If you’re familiar with the, now deceased, Vine app then you’ve probably heard of Cody Ko. Cody is responsible for creating classic vines such as “I like mauve,” “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my morning coffee,” and “I love you… sike.” Throughout the past few years Cody has transitioned from Vine to YouTube to Podcasts, and finally to a comedy stage; branching his audience over multiple platforms and the University of California – Riverside had the pleasure of having him visit for a guest lecture.
On April 17, 2019 the the Associated Students Program Board (ASPB) at UCR put on an event and hosted Cody Ko. The line wrapped around UNLH and down the street toward CHASS INTS; the only time I’ve seen students so eager to get into a lecture hall.
I stood in line with approximately 400 other students who were extremely excited to see the ½ of the Tiny Meat Gang (TMG) rap duo. The audience was filled with students sporting TMG merch and conversations consisted of recreating vine compilations.
I attended the event alone, but I didn’t feel lonely in a crowd of people who clearly understand the inside jokes from the podcast and the lyrics to many of the songs. Although I decided to line up for the show an hour and thirty minutes early, others had the same idea and arrived even earlier; by the time I got in line, I was near the end of it, which extended past Sky Hall and to my surprise, the line only seemed to grow more and more every time I turned around to check on it. Around eight o’clock we were given wrist bands and let into the venue.
Cody sat at the front of the lecture hall accompanied by a student moderator chosen by ASPB. The lecture began with a round of curated questions that explained a bit more of Cody’s past. Cody spoke about how he was a Computer Science major at Duke University and pursued a career in software engineering. He even expressed that it was through developing apps that he discovered Vine as it was his “company’s competitor.” He made an interesting comparison between software engineering and video editing claiming “as nerdy as it sounds, it’s almost the same thing.” It was interesting learning about someone with a college education who branched out into the business of entertainment. He then went on to explain that when you’re passionate about something, you can learn and achieve great things through effort; ending his statement with “see, there’s something educational.”
Throughout the night, students got to hear about future plans for videos and upcoming news for TMG. Cody released some information about Noel Miller’s, his comedy partner, Love Island series on YouTube stating “his video got copyright claimed and a strike on his channel, so he’s trying to license the music” in order to keep the series going. He also mentioned that TMG would be releasing another album sometime in the coming year; and fans seemed very excited about that.
The monitored portion of the event was followed up by a student Q&A where audience members could ask just about anything. Cody spoke about how easy it is working with Noel after the audience applauded their rapport, stating “we can film for two hours and it feels like nothing.” When asked how he met his current girlfriend, Kelsey Kreppel, he quickly referred to his class “THAT’S CRINGE: you.” video recounting a love story based in a Whole Foods but quickly stepping out of his comedy persona and described the real story, “I met Kelsey infront of her spice cabinet and we did the cinnamon challenge.” Near the end of the segment, an audience member asked about the future of The Real Bros of Simi Valley, he quickly referred to his manager and responded with “I’m not allowed to say anything but let’s just say” and winked at the audience. The night ended with the dismissal of the audience and an exclusive meet & greet granted to those with purple wristbands.
After a quick and smooth event, the UNLH pathway filled with cheerful students ready for a new video to drop in the future. I was extremely excited to see that ASPB was able to bring a growing talent to campus and it brings me hope for future events they will put on.