Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Watch a comedian sabotage a 2016 dance competition reality show for influencers

Photo: Charley Gallay (Getty Images)

Though we all understand reality TV is to be taken absolutely seriously, that doesn’t stop the sacrilegious from making fun of the dramatic events of Love Island, The Bachelor, or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. While anyone who would dare besmirch these good names is reprehensible, it’s even worse to undermine the profound nature of shows that rely on ordinary people wanting to be on TV by infiltrating their line-up and turning the whole thing into a joke.

Sadly, this is exactly what comedian Cole Hersch did back in 2016 when he made his way onto “a reality dance competition show for influencers” and failed to treat the program with the gravity all reality shows deserve.

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Hersch tweeted out a thread full of excellent clips that show exactly what can happen when shows are made starring influencers who get cast, like he did, based entirely on the strength of their web presence. In the first video, a number of contestants are introduced. Each of them explains what they’re known for online and shows off their dance style. They’re all model reality show participants until, a few in, we hear “What up, teens?” and see Hersch walking down the street in a sideways baseball cap and crop top, debuting his “signature dance move,” which involves waving while swaying your hips. It’s called “The Hello, Father.”

The original shows was made by DanceOn, which describes itself on its YouTube channel as a network that “creates the most buzzworthy music and pop culture programming for millennials and Gen Z seeking entertainment everywhere,” and hosts a bunch of evocatively-named shows that include Boy Squad, Life Of A Fitness Pop Star, and Dance Showdown.

The last of these is the show Hersch made it onto, revolutionizing the world of dance with stuff like a freestyle called “Dance” where he grabs an inflatable ball with his teeth before screaming, “You can never have too much air, baby!”

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Somehow, throughout all of this, the judges continue on, taking Hersch seriously enough that he makes it to a second and third round, overcoming challenges with the determination and unique talents of someone who repeatedly says “I trust my body” and can break out the stunning “Hello, Father” at a moment’s notice.

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As the episode finishes, Hersch receives training from a professional he complains “has a musk” when he’s exercising, tweaks his nipples to show the judges his enthusiasm, and rips off his undershirt to display the ab muscles he’s drawn onto himself with magic marker. He ends up winning second place.

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Though we certainly don’t approve of anyone auditioning for a reality show with the sole intention of making fun of it, Hersch shows that it’s more than possible to achieve this dream for yourself. Look at the face of success for yourself and keep an eye out for casting calls near you.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.