Kyle Forgeard, leader of YouTube sensations The Nelk Boys recently dropped by Nashville, where he hit up Daily Wire co-founder Ben Shapiro for his thoughts on politics, dating, Twitter, Brittney Griner, and how a certain media and entertainment company is taking on Hollywood in an interview this week.
Forgeard and his Nelk Boys cast are known for their hilarious pranks and viral videos that have won them nearly eight million YouTube subscribers, and Forgeard also has a huge following on his “Full Send Podcast,” a name he says refers to giving your all to everything you do. When Forgeard quizzed Shapiro about The Daily Wire’s remarkable growth into a $200-million in-revenues company, Shapiro described a “Full Send” approach of his own.
“Originally it started as just a news website, largely aggregation, my podcast, and a couple other podcasts and now it’s grown to include an entertainment component,” Shapiro told Forgeard and fellow Nelk Boy Aaron Steinberg. “Now we have a million subscribers.”
Shapiro noted the company has rolled out several successful movies, including “Run, Hide, Fight,” “Shut In,” “Terror on the Prairie,” and bombshell documentaries “What is a Woman?” and “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold.” Next year, Shapiro said, The Daily Wire intends to launch a $100 million line of children’s entertainment programming.
“So would you say it’s almost like, not a Netflix competitor, but it’s like a subscription-based model, like a platform competitor?” Forgeard asked.
This one was a blast. We covered a ton of ground. https://t.co/kIZkFeff79
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) December 23, 2022
“That would eventually be the goal,” Shapiro replied. Although Shapiro noted that Netflix currently has approximately 200 million subscribers, the insistence of it, Disney and other Hollywood companies on shoving woke sensibilities on customers who simply want entertainment has created a huge opening for The Daily Wire.
Shapiro cited Disney’s new animated movie “Strange World,” which features a gay teen who has a crush on a boy.
“It was a massive box office failure,” Shapiro said. “Disney … didn’t have to get the message that it’s not that, you know, these issues can never be discussed. But you do not have permission to discuss these issues with my five-year-old.”
The pair picked Shapiro’s brain about the 2024 presidential race, in which former President Trump could face a primary challenge from the governor of Florida, where Shapiro makes his home. It will be difficult for Ron DeSantis to pass up a run in two years, said Shapiro, noting the Sunshine State governor is riding a wave of popularity and “also has in the bank a “$150 million” war chest.”
Whether the GOP candidate is Trump, DeSantis or someone else, Shapiro said he expects their opponent to be the 80-year-old current president, Joe Biden.
“He’s the best candidate for them aside from Michelle Obama. Yes, actually he’s got to be a better candidate than Kamala Harris,” Shapiro said.
Foregeard and Steinberg pinned down the best-selling author and fellow podcaster down on a host of other topics in the news.
- On new Twitter boss Elon Musk’s exposing of the platform’s past censorship of conservatives: “More transparency is good. The team that he’s got in there is much smaller and much more transparent, much more reactive.”
- On Shapiro’s brief recent experiment with facial hair and its end at the hands of a Jeremy’s razor: “My wife has absolute veto power. There’s only one person I can sleep with.”
- On WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was freed from a Russian gulag in a swap for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout: “The first WNBA trade anybody’s ever noticed.”
Shapiro also discussed growing up in Burbank, California, where his mother, a Hollywood executive, and his father, a composer, began raising the family as Orthodox Jewish during his childhood. A violin prodigy who skipped two grades, Shapiro, now 38, once dreamed of a career in music.
But he became an author, podcaster, conservative thought leader, and successful businessman when his parents stepped in and told him he was not going to devote the rest of his life to music.
“My dad, who was a musician and my mom who was married to a musician, was like, ‘This is a bad idea,'” Shapiro said. “‘You’re going to go get a job. You’re going to go on a career path. It doesn’t end with you, you know, playing in a bar tomorrow.'”