YouTube Maestro Brandon Rogers on Billy Porter, BTS, and Baring Your Buttcheeks

Published October 24, 2019

Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

Brandon Rogers is the best part of a YouTube that was once upon a time all shit-posting and ridiculousness, and is now largely a forum for makeup gurus and political vloggers. At 31, Rogers has survived the rise and fall of Vine, a cultural phenomenon that gave creators seven seconds to make a video. “You can make videos longer so the restriction isn’t there,” Rogers says about his current online home. “I thought the restriction was the fun part.” RIP. Nevertheless, with a content-creating career of twelve years, he’s mastered a wide array of quick-changing, bizarre, and gut-wrenchingly hysterical characters that speak to the chaotic thoughts that swirl through the contemporary mind—whether pushing straight coworkers aside with the strut of a power bottom or stabbing open a cereal box when running late to work.

Rogers’ hit series “Blame the Hero,” a culmination of his most beloved characters, brought in four Streamy nominations, singling him out as a leader of the Gen Z zeitgeist. For this entire week, the madness-brilliance of Rogers spreads to Comedy Central as part of their Under the Influencer campaign, taking him out of his self-proclaimed “little corner of trash” and onto the network’s Originals YouTube channel with eight new videos. “I live under a rock,” Rogers warned before we began our Rorschach Test-style interview, which touched on everything from saving the turtles to baring the ass cheeks. “And if I don’t know anything about what I’m talking about, it’ll be interesting either way.”

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PLASTIC BOTTLES

“I miss glass bottles, but I will say I encourage plastic when it comes in the straw form. I know about that fucking turtle. I know about the turtle and we’re supposed to care about this turtle but goddamit, you suck one paper straw. Any plastic I use from here on out is worth a turtle in itself just for the sheer convenience of it. Plastic bottles: they’re only good for shoving up your ass. That’s about it. They don’t break.”

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KYLIE JENNER SINGING

“I’ve never heard Kylie Jenner sing, but if she’s a good singer, or at least if she can be auto-tuned well enough, then I support anything she wants to belt out.”

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BTS

“Oh, I love K-pop. I don’t know BTS specifically from the other ones because I got to be totally honest, they’re all fucking talented. They’re doing a boy band with ten times more effort than we’ve ever done as a country with any of our boy bands. I’m sure BTS is phenomenal.”

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CANCEL CULTURE

“Oh my gosh, well, I mean every case is individual right? There are some instances where I feel like, yes, maybe someone shouldn’t be in a particular place of influence when they say things that clearly crossed the line. Especially when their apology is this cheap backpedaling and pandering. Sometimes the apology can do them in even worse. But there are other cases where I feel like it’s overkill and cancel culture is kind of bleeding into the realm of censorship. Because as a comedian, it is a way of feeling censored.”

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THE TRUMP IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

“All I can say is that if Trump is impeached, I hope that I’m in a really interesting time and place because when he was elected, I was at a dab bar in Canada watching it while getting high. I think for his impeachment I do want to be in the country, but at an equally interesting place.”

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HALLOWEEN

“I’m lucky because I get to do it every week. I get to play different weird characters on the internet, so I get the thrill out of my system constantly. I think horror is just so much fun, just blood and guts and spiders and gore. It’s such a fun thing to embrace for the kids and for adults.”

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ASSLESS CHAPS

“Assless chaps is like a Speedo, but for conservative people. You’re just so much more covered. I don’t understand why this is. Why people would ever be against assless? If someone wants to show their buttcheeks … I’m not proud enough of my ass cheeks to let them show like that, and if someone has the confidence, then who are we to say, no put it away. Why are we still offended by our own anatomy?”

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THE DOLAN TWINS

“I don’t know much about them, but they look well-mannered, and they look like they smell nice. They strike me as someone who has to be in bed by a certain time and they’re very respectful.”

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ELLEN DEGENERES

“In high school I used to do a really good Ellen DeGeneres impression. I can’t do it so much anymore. My voice was higher in high school, but I had it spot-on. People would ask me to do that impression all the time.”

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EATING THE RICH

“I would imagine that rich people’s blood tastes nicer than the normal person because of what they eat. They go to Whole Foods or they probably get their shit cooked for them. I’ve imagined that rich people don’t have a lot of destinations that their food hits before it lands on their plate.”

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BILLY PORTER

“I just discovered Billy Porter about a year ago. I don’t know how I’ve never heard of him, and I have fallen madly in love with Billy Porter. You never see someone so comfortable in their own skin like he is. It’s so cool to see people who are one of a kind making history with one of the most expressive members of the LGBTQ community coming forward and taking Emmys home for his own show.”

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INCELS

“I’ve never been angry enough to announce something so humiliating about myself. Like, maybe if you weren’t being so cynical and going on Reddit and complaining about not being able to enter vagina … maybe try being nice and going out there. I don’t know much about the vagina, but I imagine honey attracts it more than hate. I’ve had nights where I feel like, ‘Why will no one fuck me?’ But then I also realize, oh wait I’m in a generation that now has Tinder and Grindr and this and that. Literally you can fuck anyone at any time and order it like fast food.”

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PEWDIEPIE

“He has said things that I am surprised such a big influencer is expressing. During the whole James Charles situation, I remember PewDiePie was, I think the first major YouTuber to step forward, not necessarily defending James Charles, but kind of saying, ‘Hey are we kind of over killing him here?’ He was the first YouTuber to really stand up for him like that, and I thought that was really interesting to see someone who has all this power express such a different opinion.”

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NANCY PELOSI

“I don’t know much about her, but her name rolls off the tongue really nicely, and I respect that.”