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The Try Guys firing drama, explained

Why Ned Fulmer is out of the popular YouTube group

The Try Guys are standing on a stage, with a bright green backdrop at the Global Citizen VAX LIVE: The Concert To Reunite The World. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE
Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

On Tuesday, popular YouTube group The Try Guys announced they have parted with co-creator and executive producer Ned Fulmer. The group shared the announcement on social media platforms, including Twitter and Instagram, and it caps off a day of intense internet sleuthing, speculation, and conspiracy from fans.

“Ned Fulmer is no longer working with The Try Guys,” the statement reads. “As a result of a thorough internal review, we do not see a path forward together. We thank you for your support as we navigate this change.”

The group’s Twitter bio has already been updated to remove Fulmer’s handle, and their social media avatars across the brand’s pages have been changed to display group’s Triceratops logo.

Fulmer also shared a statement on social media, confirming suspicions of infidelity. “Family should have always been my priority, but I lost focus and had a consensual workplace relationship,” Fulmer said. “I’m sorry for any pain that my actions may have caused to the guys and the fans but most of all to Ariel. The only thing that matters right now is my marriage and my children, and that’s where I am going to focus my attention.”

Who are these guys?

The Try Guys’ official members are Keith Habersberger, Eugene Lee Yang, Zach Kornfeld, and, until recently, Ned Fulmer; the four co-created the group in 2014 when they were employed by BuzzFeed. As part of BuzzFeed’s video operation, the group played a large role in defining a kind of media presence on the internet. Their whole schtick is in their name — they’d simple “try” things, ranging from various foods and sports to simulating labor pain, their most viewed video of all time. (2015 was a different time — a time when things felt “radical” rather than “cringe.”)

The formula worked. The Try Guys became incredibly popular, and in 2018 they created their own YouTube channel, which now has roughly 7.8 million subscribers. Their popularity has swelled past the confines of YouTube; they’ve published several books, appear in various podcasts and spinoffs, and host a show on the Food Network.

Their longevity in a now-crowded internet video space is genuinely impressive. Their videos came across as equal parts humorous and relatable. It also helped that each of the guys fell into a popular kind of archetype, summoning their own respective fanbases. Notably, Fulmer was a big Wife Guy, and has even co-authored a cookbook with his wife Ariel Fulmer.

What’s the drama?

On Monday, a Reddit user posted a now-deleted video of a couple smooching at a bar in NYC, to the r/TryGuys subreddit, claiming the two were Fulmer and a producer for Try Guys.

Fans in the subreddit began pointing out Fulmer’s absence in three of the Try Guys’ most recent YouTube videos — including “Try Guys Try Stand-Up Comedy,” “Keith Eats Everything at a Vegas Buffet,” and “Try Guys Ruin Chocolate Eclairs w/ Pro Chefs” — an odd lack of appearance, given the show’s typical focus on the group’s rapport. Fulmer also had not appeared on recent podcast episodes or social media marketing for the group.

A Twitter thread posted on Monday summarizes the fan-dissected events that appeared suspicious, starting with pointing out those absences and noting that Fulmer had appeared in promotions for the season. Fans also pointed out that Fulmer was present in photos taken during shooting the Las Vegas videos, along with other unverified (and invasive) claims, and fan rumormongering. Some fans have even suggested that Fulmer was even edited out of shots for Try Guys videos.

Additionally, Ariel Fulmer wasn’t present in the previous two episodes of You Can Sit With Us, a podcast hosted by the wives of The Try Guys.

The quartet of YouTubers have worked together, in this tightknit cast, for long enough that it’s hard to know whether the dynamic will gel with just three cast members, whatever the group’s decision going forward may be. They built a reputation for appearing down-to-earth, approachable, and friendly. It’s hard to know where the group will go from here.

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