The Future. Bobbi Althoff, the deadpan interviewer whose The Really Good Podcast went viral over the summer, has provoked some passionate opinions from entertainment professionals, veteran journalists, and the Black community (most of her interviewers are with Black rappers). But for all the serious takes, Althoff’s comedic routine may be nothing more than that for the podcaster — simply taking internet fame to its zero-calorie, engagement-driving, inevitable conclusion. The question is: how long will you keep watching the car crash?
Cringe on the fringe
Bobbi Althoff, the once TikTok momfluencer who remade herself as the most unserious interviewer of A-list celebrities out there, is in the hot seat.
- She’s impressed people like Emmy Award-winning reality TV exec Vinnie Potestivo, who thinks she’s found the bridge between podcasting being seen as “bad social media content” and “strong word-of-mouth authorities.”
- So, people can’t help but tune in… like they can’t help but look at a car crash. The resulting buzz has gotten big names like Drake, Shaq, and Mark Cuban to sit in the interview chair.
- Yet, journalists like Jemele Hill and Naima Cochrane have a bone to pick with Althoff, highlighting her galling lack of prep (especially when it comes to Black culture) and how she erases some interviews without reason.
- The allegation is her interviews, for all their popularity (nearly a million followers on YouTube and almost three million on Instagram), delegitimize real hip-hop journalism.
Althoff probably wouldn’t disagree with any of the criticisms leveled against her. Earlier this year, she said the podcast is “a parody of a good interview” and she created her schtick (which feels like an heir to Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns) because she couldn’t get views as herself, so she had to go “where the money was.”
So far, it looks like it’s paying off.