WIUM Tristates Public Radio

The Sounds of TikTok

Jul 9, 2021

Quinta Brunson (A Black Lady Sketch Show, She Memes Well) and Taylor Garron (Look I Bought Plants: And Other Poems About Life and Stuff, As of Yet) identify the TV clips that have been haunting everyone's For You Pages. Woah oh ohhh yeah-eh-ayy!
Heard on Fenway Bark And The Litter Box Disco.

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Our next two friendtestants (ph) are here. Quinta Brunson is an actor and writer who achieved online fame with her YouTube and Instagram series "The Girl Who's Never Been On A Nice Date." Since then, she's appeared on "A Black Lady Sketch Show" and "iZombie." Her new book of essays is called "She Memes Well." And Taylor Garron has been an editor on humor sites like The Onion and Reductress. She's co-authored the new book, "Look I Bought Plants: And Other Poems About Life And Stuff," and she wrote and directed the movie "As Of Yet," which she also starred in with Quinta. Quinta, Taylor, welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

TAYLOR GARRON: So happy to be here.



BRUNSON: Thank you for having us.

GARRON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: So, you know, one thing I just want to start with - Taylor, you have a movie that just premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, "As Of Yet," that you wrote and directed and you starred in with Quinta. So...

GARRON: I sure did.

EISENBERG: Yeah, so I imagine you knew each other before that project.

GARRON: We did, yeah. We've been friends for a while. And when it came time to making this film, the way that we were going to shoot it was contactless.


GARRON: Like, we did most of the shooting via FaceTime or in a Zoom chat. And so the conversations, I felt, were going to be missing kind of the coaching and the kind of experience that you get when you're in-person with other actors, you know...


GARRON: ...And, like, that rehearsal and such. And so I was like, I feel like I have enough friends who are also actors who I can, you know, get to be a part of this film and also already have chemistry with so that we don't have to worry about, like, the chemistry missing digitally and virtually.


GARRON: And I think we did it.


BRUNSON: Yeah, true. It's just - it's - and that's - I don't know. That's really cool. It feels nice to be able to be part of things like that with my friends. It seems like something that was previously, like, only really reserved for, like, the - like, the pinnacle white guys, where, like, you could just pop up and be in your friend's thing, and all of a sudden, like, you - that thing is poppin'. So it feels...


BRUNSON: ...Really cool to be...


BRUNSON: ...A part of that. I don't know. It's awesome.

EISENBERG: And Quinta, you have a book out right now called "She Memes Well."


EISENBERG: Right. Because you became famous from Instagram...


EISENBERG: ...An early, early Instagram...

BRUNSON: Famous with quotes.

EISENBERG: Famous for - yeah, you say famous...


EISENBERG: ...'Cause in your book, you talk about being halfway recognizable as a...


EISENBERG: ...Instagram star.

BRUNSON: Yeah. Yeah.

EISENBERG: What does - so what does that mean, halfway recognizable?

BRUNSON: Well, I think with the internet, it's debatable about whether or not...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

BRUNSON: ...You're famous, right? And some people have just walked up to me and given me a hug right away, which I doubt they would do to, like - I don't know - to, like - I think there's a level of distance between people and, like, TV or movie stars.

GARRON: For sure.

BRUNSON: But for me, people have just straight-up picked me up because...

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

BRUNSON: ...They look at me in a different way. It's a different...

GARRON: I don't like that.

JONATHAN COULTON: Feels like people should...

GARRON: I don't like that at all.

COULTON: ...Not be doing that, actually.

GARRON: I don't like that at all.

BRUNSON: I don't like that.

GARRON: I don't like that not one bit.

EISENBERG: What is it with people having to pick other people up, you know?

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: It's a thing.

GARRON: Do you know what's - this is just a quick aside. I also was just thinking that I had - so I was a child actor when I was very young. And I...

BRUNSON: Oh, yeah.

GARRON: ...Had that kind of brush with, like, fame...


GARRON: ...In that way where it was like - yeah. I was on a show called "Zoom" when I was younger. And it's like, I would sometimes...

COULTON: You were on "Zoom." You were on "Zoom."

EISENBERG: I know, right?

BRUNSON: She says a show called "Zoom" like...

COULTON: A show called "Zoom."

BRUNSON: ...We don't know what "Zoom" is.

COULTON: Have you heard of it?

GARRON: Half the people, I'll be like, oh, I was on "Zoom." And they be like, like, OK. And then I'll be - and half...


GARRON: ...The other people - oh, I was on "Zoom." People are like...

BRUNSON: That's crazy.

GARRON: ...What? Oh, my God.



EISENBERG: You also - Taylor, you also - in your kid stardom, you were a dancer with "Yo Gabba Gabba!" Is that right?

GARRON: Do you know what's funny - is that it says that on my IMDb page. And I do not know how it got there because I have never been associated with "Yo Gabba Gabba!" at all.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: Oh, that's hilarious.

BRUNSON: Oh, my God.

EISENBERG: Someone just added that to your page.

GARRON: Yeah. They also added "CBeebies," and people have - and which I have - I think it's a kids show in the U.K. And so I've, like, talked to people. And they're like, oh, my God. Like, I remember you. And I'm like, no, you don't.

COULTON: No, you don't.

BRUNSON: But why?


BRUNSON: But why is this happening?

GARRON: I have no...


GARRON: Maybe they confused me with somebody else, which - honestly, it's a rare thing for, you know, a Black actress to be confused with a different Black actress.


GARRON: So I don't know...


GARRON: ...If that was actually it, but, you know.

COULTON: It's - also, it's so unusual to find something on the internet that's not factually correct.

BRUNSON: Not true - you get - I know.

EISENBERG: But now that I know you can do that to IMDb, I'm going to really - I have some...



EISENBERG: ...Work to do...


EISENBERG: ...Online.

COULTON: I was also on "CBeebies" and "Zoom"...


COULTON: ...And "Yo Gabba Gabba!"

GARRON: Right. We got to get that up.

EISENBERG: All right. We - so we have a couple great games. Are you ready to play some games?

GARRON: Very excited.

BRUNSON: Let's do it.

EISENBERG: All right. So with our first game, you know, the saying goes, if NPR is reporting on a trend, it's already over. So...


EISENBERG: This is about a little something called TikTok, which, of course...

BRUNSON: You bet.

EISENBERG: ...Is an app where people spend hours and hours sharing and watching short videos. And many of the videos use music and sound effects borrowed from television shows. So we're going to quiz you on some of the most reused sounds on TikTok. We're going to play a sound, and then you just tell us the TV show it came from.

BRUNSON: All right.

EISENBERG: All right?


EISENBERG: So we're going to go back and forth. Quinta, this first one is for you. Here's your first clip.



RAINN WILSON: (As Dwight Schrute) Do you want to form an alliance with me?

JOHN KRASINSKI: (Jim Halpert) Absolutely I do.

WILSON: (As Dwight Schrute) Good, good, excellent.

BRUNSON: "The Office." Come on. Come on, guys.


COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: It's "The Office." Come on.

BRUNSON: Give me a challenge, all right?

EISENBERG: Seriously. Yeah. I know. I know.

BRUNSON: Take that, everyone who said liking "The Office" is not a personality. It just won me a trivia competition on NPR.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) That's right.


COULTON: That's right.

EISENBERG: You know what? I love the attitude of someone who's answered one question and has assumed they've won.


BRUNSON: That's how I live my life, y'all.


GARRON: You got to celebrate the small victories.


BRUNSON: Exactly.

GARRON: You know, if you don't, who will?

COULTON: Things are looking really good for you right now.


COULTON: All right, Taylor. Here's one for you.


TIMOTHEE CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Yeet (ph).

PETE DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Skrrt (ph).

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Yeet.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Skrrt.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Skrrt.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Skrrt.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Roll up.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Drop that.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Skrrt that.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Pump that.

DAVIDSON: (As Guaplord) Yeet.

CHALAMET: (As $mokecheddathaassgetta) Ay, ay (ph).

GARRON: OK. I actually do think I know this one, and I've seen one episode of this show. Is it - it's the Lil Dicky show, right? What's it called?

BRUNSON: That's hilarious that you call it that - "Dave." That is so funny.

GARRON: I have seen the first - the intro scene of "Dave," and I know they're in a music studio, and there's a rapper there. So I was like, oh, yeah.


GARRON: Do you have any hints, Quinta?

COULTON: (Laughter) You know what it is, right, Quinta?

BRUNSON: Can I give hints?

COULTON: Yeah, sure.


BRUNSON: I do know what it is. It's from a long-running comedy variety show that airs on one of the major broadcast networks...

EISENBERG: The weekend.

GARRON: On a weekend night.

BRUNSON: On a weekend night.

COULTON: On a weekend night - that's right.


COULTON: And they don't pre-record it.

GARRON: Interesting.

EISENBERG: Yeah (laughter).

GARRON: That's pretty good. Yeah, "Friday Night"...

BRUNSON: "Friday Night Lights."

EISENBERG: That's right.

BRUNSON: That's it. That's it.

COULTON: That's correct.


COULTON: So that sketch was Pete Davidson and host Timothee Chalamet parodying rappers who learned about rap from TikTok.

GARRON: Ah, OK. So it's, like, kind of - it's, like - it's an ouroboros of sorts.

COULTON: Yes, it is an ouroboros. Yes.

GARRON: Yeah. I try to use that word in my daily life at least once per day. And so I thank you guys...

COULTON: Good for you.

GARRON: ...For giving me the opportunity.


EISENBERG: Wow. Yeah. All right. Quinta, this next one is for you.

BRUNSON: Yes. I'm ready.

EISENBERG: Here we go.


BRUNSON: OK. That is "SpongeBob," correct?



EISENBERG: That's it.

GARRON: One hundo (ph) percent.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's right. And I like the bow. There was - it followed by a bow, listeners.

BRUNSON: Wow. Thank you.

EISENBERG: There was a bow.

BRUNSON: Remember when I won earlier? Now I just keep winning. Y'all see how I keep bringing that energy?

GARRON: Y'all are being - she wouldn't mind, too, really, so, like...


COULTON: It's true.


COULTON: Really dominating so far.

EISENBERG: Right, that is a remix of music from "SpongeBob." It's been used in more than 2.5 million TikTok videos.

BRUNSON: It's pretty good. Whenever I hear that sound on a TikTok, I stay for the whole TikTok.

GARRON: For sure.

BRUNSON: I do really like it, yeah.


COULTON: All right, Taylor. This is for you.


BRUNSON: (Laughter) Please. Please.

EISENBERG: You're so happy right now. I've never seen someone on this show so happy.


BRUNSON: Those sounds isolated are so dumb. They get me...


BRUNSON: ...Every time.

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah, it's pretty funny.

EISENBERG: Yeah, take that John Williams.


BRUNSON: Taylor?

GARRON: I think this is also maybe a specific-to-me trauma response. And I want - 'cause I want to say Hannah Montana, and it's only because she's just on my brain right now. Wait, was I right?

COULTON: You should say it.

EISENBERG: Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

GARRON: I was right, and I should say it. Yeah.


EISENBERG: All right. These are your last clues. Quinta, this one's for you.



JENNY SLATE: (As Mona-Lisa Saperstein) Don't be suspicious. Don't be suspicious. Don't be suspicious. Don't be suspicious. Don't be suspicious. Don't be suspicious.

BRUNSON: Yeah. I know Jenny Slate. It's either Jenny Slate on "Parks And Rec" or Jenny Slate in the "Kroll Show" sketch. But I want to go with "Parks And Rec." It sounds like I heard some Jean-Ralphio back there.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, you got it. I feel like I want to hear you go on about this, but I just have to say yes.


EISENBERG: It's used on TikTok when people share, like, sneaky things they've been up to.

GARRON: Ah, that's a good TikTok.


GARRON: That's a good TikTok.


COULTON: All right. Last question for you, Taylor.


CARLOS ALAZRAQUI: (As Bobbi) ...If I can find my old leather.

VINCENT MARTELLA: (As Phineas) Dude, we're getting the band back together.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) You're the one who sets the bar, the hairdo king, the fashion czar. You're fabulous.

ALAZRAQUI: (As Bobbi) I'm fabulous.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) You're fabulous.

ALAZRAQUI: (As Bobbi) Oh, I'm fabulous.

BRUNSON: (Laughter).

GARRON: Oh, my gosh. Yeah, I'm - I might just have to give this one to Quinta. And she deserves it all, you know?

BRUNSON: Is it the underrated Disney hit "Phineas And Ferb"?

COULTON: That is correct.


COULTON: "Phineas And Ferb." Yeah.

GARRON: Wow. I am really friends with the voice of Phineas.

BRUNSON: (Laughter) You are.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: You're kidding me.

GARRON: I am literally friends.


COULTON: Not anymore, Taylor (laughter).


COULTON: You just blew it (laughter).

EISENBERG: Wait, that's hilarious.


EISENBERG: We'll have more with Quinta Brunson and Taylor Garron after the break. And if you thought that TikTok game was cool, get ready to have your mind blown with our next game about the periodic table of elements. I'm Ophira Eisenberg, and this is ASK ME ANOTHER from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.