In a dimly lit studio somewhere in Los Angeles, Ethan Klein cracks open a Budweiser with Post Malone before diving into a discussion on Lil Peep’s death, which occurred in November 2017. “It sucks ass, man,” says Malone between long drags of his cigarette. “He was gonna change music forever.”
“RIP, Lil Peep,” Klein says back as Malone pours a splash of beer on the table between them. After the silly gesture of respect for Peep, Malone goes on to rant about how poorly the accidental drug overdose of his fellow musician and friend was handled over social media. He argues that instead of turning a poor kid’s death into an opportunity to spew propaganda attacking drug users, people should be showing support for others suffering from addiction.
It is through the casual platform of “H3 Podcast” that Malone is able to open up and rant, without censorship, about a topic as controversial as drug overdose in the hip-hop community. With a laidback studio and beers at the ready, Klein provides an unconventional forum for notable pop culture figures, like Malone, which can lead to profound opinions or genuinely funny anecdotes — both rarities in a normal interview setting.
Klein and spouse, Hila, are a husband-and-wife duo that co-produce the famous comedy YouTube channel “h3h3 productions,” where they specialize in reaction videos featuring satirical skits aimed at criticizing popular internet trends. Much of their recent success however, stems from their second project, the “H3 Podcast,” which streams live on Twitch bi-weekly, and noteworthy video segments from past episodes can be found on “H3 Podcast Highlights,” the YouTube channel dedicated to the show.
Most of the podcast’s traffic is generated by interviews with celebrities like Bo Burnham, Ninja and Bob Saget. The wide range of stars that appear on the “H3 podcast” creates a diverse array of insider perspectives on internet and pop culture unparalleled by any formal news platform. If you visit the podcast’s highlights channel, you’ll find everything from Burnham’s philosophy on religion, to Klein criticizing Jake Paul in person for doxing Malone on YouTube and refusing to take the video down.
These colloquial interviews aren’t the only videos worth watching on the “H3 Podcast” either. More recent uploads to the highlights channel include the crew’s analysis of Kanye West and his meeting with President Trump, the LaCroix pesticide scandal and even a debate over whether peeing in the shower is acceptable. As I mentioned before, the show might be weird, but it’s never irrelevant.
Just a minor caveat: Klein has a tendency become rather heated over touchy topics, often coming off as rude and making statements I’m sure many people disagree with, but that’s the beauty of the podcast. Whether you agree with his views or not, the content is entertaining. For the most part, Klein and the crew try to remain objective when discussing political topics, but if Klein does let his true colors show, Hila’s calm demeanor helps to bring him back on track.
Klein, for instance, took his criticism a bit too far is on a recent upload to the “H3 Podcast” highlights channel titled “Pro Life Lady Kicked In Face,” in which he reams out a pro-choice supporter who literally roundhouse-kicked a counter-protester in the face. Klein rightfully censored this kind of violence, but he also made a few superfluous comments that he visibly regrets, including quite the cocktail of expletives and senseless profanity.
You must try to forgive him for episodes like this, because much of the content that the “H3 Podcast” has to offer is genuinely captivating. Just this past week, the crew followed the drama surrounding West’s open support of Trump and his recent meeting with the president.
The Kleins also happen to have an intern, Ian, who is a devout follower of West’s career and gives in-depth analyses of West’s recent excursion as a “Trumpster.” The intern even provides suggestions for what West should do moving forward to better unite the country politically, a goal West is supposedly aiming toward through his support of President Trump. The perspective of a bona fide Kanye West expert is important to consider when criticizing his Trump support, and the H3 crew knows this, which is why they’ve spent so much time on the subject with the help their savvy intern.
All in all, it’s the variety of perspectives on politics, pop culture and other unexpected topics that make the “H3 Podcast” worth a watch. Just prepare yourself for some uncalled-for, albeit laughable, outbursts from Klein.