The “Sh*t [girls, white girls to black girls, girls to gay guys, abuelas…] Say” Internet meme went local late Wednesday when comedian and New York Magazine Vulture blog assistant editor Eliot Glazer and his sister uploaded their addition to the canon, “Sh*t New Yorkers Say.”
The video follows two New York-y characters (the Glazer siblings) as they chat with friends on park benches and in subway tunnels. It taps into some classic New York frustrations and desires — “Where is the train?”; “I want a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair.”; “I hate tourists. Move!” — while also poking fun at some of the more ridiculous aspects of our New Yorkness, like our constant complaints about eating only bagels and pizza (poor us), our blasé attitude toward celebrity-spotting and our obsession with good (by our very low standards) real estate: “This place is huge!”
MetroFocus interviewed Eliot Glazer via email.
Q: Did you make this video because you think the stuff New Yorkers say is funny, or because you wanted to join the “Sh*t…Say” meme?
A: I made it because I think sh*t New Yorkers say is funny. We are a clever, weird people and our neuroses deserves to be celebrated. I think a lot of what made New York so special through Woody Allen and Jerry Seinfeld got lost in the saccharine way New York was portrayed in “Sex and the City,” and that cultural residue has really neutered how many people see New York, in my opinion. So, hopefully, this will remind New Yorkers (and those who like us) to take pride in our eccentricities.
Q: Can you share some examples of the sh*t we say that didn’t make final cut?
A: We were going to do a series of us peeking into townhouses commenting on the furniture, but we didn’t know anyone rich enough to let us shoot from inside. We also cut, “Bloomberg is so tiny in person!”
In “Sh*t New Yorkers Say,” Eliot Glazer humorously jokes about, well, the sh*t New Yorkers say. YouTube/wexlerglazer
Q: If you had to pick one of the phrases in the video, which do you think is said the most frequently?
A: People seem to really respond to me threatening to report the cabbie for not driving to Brooklyn. But I think, “I want a dog, but it wouldn’t be fair,” is pretty common.
Q: Are you from New York?
A: Ilana and I are from the suburbs — Smithtown on Long Island. Dad’s from Flatbush, mom’s from Jamaica and Ilana and I both went to NYU. We both live in Brooklyn (her in Park Slope, me in Ditmas Park). So we’re pretty local.
Q: Some of the video was shot in Times Square. What’s a real New Yorker doing in Times Square?
A: Haha, there’s really no good answer to that question other than “I work there” or “I have tickets to a show,” in which case you usually avoid the tourists by walking to Eighth Avenue or Sixth Avenue.
Q: Which are your favorite videos in this ever-evolving “Sh*t…Say” YouTube trend?
A: Sh*t White Girls Say To Black Girls. It’s funny, but it also makes people think. I like comedy that carries a subtle message, which is something I try to employ in my own web series, “It Gets Betterish,” as does my sister in hers, “Broad City.”
Q: The “I read that” part in the video where you and your sister are going on about reading everything brings to mind my favorite sketch in “Portlandia,” “Did you read?” Do you watch that show? Is this another in a long line of examples of NYC and Portland being similar? (Check out the MetroFocus feature comparing “Portlandia” and “Brooklandia.”)
A: I think “Portlandia” is one of the best shows on television. My producer, Seth Keim, was nervous that our bit was too close for comfort, but we realized that it would have been a disservice to not include that, since we’re also such a literate city.
Q: What’s the deal with all the love for Pat Kiernan, really?
A: He’s just a perfectly cherubic, endlessly charming gentleman, and I would love to have dinner with him.