Meet the Man Behind @DadBoner

Twitter has also held a greal deal of fascination for me. As someone with a lowly amount of followers, it has always geeked me out knowing that you can @ or talk to someone that you would never have the opportunity to speak to in real life.

For some reason or another I have always held a great amount of respect for Michigan. I started following Karl Welzein née @DadBoner just to get my lowest-common denominator kicks. With tweets like “Starbucks acts like they’re so fancy. You sell hot black water and muffins. Calm down.” and “Never understood why people count how many drinks they have. A real man drinks by body feel. More natural. Boozin’ ain’t math, you guys” I knew I had to met this man some day. By the time our series My Life Online rolled around I knew the man behind this satirical masterpiece would be perfect for the show. I looked online and saw that Ology and Deadspin had discovered that a comedian named Mike Burns was DadBoner, but Mike had neither confirmed nor denied if that was the case. I was intrigued. I saw that Mike was repped by Creative Artists Agency and did a cold call to the offices general LA number. In what only can be defined as sheer luck, I was put on a conference call with Mike Burns and his agent who then told me he would give me the DadBoner exclusive (whatever that means.)

When I met Mike outside his apartment in Echo Park he seemed tired and a bit rough around the edges. He eyed me warily as only a veteran of the comedy and entertainment world can. He smoked a cigarette and asked me what we should do. It seemed fitting that Mike was the man behind this gluttonous, out there twitter feed. Karl could say all the things that Mike wanted to but couldn’t say in his own voice (for fear of retribution). It later occurred to me that every one of us might have a Karl inside; Mike is just more wanton to let him out.

I traveled out to LA for Click. Print. Gun and Jerome LOL and, as it turned out, to have some drinks and get to know Mike and his crew. We watched WWE, drank some domestos (that means beer), and talked about the internet as it relates to comedy. I like to think of it as a tragicomedy.  

—Erin Lee Carr

Read Karl's posts on Vice.com here.

On Guy Fieri, The New York Times, and the Heroism of Karl Welzein

I’ve been a bit alarmed at all the attention this no-star NYT review of Guy Fieri’s new Times Square restaurant has been getting. I mean, writing cynical, witty, bitchy reviews where you just mop the floor with something is one of the skills of a good critic in any field. It’s not the only one, mind you, but this sort of thing is hardly a rare occurrence. What bothers me is when I see people posting links to this review on Facebook and Twitter and then laughing their smug laughs and high-fiving the author, Pete Wells, as if he’s done something brave or admirable (he hasn’t; he’s just done his job), and I think it’s because the target of the review–Guy Fieri and his gloopy take on American diner fare–is some of the lowest hanging fruit you could possibly find. Did anyone really expect the New York Times food critic to do anything other than bash this place? Do people really expect any sort of ‘serious’ 'foodie’ food to come out of a giant, tourist trap restaurant in Times Square? Of course not! The people cackling over this review aren’t the people Guy Fieri designed the place for (duh!). It has nothing to do with them, so why do they take so much pleasure in seeing it skewered? Because people love to use haughtiness, snobbery, and snarkiness to make it look like they have taste. Congratulations, you’ve made it clear to everyone that you don’t like Guy Fieri: you’re so freakin’ cool.

For me (and maybe a lot of other internet-conscious people?), much of my interaction with the idea of Guy Fieri comes from following the twitter account of “Karl Welzein” a.k.a. @DadBoner. It read it kinda like performance art: it’s too outlandish to be believable and too carefully organized to not be premeditated–I don’t believe Karl’s a real person, in other words–but it’s so compelling in the way it captures the thoughts and details of its protagonist and the characters around him that it feels like watching a Parks and Rec-style sitcom. Welzein is a huge Fieri fan, loves re-combinations of junk food, pounding cheap beer, “top-shelf margs” from Chili’s and Applebee’s, etc. He’s that uncle or dad’s coworker we all have, taken to an extreme: the amalgam of his hero, Fieri, Tim Allen’s character from Home Improvement, and Sammy Hagar in Cabo Wabo mode. Only he’s a slovenly divorcee and deadbeat dad with zero skill, motivation, usefulness, or tact. He sees himself as a patriotic bad-boy party animal, but follow his adventures long enough and you’ll glimpse not only the humanity beneath his sweaty, boorish surface, but the tragic downward spiral that is his life. Nothing is both sadder and funnier than a loser who thinks he isn’t one, right?

I’m sure a lot of people read @DadBoner with the same sense of snooty satisfaction that they read the Wells review, but dammit, I can’t help rooting for the guy! He can be an over-macho jerk, sure, but he’s never less than sincere and honest. He’s an endearing dreamer at heart. I don’t want to behave like him or eat his fantasy concoction of pizza covered in Cheetos and “D'reets” (Doritos) or anything. I don’t want to go to Guy Fieri’s restaurant either, but through some strange transference I find myself rooting for him too. Give his food the bad review it probably deserves–that’s the business and it’s fine–but don’t take someone else’s review and use it to pat yourself and all your enlightened friends on the back for being so much better than all of that.


1. Invite as many babes as poss-ee-blay. Make sure to add in some grossouts so the top shelf ones’ll know you’re sensitive and not just out to get busy (wink). Plus, any real macho man on the prowl makes a mistake from time to time. Ran into this one babe with mega buttcheeks at the grocery store a few ticks back. Ended up havin’ casual “hot dog” carnal passions. Just peener ‘n buns. It was chill, but I’m tryin’ to keep it hush-hush. Guy code.

2. Turn the sound off during that Beyonce halftime action; just keep the picture loud and clear. Maybes crank up some Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man while you’re peepin’ that righteous caramel caboose, piled high with all the toppings.

3.  Don’t spend it with your fam. They’re only good for ruinin’ holidays like Christmas. Such a snooze.

4. Make sure to stock up on D’Reets (at least 3 flaves), re’glar chips ‘n dip (Dean’s F.O.), back up ‘za (supreme), maybes a bunch of The Bell if you can get some idiot go for it midgame in an “I buy, you fly, capacity,” Li’l Smokies in the Crock, Chili Cheese dip, brats for grillin’, pizza rolls, also, plenty of other snacks as well. The works. Full spread.

Read the whole thing


’Sup. Name’s Karl Welzein, comin’ atcha live and direct from Grand Blanc, MI. Caught some pretty nasty D from a *Totino’s Party Pizza that may or may not have gone bad. Fell out of my grocery bag from Kroger and sat in my backseat for a week or so. Could be longer? Or less longer? Hard to tell. Time just flies when you’re livin’ the all-freedom lifestyle, 24/7, 365, open on Sundays, you guys.

Was kinda questionable ’cause it’s been real cold and crap so anytime the heat wasn’t on in ’Bring, the Tino’s was probably in a safe situaish. But I like to cruise for various purposes including business ventures as well as peepin’ babes on the regular, so in those times the ’Tino’s coulda thawed out and then got refroze several times. No way to be 100 percent. Anyway, pretty sure it gave me ’rrhea, so I gotta write this from the john. Heard a lot of the greats like Hemmingway wrote crap on the toilet for peace and sanctuary. Kinda cool?

So, sometime around when I first purchased the ’Tino’s ’a, we were rockin’ it with the heat of a thousand suns to show respect for my main man Guy Fieri’s b-day. Everything was on point. Then my pal Crazy Cooter came by with two fifths of Beam. Said he “brought one for the slizz and one for the dampness!” Guess he wasn’t informed that no babes were at the celebraish. Cooter got kinda steamed and pounded a fifth himself. Then pulled a copy of the XXX guy mag, Cheri—pretty raunchy… I’m more of a Penthouse man. Always have been, since way back—out of his waistband and said, “If you don’t got no slampigs comin’ by, then I’m just gonna rock it,” and went in the john for solo carnal passions.

Cooter was in there for a while. Figured he was havin’ guy troubles with his peener & veggies so I just made myself a tall Beam & ice and hit the sack. Smooth sippin’ with Jim + a soft pillow = dreams of majesty. Do the math, your highness.


The Mercy Rule - Contemporary Magic

The most important thing to know about former Orlando Magic head coach Stan Van Gundy—more than his more-remarked-upon-than-actual, but also kind-of-actual resemblance to bepenised yam/veteran porn personage Ron Jeremy, more than his (generally quite successful) record as an NBA coach—is that he’s unbalanced. Not chemically, but with his time. This is a man who quite possibly does not know the identity of the current President of the United States and doesn’t feel badly about it, who hasn’t seen a movie in a theater since Regarding Henry, and who almost certainly slips up on a regular basis and says things like, “transition defense, you guys!” to his wife during sex. In other words, Stan Van Gundy is a fairly prototypical NBA coach, which means that the most important thing to know about labeling him “unbalanced” is that it’s a compliment, given his profession.

There was a time when NBA coaches were a more diverse group than the present fraternity. Don Nelson, who, over several decades, made a bunch of teams much more fun and somewhat more likely to win games, was basically @DadBoner—at least insofar as he did a lot of media interviews while drinking Bud tallboys and wearing Big Johnson t-shirts—but actually funny. Lenny Wilkens and Chuck Daly won a ton of games and projected some faintly American Dream vibes, in that both were blue-collar dudes who became really good at a difficult job, and were therefore able to both recognize and afford really sharp suits.