From interviewing politicians to teasing Wheel or Fortune contestants, the comedy duo has provided plenty of memories over the years.
Prior to recently disbanding as a unit and leaving the entertainment world in collective mourning, late-night duo Desus & Mero built a loyal fandom among New York transplants and natives alike, along with viewers from all over the map. Establishing themselves as premier comedy acts of the past decade, the tag team’s one-of-a-kind, borough-specific comedic presence showed that The Bronx had more to offer the world than Yankee Stadium. Starting from humble beginnings on Twitter and figuring it out on the fly, the pair wore multiple hats as podcast hosts and improvisational cultural commentators akin to an urban version of Mystery Science Theater 3000, all before becoming full-fledged socialites who conversed with the likes of Hollywood elite and presidential candidates. They landed shows at Complex, Viceland, and most recently, Showtime, where their show prospered for four seasons before this week’s announcement that the duo was splitting up to pursue solo endeavors. The entertainment world has been in mourning ever since the rumors began to circulate about their demise, but with nearly a decade of comedy behind them, they’ve left their devoted following — known as the BodegaHive — with plenty of fond memories. We revisited a few of our favorites.
Desus & Mero Interview Denzel Washington
One of Desus & Mero’s most memorable interviews was with Denzel Washington, who brought an instant chemistry and a down-to-earth understanding of their lives as a native New Yorker via The Bronx’s neighboring Mt. Vernon. Washington engaged the duo in an exchange of his old NYC memories with their accounts of the current NYC: he asked them about their scariest stops on the subway, shared his own experiences with older NYC gangs, and nostalgically recalled 25-cent slices of pizza, while also speaking about his film career. “Just in case you thought he was Hollywood, he’s not — he’s Holly-hood,” Mero beamed to the camera. What’s even more refreshing is he was just as engaged in getting to know the up and comers, passing along game and leaving them with gems of wisdom to walk away with. The conversation was a shining moment of the unique late-night perspective that Desus and Mero provided: no one had seen an interview that got Denzel that open before, and they likely never will again.
Chaos in the Ugandan parliament
One of many clips where Desus & Mero made their mark examining bizarre happenings across the globe, an initially serious news story quickly spiraled into insanity as the Bodega Boys took a hilarious look at international politics. Narrating a moment-by-moment breakdown of a Ugandan president’s entourage physically fighting for him to remain in office, this unhinged brawl was rooted in the chief being asked to step down after serving for three decades and aging out of a potential 2021 reelection. The wildest highlights from this altercation in Parliament chambers include chairs being thrown and someone hopping on a table to break out into a spin move. The scene was pure chaos, and Desus and Mero squeezed every bit of comedic gold that it had to offer.
Embarassment at Sri Lanka’s Got Talent
Part of Desus & Mero’s early routine on Viceland was like a Bronx version of Tosh.0, where they commented on an assortment of random clips not limited to television from around the world. Here, a contestant on the Sri Lankan version of the hit show America’s Got Talent tried to impress judges by breaking a stone plate over his head while doing an aerial split, before losing his balance on stage. Mero’s imagination runs wild as he envisions the scenario with his native Dominican folks involved, the comedic riffs continuing as the contestant burrows further into catastrophe while risking further injury.
Reuniting with AOC
Reuniting after Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the premiere guest on their Showtime series, Desus & Mero hung out with the fellow Bronx representative for a second time to go on a mini-tour through the Parkchester neighborhood of their shared borough. Grounded as ever, AOC spoke with hometown pride about the simplistic delicacy of bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches and celebrated the bodega’s importance within minority communities while wearing Timberland boots, even if just for the afternoon. A celebrity of sorts where she’s from, the politician walked the streets receiving love from random people before going on to revisit her history as a bartender while making Desus and Mero drinks.
Turning down with Bernie Sanders
Proving themselves capable of serious discussion, Desus & Mero’s cultural clout received a shot of adrenaline as they met up with Bernie Sanders while he campaigned for the 2020 election. Here the one-time presidential candidate attempted to galvanize the support of their fan bases, waxing poetic on everything from New York sports history to marijuana legalization and his fondness for Killer Mike and Cardi B. Breaking free of their trademark edgy banter, the hosts educated Sanders on sneaker reselling culture and NYC’s chopped cheese food phenomenon, all the while being attentive as he spoke of his progressive outlook towards improving America.
Expensive water tasting with Kenan Thompson
A big part of Desus & Mero’s appeal over time has been their ability to resonate with the everyday person, and what better way to do so than drinking water? While this doesn’t make for a hilarious late-night TV segment on paper, add the duo and Saturday Night Live legend Kenan Thompson to the equation and you have magic. Here the three comedians poked fun at nightclub culture, with the studio set being turned into a roped-off VIP section complete with energetic music, bottle girls, and sparklers as they took turns guessing the price of different water brands ranging from free to $1000.
L’s on Wheel Of Fortune
In one of Desus & Mero’s more relatable bits, they placed their own unique spin on the shared American experience of watching along in disbelief as Wheel Of Fortune contestants repeatedly blew their chances at a big payday. Making good on their ability to pull fun from any scenario, incorrect guesses and show host Pat Sajak’s sympathetic demeanor are the tip of the iceberg as the Bodega Boys completely lose it while watching Indiana University Bloomington student Julian’s repeated televised failures. This player in particular was responsible for a number of cringeworthy moments as he mispronounced Achilles before going on to coin the phrase “dicespin” in lieu of “decision,” leading both hosts to roll on the ground laughing. “This is the worst recruitment video for Indiana ever,” Mero jokes, angry and amused all at once.
Desus & Mero vs. DJ Akademiks
DJ Akademiks is one of the most provocative voices in youth culture, exciting his core fan base while getting under the skin of naysayers. At some point, he missed the memo that Desus & Mero’s brand of media spared little to no one in the name of a good roast, and he took personal offense in what appeared to be an inebriated Twitch rant. In response, the dynamic duo flexed their credentials as hosts of a legitimized Viceland TV show with a production crew compared to Ak’s relatively low-budget setup at the time, letting off a barrage of jokes designed to humble and humiliate one of hip-hop’s greatest agitators.
Taking shots at DJ Envy
One of the moments to fully cement Desus & Mero’s ability to move the needle was their appearance on the hit morning show The Breakfast Club. The duo had joked about DJ Envy’s public infidelity and other alleged indiscretions on their show, which led to an uncomfortable confrontation when they visited the syndicated radio hosts to promote their own upcoming tour. Despite apologizing for remarks about Envy’s family at the station, within 24 hours, Desus & Mero doubled down and barrelled even more jokes towards the man himself, with additional shots taken at how he handled everything to begin with. No matter whose side viewers took, this unquestionably marked the team as a force to be reckoned with.