Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 22, because the world’s funniest meme started here
Shit Girls Say began as a Twitter feed and YouTube video and quickly became the year’s most imitated and outrage-inspiring fad. The duo behind SGS—20-something Toronto live-in boyfriends Graydon Sheppard and Kyle Humphrey—now have a book deal and an L.A. agent. We asked Sheppard (the one who appears in drag in the YouTube videos) about the secret to meme success.
How did Shit Girls Say first come up?
Kyle and I were watching TV and one of us asked the other, “Could you pass me that blanket?” It struck us both that it was a peculiarly feminine thing to say. We were raised mostly by our moms, so we knew the territory. Within a day, we had 100 examples and decided we’d share them on Twitter. I’m a filmmaker, so it made sense to make a video, too.
And then you experienced an online snowball effect.
Exactly. I guess people were drawn to the subject matter because it’s sort of taboo. People started retweeting our tweets and then the first major thing was when we got on BuzzFeed, which is a blog about funny things on the Internet. We instantly got a thousand new followers. Even Juliette Lewis was following us.
How did you convince her to be in the YouTube videos?
One night we tweeted, “Hey, where are you?” as something that girls say, and she actually replied. She said, “Hey, I’m in Toronto.” We met for drinks and talked about the project, and she was in.
And now you guys are huge comedy celebrities.
Ha. Not really. But it has been intense. The video was shown on the Today Show, and the next week was morning-till-night phone calls from agents. We went to L.A. and ended up signing with CAA.
So what’s next? Are you guys rich?
We are definitely not rich, although the success has meant that we can focus on Shit Girls Say full-time. Kyle’s background is in graphic design, so he’ll be designing a Shit Girls Say book. It’s going to be a photographic comedy book, but that’s about all we’re able to share at this point.