I do not often venture to YouTube for videos of a humorous nature. If I do, it’s to probably pull up a movie or TV clip — but rarely ever do I follow a Content Creator. I find for the most part that the ones who promise laughs are typically incapable of following through on providing them. I do not care to pry into personal lives, but for most YouTube “comedy” channel creators, I hope they find the therapy they actually need to make up for whatever events in their youth caused them to not receive an adequate amount of attention.
This is NOT an article in which I shit on the YouTube comedy community, and I can promise you that because I just copy/pasted those paragraphs of rambling into another document for a later date. Instead, this is a celebration of a YouTube channel that has changed many of our lives in such a short stretch of time. I am speaking of the Sidetalk channel.
The gimmick of Sidetalk seems to be focusing on small, easily digestible, slice of life stories from across NYC. This often comes in the form of several brief snippets mashed together, usually involving some of the loudest and flashiest customers the city has to offer. We’re talking about some real characters here and real emotion, not some uncultured suburban swine pulling “funny” faces and talking in an unnatural voice in a desperate attempt for you to “smash that like and subscribe button.”
I could speak at length about all of the offerings, including a meaty paragraph on costumed reporter Spidey Cuz, but I will have to resist. I may want to stretch this out for a series of articles, so we will not blow our entire editorial wad in one sitting. I will instead be focusing on the (as of the time I type this) trio of videos that take place in Coney Island.
Take a look-see at the first we had encountered:
I’ve never had a desire to go to Coney Island before. To tell you the truth, I feel like I haven’t seen much of it outside of the occasional movie or TV show. The fact that crime tends to be taking place in those circumstances doesn’t do much for me as far as temptation to book a flight. So imagine my surprise when after watching a total of three minutes worth of videos I am planning to make a side trip to Coney during a New York trip next year. Amandoll herself presented the link to me (apparently, I am finding out, courtesy of AlexT), and you have to believe me when I tell you that what I saw over the next 60 seconds completely changed my shit up FOR GOOD. Open drinking in the streets, hard hats, liberal use of the word fuck, glizzys, and a level of chaos I had never experienced were drawn up and injected directly into my brain.
I hope you can watch these right now yourself. The nature of the clips makes it a bit hard to summarize, but I feel I should speak on a few key characters:
Hard Hat Guy: A brash and confident young man who may or may not be wearing a shirt, but is frequently seen with a hard hat on. Yes, like a construction worker… only I assume the only thing he’s building is a tally of sexual partners. What he has to offer to us ranges from the ridiculous (“If you see this hard hat in your crib, heh, know I’m in her ribs!”) to the incredibly insightful (“Don’t die for free.”) My personal highlight of his is a heartfelt offer for Ariana Grande to come visit him in CI and take a spin on the Cyclone. He peppers it with an “I miss you” at the end that alludes to what was perhaps a former love affair.
Wanna Shot Guy: A true spitfire. A source of energy so great that if extracted it could probably run the entire globe for years to come. We first see him working a hot grill, cooking up everything from burgers to chicken to glizzys (hot dogs). He adds the iconic phrase “Fuck Ya Life” between each food offering, demonstrating that while he is willing to feed you he may not care about your well being beyond that. His true highlight comes at the end of CI clip #2, as a woman who really doesn’t seem to want another shot is most generously offered with a continual “You wanna shot? You wanna shot? You wanna shot?” Despite the sincerity oozing from him, she still manages to decline as we see her wagging her finger as if to get across “Sir, I have had enough shots already and do not desire more.”
Byron: I’m not sure of his name, and he sure isn’t that certain of our current Presidents either. Declaring that “President Byron” is currently sitting in the White House, this man often spends his time in these videos breakdancing on the sidewalks with no regard for road rash or overall hygiene. He is vaccinated though, so he’s better than a lot of assholes in this country. My personal highlight for this man comes when he’s asked what he would say to President Byron upon meeting him. “What up, baby? Take me out to dinner” is what he apparently would like to get across, in an act some might consider a waste of a good opportunity… but I mean you know Joe has the money for it.
There are a lot of other characters in these brief clips, but these three sit front and center to me. Three larger than life heroes of the streets. These are like The Avengers of CI, all coming together when the city needs them most to single-handedly do more for the tourism industry than anything else I’ve seen. So many sayings are uttered every day, from chatting online with other Sneerists to just general talk within my workplace. It’s been stated several times in the OR that “If you see that patient stretcher in the hall, HEH, know we’re in the room going hard.” This is followed up with an enthusiastic “BING BONG,” which intentionally or not has become the official battle cry for these videos as far as we are concerned.
I’ll shoot straight with you, it’s easy to dismiss these guys. I mean, it does appear drugs may be in play in some circumstances, and the fact that several folks are clearly working over a large bottle of Hennessy doesn’t help matters either. Don’t sleep on what is being said though, as this is one of those instances where a deeper wisdom lurks below a lot of the bravado and laughter. “Don’t die for free” was a phrase that rang true to me. I take it as a way of saying “don’t lose your shit over nothing” or to “focus on what matters” rather than flying off the handle at minor shit in your everyday life. I’ve taken to mixing it into my everyday collection of sayings, when I’m not busy cursing at people and then concluding it with a very abrasive BING BONG!
Sidetalk is a hell of a YouTube channel, offering an insight into the lives of many memorable folks in small 60 second slices. I can not recommend it enough. I’ll just offer the warning that you WILL be going to the liquor store to grab a bottle of Henny by the time you are done. Please, go get one. I don’t want to be the only one who did that.
Happy watching, and FUCK YA LIFE!
Also, I have a major crush on Truck Girl.