Recently split comedy duo Desus and Mero on the Wild West of media : The Limits with Jay Williams On this week's episode of The Limits, Jay looks back on his conversation with a recently split, beloved comedy duo. For years, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero lived the lives of many struggling New Yorkers: juggling multiple odd jobs, battling roaches, and just trying to make ends meet in the Bronx. But they also spent plenty of time online, where their constant back and forth on Twitter was so funny that followers demanded they make a podcast.

Their eponymous show, Desus and Mero, has since exploded over the last decade from podcasting into television, culminating in a successful four-season Showtime run.

Desus and Mero talk about that journey, and the kind of hustle and hard work it takes to make for good podcasting and longevity in show business. Plus, they don't hold back with Jay, getting into it on the NBA, the best rappers in the game...and the virtues of the Filet-O-Fish.

This episode first aired in May 2022, before Desus and Mero announced their split.

CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains explicit language and material suited for mature audiences.

Follow Jay on Instagram and Twitter. Email us at thelimits@npr.org. For sponsor-free episodes, weekly bonus content, and more, subscribe to The Limits Plus.

Desus and Mero on the Wild West of media

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Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. The comedy duo recently parted ways professionally. Photo illustration by Estefania Mitre/NPR hide caption

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Photo illustration by Estefania Mitre/NPR

Desus Nice and The Kid Mero. The comedy duo recently parted ways professionally.

Photo illustration by Estefania Mitre/NPR

This is adapted from the latest episode of The Limits with Jay Williams. Follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts, or get sponsor-free episodes, weekly bonus content, and more with a subscription to The Limits+.

On this week's episode of The Limits, Jay looks back on his conversation with a recently split comedy duo. For years, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero lived the lives of many struggling New Yorkers: juggling multiple odd jobs, battling roaches, and just trying to make ends meet in the Bronx. But they also spent plenty of time online, where their constant back and forth on Twitter was so funny that followers demanded they make a podcast.

Their eponymous show, Desus and Mero, has since exploded over the past decade from podcasting into television, culminating in a successful four-season Showtime run.

Desus and Mero talk about that journey, and the kind of hustle and hard work it takes to make for good podcasting and longevity in show business. Plus, they don't hold back with Jay, getting into it on the NBA, the best rappers in the game ... and the virtues of the Filet-O-Fish.

This episode first aired in May 2022, before Desus and Mero announced their split. CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains explicit language and material suited for mature audiences.

On keeping their comedy fresh and inventive

DESUS: As long as people realize the comedy is in good nature...you get a lot more wiggle room with people for that because people will be like, "Oh, they're just riffing or they're just joking." Or like, we have people who are just like, "Yo, the time you cooked me on your show. That was my favorite segment ever. I loved it. Me and my wife were in bed laughing at it."

MERO: Every interview has to be different and it has to be fun...At the end of the day, I want you to leave the interviews being like, "Yo, Denzel [Washington] is real."...And like... [we go for] all of that type of stuff that's not...boilerplate late night stuff where they just like, "So what's your inspiration for doing Macbeth on Apple TV?" You know what I mean? Like, it's corny and it's boring...And at the same time, we're fans of these people, too... we're not so big we like, "Oh yeah, we got Denzel tomorrow, it ain't nothin." It's like, that's what you get up for.

On maintaining self-fulfillment after hitting it big

DESUS: I'm in therapy. I've got good friends, I'm traveling, I'm eating good, got a dope apartment, I got sneakers. You know what I'm saying?...All my family members are healthy. It's just about perspective. Because if you asked me this question, maybe a year ago, I would have been like, "No, I'm miserable. My life sucks." And then you got to realize, like, I have a job where I make jokes with my friends and I make other people laugh and I get them through their day. That's an amazing feeling. And no matter how bad you're feeling, no matter what a sucky day you're having, you can be on the street and they be like, "Yo, your show got me through the pandemic," or, "Yo yo, me and my wife watch your show every night and that's all. We love it...We never miss it. Thank you for what you're doing." They say that like we were in the armed forces.

MERO: I got three boys and the youngest is my daughter. And now my kids are getting into sports...I remember being a little kid and wanting to play Little League so bad, you know what I mean? And it just being like, "Yo, fam, we can't afford all this equipment, bro"... Having come from that and given my kids that...that's super duper duper fulfilling because it's not even for me... I remember seeing my dad watching my mom eat food...We'd all be eating dinner, and my dad would just pause and watch my mom eat our food. And I thought that was so weird...And later, I was like, Why did you do that? And he was just like, "Because it felt good for me to know that me going out there and busting my ass for 12 hours a day made it so that I can get your mom what she wanted to eat." And that's the way I feel about...my kids and my family, my sister, my brother, my mom, my dad.

On trying to date as a celebrity

DESUS: People will know every possible fact about you. You know nothing about them. They know your sister's name. They know your nephew's age and what school he goes to. And you know absolutely nothing about this person. You don't know if this is actually them or if they have crafted a persona based on what they know that you liked and you've expressed on the podcast. So you have no idea of who the f*** these people you are meeting are. It is not fun and you can't trust any of the people. You don't know what they want from you. Do they want to get knocked up to have a baby and take half your money? Do they want to get with you because they want to start a podcast? Do they want to get with you because they have a spec script, they want you to read and push to a producer friend, you know? Does that sound like fun? Also, because they know you may have the money they never reach for the checks, but that's neither here nor there.


Follow Jay on Instagram and Twitter. Email us at thelimits@npr.org. For sponsor-free episodes, weekly bonus content, and more, subscribe to The Limits Plus.

The Limits is produced by Devan Schwartz and Mano Sundaresan. Our intern is Danielle Soto. Our Senior Producer is Leena Sanzgiri. Our Executive Producers are Karen Kinney, Veralyn Williams, and Yolanda Sangweni. Our Senior Vice-President of Programming and Audience Development is Anya Grundmann. Music by Ramtin Arablouei. Special thanks to Christina Hardy, Rhudy Correa, and Charla Riggi.