its original form, but is also becoming a TV show to be released exclusively on the streaming site Seeso on Feb. 23. We don’t know much besides that it’s good old MBMBaM and what the few teasers out there show us, but I’m super excited.
Nick and Griffin (of Cool Games Inc.) are back at it again with this YouTube series. You’ll like if you enjoy video games or good laughs, but especially if you like Skyrim. Griffin installs 10+ mods to the game every episode, and as they play through the game Nick has to spot them. There’s currently only a few episodes, and the game barely resembles Skyrim anymore, and it’s hilarious. Make sure to watch from the beginning.
The same duo also does a YouTube series called Car Boys in which they play a game called BeamNG.Drive a way it wasn’t originally intended to be played. They abuse the robust physics engine of the game to create some pretty devastating and comical results. The series is good from the beginning, so start at episode one.
If you’re a Nintendo fan with an odd sense of humor, you should definitely give Griffin’s amiibo Corner a try. Griffin parodies bad YouTube reviewers in his own ‘reviews’ of amiibo, Nintendo’s near-field-communication figurines. The icing on the cake is that in each episode, Griffin gives his final rating by putting the amiibo in his mouth. It’s truly a spectacle.
Now you’ve got the knowledge you need to check out some new shows and join the massive following of these goofy brothers. And if you made it to the bottom of this article, you know you have time to listen to a new podcast.