The Francis Mean Girl Episode Is Here; Why Did They Want To Destroy It?
Last week, I was a guest on the Mean Girl podcast. I like Alex, Jordyn, and Alanna very much. As is the case with most Barstool podcasts, I went in with no prep. My knowledge of their theme stemmed solely from seeing their clips on Instagram. Thus, I thought I'd be asked about the underwhelming penises of fuckboys who lurk treacherously behind mandolins, clutching labradoodle puppies and critically-ill sisters on Hinge. Or perhaps I'd be asked to weigh in on whether a husband has the right to quench his own erections, or if every drop of his courtside seed belongs to his wife. The hits!
I quickly learned that I'd been summoned for very specific questioning. The scope of my interrogation was narrow indeed. You can even hear me say, at numerous points, "is it always this structured?" I had assumed that the many viral clips I'd seen from Mean Girl were plucked surgically from an hour of casual, meandering conversation about dating. Instead, I learned that their podcast follows a pre-planned route to clippage. Each question has been selected, it seems, for the purpose of spawning relatable, sharable responses.
Let me be clear: there's nothing wrong with this. Does it stand at odds with the off-the-cuff ethos upon which Barstool was built? Maybe. But the first time I worked here, I was often criticized for creating "scripted" content (sketches, written bits, etc.) But these days, some of the best work this place creates requires, at the very least, a template or road map to follow (see: ANUS podcast, PMT's Fastest Two Minutes, etc.) It's safe to say that Barstool, and all you lovely readers, have accepted—even championed—a more structured delivery at times.
What's more, Mean Girl is a gigantic hit. I think their origin story is classic Barstool. Their audience swells each week, their social media commitment is exemplary, and they truly are great friends who are committed to the same vision. I fundamentally admire what Jordyn, Alex, and Alanna continue to build each week.
The issue, as far as my appearance on Mean Girl was concerned, was that nobody told me what they wanted. I was dropped in a pool, so I started treading water, but the Mean Girls wanted me to swim a 200-meter medley. "WHY AREN'T YOU BACKSTROKING TO THE FAR END OF THE POOL?" [You need to answer these questions for people in committed relationships! In less than 60 seconds for Tiktok and Instagram reels!] You guys know me: concision, brevity, staying on point... these are qualities that nobody would dare accuse me of possessing. Yet still, by the end, I'd had fun. I actually thought there had been funny moments. If nothing else, I'd been true to my own experiences in dating.
Which is why I was surprised to receive this message a few days later:
It didn't bother me much. I'd been honored to be asked to guest on their podcast. Somehow, I'd failed. As a self-deprecating joke, I threw up this tweet:
I know I play dumb a lot, but I truly didn't think that tweet would set off the next Barstool scandal. But I knew I'd kicked a rock loose when we had Gaz come down from the rafters demanding the lost episode:
Next, Big Cat asked me and Jordyn for explanations on the Yak. Pat wanted me to call in to the rundown about it. Marty Mush took shots at me. Nate wrote a blog. Steven Cheah wrote a blog. KFC wants me to break it down on KFC radio. On and on it went…
I've learned better than to make sense of why things have caught the interest of this place. So I decided to lean in, get the audio from the lost episode, and attach it to an episode of Oops since there was no way the mean girls were going to run it. You can listen to that here (jump to about an hour and 10 minutes in, although our actual episode before is pretty fun).
I'm sure that if you've listened to the episode, you're disappointed. I wasn't edgy, dark, or controversial. I didn't make fun of them or swing for the fences. It's all pretty… mundane? But I guess that's what makes it all the more confusing as to why they spiked it. And the more we dig in to that, the more the answers have changed. Initially, Alex said I wasn't prepped and didn't really understand what was happening, which I agree with. But then they said I would confuse their audience. Jordyn said I was patronizing. Alanna told me I was boring. These are fighting words.
You guys can judge it. As my scandals have gone, this one is pretty baffling; a case of where there is smoke, there may not be any fire. But far be it for me to not provide you with ~1,000 words on it.
PS: throw us a subscribe on our Oops YouTube channel in solidarity. Would mean a lot.