A Short-Lived Fan of Andy Milonakis

Commentator Charles Monroe-Kane became attached to an MTV show featuring what he thought was a real 12-year-old crazy kid. He loved it until he found out the guy was 30 — and the show was scripted.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Commentator Charles Monroe-Kane is a member of the MTV Generation. The channel debuted when he was in the sixth grade and he's still watching. Lately he's become a big fan of one of MTV's biggest stars.

CHARLES MONROE-KANE reporting:

When I first saw The Andy Milonakis Show, my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe a show this funny, this original was anywhere on TV, especially MTV. And get this, it was made by a kid.

(Soundbite of The Andy Milonakis Show)

Mr. ANDY MILONAKIS (Comedian): I wonder if got a letter from my pen pal in Alaska. Awesome!

Dearest Andy, today it was 35 degrees below zero. I didn't wake up until 4 p.m. Then I ate 12 ice cube sandwiches. I feel so fat. Write back soon, Freddy.

Dear Freddy, things are going great here in New York. We have heat and we never have to worry about freezing to death. But more importantly, I wish I didn't have to deal with having a such a sucky pen pal. Write me back soon, Andy.

MONROE-KANE: Stupid, I know, but here's Andy Milonakis, a chubby, apartment-bound city kid who looks like he's about 12, who's writing, directing and acting in his own TV show. Sure, it's poorly done homemade videos of him trying to inflate a Twinkie with a bicycle pump, but he's got that goofy grin of a child unselfconsciously testing the world around him. And I like that.

But the back story on the internet was even better. Andy was discovered by late-night comedy icon Jimmy Kimmel. The video for a song, The Superbowl is Gay, is emailed around the world. MTV signs him up. Not bad for a show that has cherubim-faced Andy skipping up to strangers and telling them, thanks for not stabbing me.

(Soundbite of The Andy Milonakis Show)

Mr. MILONAKIS: I really hate myself. Have a nice day.

Unidentified Man: You hate yourself?

Mr. MILONAKIS: Yeah.

Unidentified Man: What do you mean you hate yourself?

Mr. MILONAKIS: I don't wanna talk about it. Why do you have to always pressure me? Have a nice day.

Unidentified Man: You, too. Thanks for the balloon.

Mr. MILONAKIS: Thank you. I hate me.

MONROE-KANE: Truth arrived one day in the form of a New York Times article. Turns out Andy is not an endearing, though strange, 12-year-old kid making his own show. No, he's a 30-year-old man with a congenital growth hormone condition working with a team of some of MTV's best and brightest.

I felt so stupid. Look, I'm a pretty savvy media consumer. How could I have been so dumb as to let the MTV machine fool me again? Here's one more thing I thought might be real that turns out to be fake. And I'm just another step closer to not believing in anything. I put Andy's DVD on again and watched some of my old favorites. So I'm asking myself, is a talking pancake still funny?

(Soundbite of the The Andy Milonakis Show)

Mr. MILONAKIS: Does pancake face like syrup and butter. No, let's ask him.

Mr. MILONAKIS (as Pancake Face): Wait, I am him and I love syrup. Mmm.

MONROE-KANE: Why does this bother me so much anyway? I mean who cares if he's 12 or not? I guess I do. But I care if it's real, not if it's funny. In this homogenized, mass-produced country of ours, I feel like I'm always looking for something that's not fake. Some of us actually believe reality shows aren't fake. The unbending optimism and wishful thinking of America. God bless it.

So, Andy, I know you're 30 and I don't care. Sing for me.

(Soundbite of the The Andy Milonakis Show)

Mr. MILONAKIS: So yo, I gotta go, it's time for me to rock it. I put bologna in my left pocket. Smear some cream cheese in my gold locket, cause it's my show. I'm Andy Milonakis. It's my show. I'm Swandy Swilosnakis. It's my show. I'm Andy Milonakis.

SIEGEL: Charles Monroe-Kane is a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio's To The Best of Our Knowledge.

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