It’s two in the afternoon and in strolls Mamrie Hart. We’re at the “YouTube on Main Street” house in Park City at Sundance. It’s not the usual locale we’re used to seeing YouTube creators frequent, but her presence is welcoming, her smile is warm, and she tells me (sarcastically) that she’s eager to give me the “loopiest, sleep-deprived interview” ever.
So, after dosing up on coffee with soy milk and grabbing a water so we can follow Mamrie’s regimen of “caffeinate until [she, er, we] can inebriate,” we head to a quiet corner of the house, where we sit in tall-backed leather chairs preparing to get socially cozy.
And that’s what’s so lovely about Miss Mamrie Hart, and perhaps why she’s captured an audience of over 416K subscribers and 15M video views — she’s gritty as hell on her show and corresponding YouTube channel “You Deserve a Drink,” but charming with an air of being the quintessential quirky bestie every girl must have.
“From the get-go I’ve always been myself and [had] a take it or leave it attitude, not really caring about what anyone really thinks because I have such a good time doing it,” says Mamrie of her approach. “From my time on YouTube that has strengthened.”
“It’s nice to see that…that people like me,” she adds sarcastically dropping her voice.
After all, who wouldn’t love a self-deprecating, former bartender turned mixologist who cracks dirty word puns and sexual innuendos on camera to make her guests react candidly and magically awkward?
Making the Leap to YouTube — Times Two!
Originally from North Carolina, Mamrie Hart landed in NYC to become a “serious actress,” but after the reality of shitty theatre gigs and bad roles kicked in, Mamrie began to find her identity in the comedy world and a home at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and People’s Improv Theatre.
“After about a year of auditioning for plays that were just the most excruciating, embarrassing…” (Laughs) “I mean, the scripts were Mad Libs — they made no sense and so I had a breakdown and said ‘You know what? I need to try comedy.”
Serendipitously, at her first writing class, Mamrie was paired with now-BFF Grace Helbig on their first sketch comedy team together.
But it wasn’t until years later, once her pal Grace had already been on YouTube that Mamrie began to consider possible formats for a YouTube channel and show of her own.
“Grace really was my inspirato [for the show]. I had bartended in college and in New York so thought it would be fun to combine something I’m skilled at with terrible, terrible jokes.”
And after enlisting the YouTube-wiser DailyGrace, Mamri launched “You Deserve a Drink” in 2011 with the premiere episode “Charlie Sheen’s Tiger Blood Gimlet”.
It didn’t take long for “You Deserve a Drink” to catch on and before Mamrie knew it, her videos were racking up thousands of views and interest in collaborations from the YouTube community.
At one point, “[my videos] only had like 20k views, but then you realize, oh, wait, that’s a huge stadium. And that’s when it clicked how many people can see you perform on the internet that is equivalent to ten years of performing live in a comedy club.”
YouTubers Chester See, Flula Borg, Miranda Sings, Hank Green, and Mitchell Davis have appeared on “You Deserve a Drink.” Even Lil Bub, the famous wide-eyed, tongue-out cat from the internets, appeared on the show (“Lil Bub’s Lil Bourb” is still one of Mamrie’s personal faves to date.)
“Doing live comedy in NYC, you kind of bust your ass to get 100 people to a show,” Mamrie reminisces, echoing Helbig’s thoughts in a similar interview with VideoInk. But because of YouTube, Mamrie is capturing a following that tracks her both digitally and IRL.
Her recent #NoFilter live comedy tour across Canada with Hannah and Grace sold out for every show. And Mamrie can’t stop, won’t stop pushing her own personal barriers on and off YouTube, where she’s also recently added attention to building a second channel — Mametown — a reality series-esque channel that goes “behind the scenes” into Mamrie’s off-the-wall Los Feliz lifestyle with episodes every Monday and Thursday.
In truth, Mamrie is everywhere — from her two YouTube channels, to her recent writing and acting role in “Camp Takota,” to her various appearances in films, television commercials, and series; from the #NoFilter comedy tour through Canada with Grace and Hannah, to the newest announcement of her forthcoming mixology memoir by the same name, “You Deserve a Drink”.
“YouTube is opening a lot of doors that I didn’t expect when I started doing this,” she says. When I inquire as to what her secret sauce is, she’s unwavering in her response: “I think it’s mainly the comedy style. I love nothing more than when people…actually make the drinks but I think the drink-making has always been an added bonus. People love watching friends goof off.”
And she’s right.
Just watching the charisma and energy that flows between Mamrie and her comedic accomplices, Grace and Hannah, it’s easy to see that YouTube has produced the holy grail of collaborations between these three femme funny bunnies, better known as the “Holy Trinity.”
And not only have they taken their collaborations and friendship off YouTube with the #NoFilter comedy tour, but the three have also just teamed on their most ambitious project to date, a feature film written by and starring Mamrie called “Camp Takota,” set for release this spring.
This is just the beginning for Mamrie Hart, though. She has ambitions for continuing her writing career and developing new formats for the web and traditional media, all the while continuing to grow her YouTube channels.
And the recipe to creating a Mamrie? One part Hart, one part sass, two parts crude, add a splash of hilarious, shake, shake, shake, pour over ice and sip slowly because it can’t be recreated, it can’t be replicated. But you definitely deserve that drink.
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