Everyone listens to podcasts, but with so much variety it becomes overwhelming to choose just which one to listen to. There are so many celebrity, comedy and true crime podcasts, but maybe it’s time to listen to something more unique — something for the “modren” era. Allow me to introduce The McElroy Family.
For roughly a decade, the McElroy family has produced nearly a dozen podcasts. In 2010, Griffin, Travis and Justin McElroy started co-hosting the comedy podcast “My Brother, My Brother, and Me,” where the brothers would take on the internet’s questions and “turn them alchemy-like, into wisdom.” As the podcast expresses at the beginning of each episode, none of the answers are to be taken seriously.
What makes the show work is the gripping chemistry the three brothers have; they bounce jokes off one another effortlessly. The brothers’ commitment to their own bits brings an unmatched charm that separates it from the endless sea of podcasting competitors.
The McElroy brothers introduce several ongoing segments throughout the series such as “Munch Squad,” a podcast within a podcast hosted by Justin McElroy, that goofs on absurd fast-food press releases; and “Riddle Me Piss,” a segment where one of the McElroy brothers reads an absurdly unsolvable riddle, usually from riddles.com.
The McElroy family has a large catalogue of content to enjoy, with something for everyone. And the entire family is critically involved. The brothers’ wives, Sydnee, Teresa and Rachel McElroy, co-host podcasts with their husbands while Sydnee hosts “Still Buffering” alongside her siblings Rileigh and Teylor Smirl. All of these shows are hilarious and stand on their own. I will touch on a few of these later.
Even their father, Clint McElroy, who previously had a career in radio, co-hosts with his three sons “The Adventure Zone,” a podcast centered on Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop role-playing games. “The Adventure Zone” has a graphic novel series based on the McElroys’ Dungeons and Dragons game, with its third entry, “The Adventure Zone: Pedals to the Metal,” available as of July.
That’s right, the McElroy family doesn’t stop with funny podcasts and Dungeons and Dragons. They have several books available based on their podcasts and have a few Marvel Comics credits under their belts. The McElroy brothers even forced their way into “Trolls World Tour” with a massive half-joking, half-serious NPR stunt titled “The McElroy Brothers Will Be In Trolls: World Tour.”
It doesn’t stop there. The McElroy brothers also starred in the “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” television series on NBC’s streaming platform, Seeso, before moving to VRV after its brief six-episode run.
The television series was shot in their hometown of Huntington, West Virginia. The brothers answered user-submitted questions in a variety of ridiculous ways with appearances from the mayor of Huntington himself, “Weird Al” Yankovic and their friend Lin-Manuel Miranda. The television adaptation’s fan base crosses its fingers in hopes for a second season.
The McElroys’ dedication toward family is masterfully woven into everything they produce. The brothers’ comedic sibling banter is as wholesome as it is hilarious. But “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” does more than entertain thousands of listeners every week; it also keeps the McElroy brothers close during hard times.
Before “My Brother, My Brother, and Me,” their mother Leslie McElroy was diagnosed with skin cancer. After what seemed like a successful treatment, her cancer came back. Only a few weeks later she tragically passed away. The aftershock left the McElroys’ fate of “remaining a unit up in the air.”
Luckily, a choice was made for the McElroy family to remain a constant part of each other’s lives, no matter what. Griffin McElroy touches on the sentimental value of the content his family creates during a Florida State University Golden Tribe Lecture Series: You can watch it here.
Eventually this led to the success of “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” — a podcast first recorded on microphones from the video game “Rock Band”; a podcast about three siblings trying to make one another laugh; a podcast about answering questions, but the questions hardly get answered seriously.
The McElroy family is always cooking up new content, and now is the perfect time to listen to the many podcasts the McElroy family has to offer. Here is a quick summary of only a few on-going series to see which McElroy podcast is the perfect fit for you.
This is the best place to start. As previously mentioned, “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” is where the three McElroy brothers answer user-submitted questions with ridiculous advice. This is the perfect sample of the brothers’ unique sense of humor as well as their iconic sibling banter.
2. “The Adventure Zone”
This is the aforementioned Dungeons and Dragons podcast hosted by the McElroy brothers alongside their father, Clint McElroy. This is arguably their most successful podcast, not only for its comedic value, but also for the way the McElroy family crafts a narrative to be as enjoyable as their wit. If you love tabletop role-playing games, this is a must-listen. If you have never played, this might be a great way to see if the game is right for you.
This podcast is hosted by both Travis and his wife, Teresa McElroy. “Shmanners” aims to teach you proper manners as well as some interesting history regarding etiquette. The show is informative, while still being engaging. Their dynamic is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. If the topic piques your interest, you may want a partner to listen along with.
Dr. Sydnee McElroy, alongside husband Justin McElroy, host a podcast covering strange, misguided medical practices of the past. Laugh alongside the McElroys as they dissect and critique the down-right absurd ways medical practitioners tried to aid people over the years. Sound interesting? They even have “The Sawbones Book: The Hilarious, Horrifying Road to Modern Medicine,” available now.
“Wonderful!” is the number one podcast for enthusiasts of all sorts. It is a super positive podcast hosted by Rachel and Griffin McElroy. The two cover a variety of passions alongside welcoming viewers to submit what they themselves are enthusiastic about. The topics are diverse, and the content is simply wonderful. Give it a try and add some joy to your life.
Above all else, the McElroys are a family and you’re welcome to join it. The McElroys’ all-inclusive community grows larger with each passing week. Why? Because they are relatable. The way the brothers interact reminds me of the simple times I spent with my own siblings — the dumb, yet hilarious bits we would perform just to make each other laugh.
And maybe you grew up an only child. Well, the McElroys invite you to experience even a fraction of what having a sibling may feel like. Goofy. Stressful, irritating and maybe nonsensical at times, but always goofy. There is something comforting in that. In these trying times, the McElroy family reminds us just how effective one big goofy unit can be. Give them a listen, you won’t regret the laughs.