By: Nicole Wong
Entertaining a crowd of 200 students with gimmicks, personal anecdotes and endearing advice, social media personalities “The Try Guys,” “tried UCI” in a sold-out event last Thursday night in UCI’s Pacific Ballroom.
Comprised of Eugene Lee Yang, Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger and Zach Kornfeld, the popular group of Buzzfeed personalities’ comedic videos on Buzzfeed’s main YouTube channel, BuzzFeedVideo, have garnered 17 million views to date.
The Try Guys have been featured in 52 videos in which they explore, or “try,” pretty much anything. From women’s clothing to camping alone overnight, the Try Guys’ videos orient around experiencing life in someone else’s shoes and seeing the world from a different perspective.
“They’re extremely popular Youtubers,” said ASUCI Speakers Commissioner Shrishti Bhatnagar, “and more than anything, they’re not just entertainers, but sometimes their videos have really good messages. We got an overwhelming request from all the students at UCI, and that’s why we invited them.”
An hour before the event, the line of students anxiously waiting to get in stretched from the door outside Pacific Ballroom into Aldrich Park. At 6:15, the doors were finally opened and the room gradually buzzed with excitement.
After the Guys introduced themselves amid thunderous applause, the crowd was left in fits of laughter as the comedians began telling personal jokes and stories of outrageous things they’ve done on set or in their private lives.
The show was also heavily interspersed with inside jokes and references to their Buzzfeed videos. At one point, for instance, Habersberger pulled out a rotisserie chicken and yelled “Chicken Watch 2K16!” The audience burst out laughing at the gimmick, which referenced the 2015 video where Habersberger and Buzzfeed co-worker Chris Reinacher drove to various grocery stores in search of the best rotisserie chicken.
While the Try Guys were widely acknowledged for their comedic talent, students in the audience also highlighted the inspiration that the foursome exudes.
“I love the Try Guys because they have the potential to tell a majority of the male population that masculinity should not be fragile and that trying things outside gender norms is totally fine,” said first-year UCI student Roy Golingan.
They also took a moment to dole out advice for first-year college students during the event’s Q&A session.
“You don’t need to have your whole entire life figured out,” advised Fulmer.
“Try everything,” added Kornfeld, “live, have a great time, don’t limit yourself.”
The consensus among attendees was largely positive – students left the event both entertained and inspired by the Try Guys, and hoped to see ASUCI put on similar events in the future.
“[The Try Guys] really inspired me to not be afraid to try new things because there’s so much to learn when you put yourself outside of your comfort zone. Watching them always makes me laugh and it makes me happy knowing they care a lot about their fans,” said third-year undergraduate Nancy Nguyen. “I’m happy they visited UCI.”