Culture

Across the Tumblrverse: The Creators of ‘What Should We Call Me’ Speak

Culture

Across the Tumblrverse: The Creators of ‘What Should We Call Me’ Speak

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What Should We Call Me is an accidental sensation, the product of two 24-year-old best friends trying to keep in touch while attending law schools on opposites ends of the country. The girls, who prefer to remain anonymous, initially started sharing funny GIFs about their days over gchat. They soon recognized that Tumblr offered a better venue for their rapid multimedia updates, and so this past February, whatshouldwecallme.tumblr.com went live. What originated with an audience of two, quickly garnered one of a million. Rumors of one of Hollywood’s top creative agencies approaching its creators surfaced, a rumor that has been verified. It’s safe to say this tumblr has crested.

Like any good gag (knock-knock, “that’s what she said”), the formula here is simple, but its permutations endless: WSWCM pair real life situations (e.g. “When someone asks if I’m hungry.”) with animated GIFs (Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter mouthing “Always”). Their basic formula: Words + image = laughs. Some of my personal favorites include Whenever I get my hair done,  When my mom is baking and asks me if anyone wants to lick the spoonWhen someone tries to take a picture of me in bright light, and When the bartender gives you an extra maraschino cherry in your drink. It’s the lighthearted humor of a benevolent, college-age superego—young, feminine, self-deprecating, SFW. We’re talking boyfriend trouble, hangover woes, and body issues that never seem to go away. We can identify. 100, 000 followers can identify.

I first came across your tumblr when it was e-mailed through my office. How does it feel to be a meme? Do you know your tumblr is a meme? Was it totally unexpected?

WSWCM: It’s still pretty unbelievable to us how many people look at our site. I think this is the first time anyone has called us a ‘meme.’ We didn’t really know what that even was actually, so we googled it for a definition.

How many followers do you have?

Over 100,000 on Tumblr, about 24,000 on Twitter.

Are you comfortable giving us your A/S/L? Maybe I’ll add O to that too… Age/Sex/Location/Occupation?

We’re both 24, female, both law students, one in San Francisco, and one in DC.

Tell me about how your tumblr started.

We’re best friends, but we go to law schools on opposite coasts so we talk a lot on gchat during the day. We always used to send each other GIFs over gchat to describe whatever was going on in our day. So instead of saying, I was so hungover when I got out of bed this morning, we’d send a GIF that represented that, and we thought it was hilarious. Eventually we decided it would be easier to have a tumblr that both of us could update with whatever was going on in our lives. That way, if we couldn’t catch each other on gchat or on the phone, we could check the tumblr to see what was going on. We really started it as a way to stay in touch, and never meant for anyone else to see it, but we’re glad other people enjoy it as much as us.

Do you have imitators? Have you seen any examples of people picking up your format to make their own jokes?

We do have imitators. A bunch of colleges have started making school-specific versions of whatshouldwecallme, and other individual people have done the same thing. Imitation is the best form of flattery, right? But we still think ours is the best one.

How much longer do you see yourselves doing this tumblr?

Until it stops being fun.

What are some of your favorite tumblrs?

It’s funny because even though we have a tumblr, we’re still not too familiar with the tumblr universe. We like anything related to Chris Lilley.

How about comedians?

Love Louis CK.

Is there anything else you want to add?

We absolutely love getting messages from people about how our posts make them smile, gets them through a bad day, helps them keep in touch with their friends, etc. In addition to keeping in touch with each other in such a fun and hilarious way, that is by far our favorite part of this whole experience. We’ve been able to connect to so many people across the world, and as best friends, that has been such a special thing for us to share.