: Those chairs in your McMansion were a huge mistake. Your next argument with your spouse could be a viral video instead. And could one very persuasive person change Joe Rogan's mind? All of that and more are coming up on this all-TikTok episode of Follow Friday, with Adrianne Jeffries and Regina Dellea.
: I'm Eric Johnson. Welcome to Follow Friday, a podcast about who you should follow online. Every week, I talk to internet creators about who they follow. These creators have great taste and they will be our guides to the best people on the internet, who we should be following, too.
Today on the show, we have Regina Dellea and Adrianne Jeffries from the podcast Underunderstood
. I had been listening to this show since the very first episode. I love it. On every episode, Regina and Adrianne and their co-hosts, Billy Disney and John Lagomarsino, take on the difficult questions that we can't answer with Google or Wikipedia.
You can find Regina on Twitter @woahitsregina
, and you can find Adrianne on Twitter @adrjeffries
. And, of course, you can follow along with us today. Every person they recommend will be linked in the show notes and in the transcript at followfridaypodcast.com.
Regina and Adrianne, welcome to Follow Friday!REGINA DELLEA
: Thank you. Thanks for having us.ADRIANNE JEFFRIES
: Hi, Eric. Thanks so much.ERIC
: Thanks so much for being here. So, you decided that all of the people that you're going to be recommending today are people that you follow on TikTok. I allegedly don't use TikTok, but like everyone else on Twitter and Instagram and everything, I have still watched quite a lot of TikToks that get cross-posted to other platforms.
So generally speaking, let's just start it off, can you talk about how much time you spend on TikTok versus other apps? And what would you say is the type of video that really clicks with you, that really works on TikTok?REGINA
: I opened up my screen time just now, and it is my second-most used app other than Spotify. So I spend a lot of time on TikTok and I will say the content really ranges. It knows me quite well. I get a lot of very funny stuff, and then I also will get, "Here's all of the trauma that all millennials are dealing with." And it'll get a little heavy sometimes, but I feel like, with my scroll speed, it'll adjust to the vibe at the time.ADRIANNE
: TikTok is definitely scary-good at finding stuff that I'm into immediately. Well, actually I will say there was a little bit of a lag and I was like, "Gosh, TikTok is terrible." And then all of a sudden, it was like, "I know who you are now."ERIC
: Just after a couple hundred hours, it figures you out.ADRIANNE
: No, it wasn't that long. It was like a week of opening the app for two minutes at a time.ERIC
: And then it just magically intuited, "Here's exactly what Adrianne's into."ADRIANNE
: Yes. We're all very predictable, I think most people are really predictable. And there's a lot of other people out there like me and they all already taught TikTok what we like.REGINA
: I don't believe in coincidence anymore. I feel like we're seeing the same ads or whatever.ADRIANNE
: And it's like the TikToks that... My roommate is not on TikTok and I will find a TikTok and be like, "My roommate will like this." And I'll show it to him and he's already seen it on Instagram. So it's already found his way to him. So it's amazing. Personal recommendations are worthless anymore. Ooh, I shouldn't say that on this podcast. I just realized how ironic it is. [laughs]ERIC
: Yeah, really. That's pretty antithetical to this podcast. [laughs]REGINA
: Take that back.ADRIANNE
: No, but ... OK, I will say that TikTok is much better at this than other apps in my experience. Very, very good. And I will get referrals to creators who have in the thousands or hundreds of followers.REGINA
: Like the one I sent you last night. Those ones were so small, but I was like, "This is going to blow up."ADRIANNE
: I just opened Screen Time and TikTok is also my second most used app after Pocket Casts by one minute.ERIC
: OK, clearly Adrianne and Regina are a little obsessed with TikTok. Let's find out who they follow. Before the show, I gave the two of you a list of categories, and I asked you to tell me some people you follow who fit in those categories.
Adrianne, your first pick is in the category, "someone who makes you laugh". And you said Amber Wallin, who is on TikTok @burr_iamcomedy
. She also co-hosts a podcast about Black science fiction and fantasy called The Sci-Fi Sigh
. So talk about who Amber is and why she makes you laugh.ADRIANNE
: First, I just want to say I had a really hard time picking people who are in my favorites because I have a lot of favorites. And also, because part of what I like about TikTok is just how much of a range and variation there is. And I like being in the feed and seeing lots of different things. Like people talking about their disabilities or taking care of their disabled relatives, and then people talking about different aspects of identity, and people of different ages, different backgrounds.
I think that part of it is really cool, but there are some creators individually who I have fallen in love with and want to watch all their videos. And Amber Wallin was one of the ones who stood out to me very early on when I was still in that period of TikTok getting to know me. It served me a video of her making fun of her husband.REGINA
: I think that was the first one I saw.ERIC
: I think you have to be more specific. That's a lot of her videos. [laughs]ADRIANNE
: Yes. She's making fun of her husband, basically. He's like, "Do you want to go out?" And she's like, "No, because you know what's going to happen." And then it cuts to her husband enthusiastically engaging the waiter on some aspect of Star Wars and Jedis and how they're anti... I don't know what it was, but anyway, it was very well-timed and funny.
And that's a lot of her videos, are her poking fun, lovingly, at her husband. She also does comedy. She also does yoga and I think she's very funny and cool. And then she also does this podcast, which I was like, "I'm going to go with Amber for my pick on Follow Friday because I think the podcast that she does is very quality and very cool, and I haven't heard anything else quite like it." So yeah, Amber is my pick. Check her out.ERIC
: Do you have either a favorite video of hers or favorite podcast episode, one thing in particular that stands out in your memory as like, this is quintessential Amber?ADRIANNE
: Yeah. Definitely, the one I just said to you, and then there's another one where he's visiting her family. So he's white and she's Black. So that's a little bit part of the joke. And she brings him home to her family and he's making macaroni and cheese
like a Brooklyn hipster style ... ERIC
: Oh! I've seen this and didn't realize this was them.ADRIANNE
: Yeah. And her family is all pretending to be complimentary about the mac and cheese, but they're kind of dreading it.
[clip from the TikTok]ADRIANNE
: It's very sweet. And they're like, "Oh. So excited that Ben's making dinner."ERIC
: [laughs] This is a definitely a whole genre video for her. The favorite video that I saw when I was looking through her recent history was about her dog, Gucci, who, by the way, is extremely cute. Gucci ate an entire stick of butter
because Ben didn't want to buy a cover for the butter that they left out on their counter. And I'm going to cut it and clip it here. It's clearly a rehearsed dynamic, something they clearly both get a lot out of, just this back and forth between the two of them.
[clip from the TikTok]ERIC
: This relationship is weirdly aspirational, even though it's kind of built on this conflict. I don't know. I just really enjoyed all of the videos with Amber and Ben playing off each other.
So do you two involve your friends, your partners, and your family in what you post online the way that Amber does with Ben or with her family?ADRIANNE
: No, not really,REGINA
: I mean, I think we both include our partners in the podcast.ADRIANNE
: Yeah. I think there's a lot of couple duos like this on TikTok. There's another creator I really like who posts under the handle @ghosthoney
and his name is Tyler and his husband's name is Jihao. And Jihao is a real crowd favorite. And he pops up every once in a while on TikToks and people were asking about him.
And finally, Tyler's like, "Jihao's actually more private than me. So I don't post a lot of TikToks with him. And when I do, it's only because he's given me permission."ERIC
: Well, that's good.ADRIANNE
: So I think that was nice because they definitely could have turned into a little iconic couple and that maybe could have helped with their numbers. But instead, he was just like, "Nope, I deploy him sometimes, but I'm not going to mine that vein."ERIC
: That was Amber Wallin, who is on TikTok at @burr_iamcomedy
Let's move on to our next follow. This one comes from Regina. Regina, I asked you for someone who makes you laugh and you said Cyber Ex-Boyfriend, who is on TikTok @cyberexboyfriend
. So talk about the sort of videos he makes and why he makes you laugh.REGINA
: He makes a lot of different types of videos and he does make me laugh, but I also learn a lot from his TikToks, which is one of my favorite combos. The first videos I saw of his were making fun of interior design trends that he hates. And that got me in.
And then his longest running series is "Roasting McMansions on Zillow," which is some of my favorite TikTok content ever because there are just so many wild McMansions and so many decisions that he'll point out. And he'll be like, "Why would you ever do this? Why would you ever need...?" There are so many things that I would never have found these homes obviously on my own. And so having someone find them and go through them and point out some of the decisions is just very entertaining.
He also does educational stuff. He'll talk a lot about the history of different types of furniture. He'll talk about different design types of furniture, like go through furniture design stuff. And then he also will do stuff about architectural history.
He also does a bunch of music recommendations and things like that. So he'll do like, "These are my no-skip albums," and then show all the albums. Or he has series that are like "What your favorite Sad Girl Indie music says about you", or "What your favorite toxic male rapper says about you". Just random, funny videos like that as well.ERIC
: Have you learned anything revealing about yourself from his videos? Has he exposed any horrible truths about yourself?REGINA
: I don't know if he's exposed any horrible truths about myself. I definitely laugh at those ones. Occasionally, he'll show something in a McMansion or one of his design trends that he hates and I'll be like, "Ohh." And I'll remember, even if it's not now, a time in my life where I was into that and it's less of a hatred and more of a low-level embarrassment.ERIC
: I was watching one of his Roasting McMansions videos. And he was talking about some McMansion where all of the chairs, to me, initially, I was like, "Oh, those look comfortable." Then he immediately zeroes in on the chairs and he's like, "These are the worst chairs. They only have these in tacky resort hotels. Why would you ever buy these chairs?" And I was like, "Nevermind. I withdraw that..."REGINA
: See, that's the exact type of thing where you'll be like, "I don't hate that." And then he'll give you a bunch of reasons. But he also talks about trends he loves. It's not always negative. But yeah, it's good.ERIC
: I saw a video he did. It was about the PlayStation Vita, which was a relatively unpopular video game console. And just in the span of a minute, he just covers this entire history of this device.REGINA
: Yeah. And he does a lot of film history stuff as well. He's one of those very well-rounded creators where I feel like I learn something from most of his videos.ERIC
: Is your favorite series of his, is it the history videos? Is it the Roasting McMansions? What's your go-to of his many different interests?REGINA
: I think it's Roasting McMansions. One, that is consistently what TikTok serves me of his, but it's a very easy watch. It's a nice little just like, look at the kind of ridiculousness. I don't know.
He always highlights details and will provide some sort of interesting piece of information about them like, "This is what they were going for. This is what they're referencing." And add that context that makes it not just making fun of it, but also informs you a little bit.ERIC
: Yeah because he also knows about architectural history and design history, things like that. I follow someone who does something similar. Samir Mezrahi does videos like this as well, where he's looking at these tacky houses and pointing out all the little details. I think he focuses specifically on celebrity houses rather than McMansions. So, different genres here.
But it is interesting the fact that this has been a documented cultural trend, that millennials and Gen Z people who are living in apartments, who are definitely not in the striking range of being able to buy one of these multi-million dollar houses, it's like a full-on obsession of scrolling through Zillow, critiquing these houses, looking through hundreds of pictures. I don't know how we all decided that we were all going to do this simultaneously, but it's a trend.REGINA
: Yeah. I don't know if you saw that SNL skit
, but there was an SNL skit at some point that made it seem like it was one of those sex ads, where they were gearing up for like a hot night. And then at the end of it, they are on the couch, scrolling through Zillow, looking at houses they can't afford. And it's just perfect. ERIC
: Oh, I'm so called out.REGINA
: I feel like 10 different people sent me that skit and I was like, "Yup. It's me. It's all of us."ERIC
: Well, that was Cyber Ex-Boyfriend, who is on TikTok @cyberexboyfriend
. We're going to take a quick break now. We'll be back in a minute with Regina Dellea and Adrianne Jeffries from Underunderstood.
: Welcome back to Follow Friday.
Adrianne, I asked you to tell me about someone super talented who's still under the radar. And you said Nat Puff, who is on TikTok @leftatlondon
. Nat is a singer/songwriter, a poet, a comedian. Can you talk about how you started following her and why she's so impressive?ADRIANNE
: I started following Nat Puff on Vine. ERIC
: On Vine? Wow.ADRIANNE
: Yes. And then when Vine died, I was just following her on Twitter. She's gone viral a couple of times. People might remember a video she did about how to make a Tyler The Creator song
. And she goes step-by-step through putting the tracks together. By the end, she has something that sounds pretty convincing.
I think she also did another one of those videos, or maybe she's done more for other artists, but she's just super talented, posts a lot of mashups of songs and lots of little comedic short video bits, kind of like the Vine style, but it's evolved.
So now she's doing that on TikTok and I think she's fairly well-known, but she makes music of her own. She's just not as famous as I think she deserves to be. And so, I'm just waiting for her to blow up more than she already has and kind of surprised it hasn't happened yet.ERIC
: Yeah, on TikTok, there's a lot of people who are participating in whatever the latest meme is, the latest challenge or other trend. But I really liked looking at Left At London, at her profile. She has a really good mix of original comedy and memes and music. Do you have a favorite thing that she's done that you've seen on her TikTok?ADRIANNE
: I'm still stuck on the classics from Vine, she has…ERIC
: I mean, that's the thing. TikTok is like the evolution of that Vine sense of humor, right? It's these short videos; you get in and out with a premise and a punchline very efficiently. ADRIANNE
: Yeah. Her humor is very deadpan and a little bit weird, a little bit off. And I think it's really great. I'm also just happy to see Vine people pop up on TikTok. I think I was mad at TikTok for a while for the fact that it was alive and Vine was dead. So I think it's cool if some of those creators can get another outlet there, and hopefully get paid.ERIC
: It's weird how much these two platforms, even though they're not as big as Instagram or Twitter or whatever, they've created so much internet culture. I feel like I'm constantly hearing Vine memes still recycled to this day, even though that platform died five years ago, whenever it was.ADRIANNE
: Yeah. My roommates and I will still sit down and search "Vine compilation" on YouTube and then watch Vines.ERIC
: I've done that too! Where people, I guess, they downloaded them while Vine was still around and it's a very thriving genre of YouTube video. Millions of views, people just want to watch Vines again. [laughs]ADRIANNE
: Yep, for sure.ERIC
: But on TikTok, one of the things you can do is you can make a duet where your video plays next to someone else's. This is how sea shanties went viral earlier this year, multiple people on TikTok singing different parts of that Wellerman song, dueting each other. Nat did a literal duet with herself
. It's incredible.
[clip of TikTok]ADRIANNE
: [laughs] She's a genius. You gotta make her hit it big.ERIC
: OK, I will get right on that. This extremely niche podcast, this will be Nat Puff's big break. ADRIANNE
: Hey, this podcast is going places. I have a feeling.ERIC
: Aw thank you. Is there anything else you want to mention about her work or about her music?ADRIANNE
: No. I think she, like a lot of these creators, uses her platform to talk about her mental health issues. She's trans, so she talks about that experience. And I think she probably is really a helpful follow for a lot of people for those reasons where you see someone who's so brilliant, who admits to, "Yeah, I have been hospitalized." "I have whatever this condition is and I struggle." You mostly see just happy, funny, ironic, removed. That's mostly the side of people that you see. And then I think it's also cool when some of these creators who you look up to also say, "Hey, sometimes I have hard times and they're really hard and really bad."ERIC
: Yeah. I was thinking about this recently, because when someone is an artist who's cisgender and they're going through a rough time or whatever, no one looks at them to represent the cisgender experience. But for someone like Nat, she makes a very brave choice to be very open about body dysmorphia or anxiety or anything else going on in her life.
And so I think that probably it's helpful to have a person there who's proof that, as you're saying, you can be this funny and this talented and still be wrestling with issues like that.ADRIANNE
: Yeah. I also remember something she posted, I can't remember which platform this was on, but she was talking about how to modulate your voice. And because she's also a musician, she was able to explain it really well and demonstrate it. And I think that kind of thing is also really interesting for people who are following her who are also trans or just trying to understand that.ERIC
: Kind of the science of how all that works and the technique of it all.ADRIANNE
: Yeah, like a little peek behind the curtain of all the work that goes into presenting.ERIC
: Well, that was Nat Puff, who is on TikTok @leftatlondon
. We have time for one more follow today. This one is a joint pick from the two of you. I asked for someone who inspires you and you said Liz Plank, who was on TikTok @lizplank
. She's also on Twitter @feministabulous
. She also writes for MSNBC.
I know Liz's work from the videos that she used to make for Vox and from her book, For the Love of Men, but talk about what Liz posts on TikTok and also why she inspires you.ADRIANNE
: She posts funny vignettes on TikTok that usually have a message of, "Take care of yourself," especially with a little bit of feminist — making fun of how women tend to write emails in a way that feels inclusive, but also very funny. She's just very funny. And I also think she is super smart.
She's also a commenter on MSNBC. I'm not sure she's still doing this, but she was. I just think she has great ideas and is good at articulating them. So I just enjoy watching her make relatable content that's encouraging. It's like having a really cool coach. And we actually know Liz in real life, but she lives in LA now. So we don't have access to her sunny personality in real life anymore. So it's nice to have her on TikTok since we don't see her in the real world, not that we see anybody in the world as of recently.ERIC
: I was going to say that...ADRIANNE
: It's starting to happen again a little bit more.ERIC
: Yeah. So she inspires you through how clear of a communicator she is around feminism? What, specifically, would you say it is that inspires about what she does?ADRIANNE
: She's accessible-cool. I think this is a type, where people are extremely cool, but they do it in a way where they're welcoming with it and non-intimidating. And she's just funny.ERIC
: That goes a long way.REGINA
: She did a video recently that was like... One thing she does is she'll use these trends that are going around on TikTok, but then use them to make very smart points about toxic masculinity or feminism and all of these things. And she did one recently that was how she was thinking about "How the worst symptoms of my anxiety have been the most rewarded by others in a patriarchal society
And she's funny when she's doing it, but at the same time, she's making a very good point and it's very smart. But it has a poppy soundtrack and she's just eating a salad or popcorn. I don't know what's in that bowl.ERIC
: I've seen another one where she was dancing to, I think it was Funky Town, while the text on screen was outlining a very serious, important point. She's playing in the language of TikTok very well, I think.ADRIANNE
: I think Joe Rogan should have Liz on his podcast. I feel like Liz is the one person who could correct some of Joe Rogan's bad thinking.ERIC
: I have two minds about that because I like Liz. I like what she does. And I am not a Joe Rogan person. I don't really care for his style. And I worry about her bringing some portion of her audience over to him. I don't know. I kind of get a little bit iffy about that.ADRIANNE
: Yeah, anything that boosts Joe Rogan, not great.REGINA
: Yeah because she has a big audience, a lot of people follow her and pay attention to what she says. And I have this, I guess, some weird worked-in-media anxiety about whatever the opposite of platforming is, like bringing your own audience to someone else's platform. [laughs]ADRIANNE
: Sure. I say this as a measure of my esteem for Liz. I feel like if there is someone who could push back against some of his bad ideas in a charming and persuasive way, it's Liz. ERIC
: The hero we deserve.ADRIANNE
: Personally, I would never want to be in that environment so I wouldn't want to push that on anybody else. And you make a good point about what is seen as a tacit endorsement, but yeah, just saying, I think Liz is very persuasive. She wrote this book and it's a very compassionate take on toxic masculinity. And I actually gave it to people because I thought she had written it in such a persuasive way that it might reach people who normally wouldn't be reached by some of those ideas.ERIC
: People who wouldn't normally be receptive to a feminist message. They might tune out as soon as they hear the word "feminist," but because of the angle that she's taking, yeah. There was a video that she did. I'm not sure if you saw this one. It was a pretty recent one where she was talking about vaccine hesitancy, and there was some poll showing that half of Republican men said they probably wouldn't get the vaccine.
But then she explains, "Well, only 6% of Democratic men said the same thing." And so she's using that as a way of — not shaming the half of Republican men who say that, but as a platform to get into the idea of, "This proves why it's not about your sex that determines who you are. This is about a culture, about society." I think that was such a brilliantly succinct point to be making on a — obviously, a hot button issue.REGINA
: Yeah, I think that's something she's very good at. She'll make points that I would never have even thought of or considered. You'll listen to it and you'll be like, "That makes so much sense."ERIC
: That was Liz plank, who is on TikTok @lizplank
. Adrianne and Regina, thank you both so much for sharing your follows with us today. Before we go, let's make sure listeners know how to find both of you online. Other than Underunderstood, where do you want them to follow you?REGINA
: I think they should just follow Underunderstood, subscribe to Underunderstood
. I would recommend following Adrianne's Twitter
because she shares a lot of the things she works on, which is very cool.ADRIANNE
: Don't follow my Twitter, it's boring. ERIC
: I mostly just tweet about how dystopian the news of the day is. My Twitter is very like "tech news dystopia," is the flavor there. I would say, yeah, follow us on Underunderstood. We are @underunderstood on every platform, except TikTok ... for now.ERIC
: You gotta fix that.ADRIANNE
: Did you reserve the username? REGINA
: I'll do it ... now...ADRIANNE
: We should do that. We gotta do that before this podcast comes out.REGINA
: I'm not sure how to do that.ERIC
: You have a week and a half before this airs so you have time.ADRIANNE
: You can find me on Twitter @HeyHeyESJ
, and this show on Twitter
@followfridaypod. Follow Friday's theme music was written by me and performed by Yona Marie
. Our show art was illustrated by Dodi Hermawan
. Additional music by Purple Planet Music
That's all for this week. This is Eric Johnson, reminding you to talk about people behind their backs, and when you do, say something nice.
See you next Friday!