Meet Scumbag Dad: The Influencer Who Parodizes Annoying Internet Trends

Brad Podray is mad at the internet.

Better known by his nickname Scumbag Dad, Podray is a comedian who has channeled his seemingly limitless creative energy into nearly every form of media. He has done short videos, long videos, music, cooking shows and even dentistry.

The videos from which Podray takes his pseudonym, his series Scumbag Dad, give a first-person view of a child with the world’s worst father. Under the guise of a family outing, the Scumbag Dad, played by Podray, has son of him as an accomplice in drug dealing, human trafficking and murder.

The videos are brilliant, darkly humorous pieces. But his hard-working approach to Scumbag Dad hasn’t paid off. Apparently, social media sites like Tick ​​tockYouTube and Instagram don’t help creative makers, favoring lazier work.

Bucking

“I see people who have little or no creative skills and are willing to lie and get their dishonest content big platforms,” Podray says.

Podray chafes at the lack of work other creators put into copycat content whose sole motivation is to increase views and potential profits. Aware that he shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, she’s committing to the same kind of inane content.

Seeing how little work people put into reaction videos — videos where people overlap each other by reacting to someone else’s content — Podray started experimenting with their own reaction videos.

“I’m a little too dumb to do that, though,” Podray says.

To explain, Podray’s attempt to make a reaction video is to satirize the metaphysics of the premise. It will film itself reacting to a video. But it’s not a video; it’s happening live right next to him and it’s caught on a second camera. Then the “original” video will catch on and Podray and the other creator will start arguing. All captured by a third camera.

Sound confusing? It makes more sense in motion and speaks to Podray’s indefatigable approach to creativity.

Even when he’s criticizing someone else’s lazy content, anything with less than three cameras, a meta-narrative, and sudden, inexplicable violence is simply no good.

But this is only the beginning of Podray’s world of satire.

Another style of video he likes to parody is “Rich vs. Really Rich series. In these videos, a rich man is usually found rude to someone in customer service, only for a very rich man to overshadow him with his kindness .

“Every time someone creates a trend or a series like this, what they’re doing is creating their own world where, for example, every day the rich kid you know is insulted by the really rich kid because he doesn’t understand kindness,” Podray says. .

“I’ve been trying to explore, for example, what are the other elements of this trend like this world,” he adds.

While the original creators of these series stick to their scripts, Podray deviates. In recent versions of his Rich vs. Really Rich skits, he begins to make his character Rich question the reality in which he exists.

“Have we already done this?” We are in a Rich vs. Simulation of a really rich person,” Podray wonders in a video.

Perusing Podray’s feeds, there are nearly countless examples of him taking different internet trends and finding ways to deconstruct them.

Did some original creator get annoyed with him for doing this?

“We had contact at this point. I’ll leave it at that,” Podray says when I ask him about Nicholas Crown, the original creator of the Rich Vs. Really Rich series.

Fighting Internet manipulation

What frustrates Podray the most are the trends that turn acts of kindness into commercial acts or lies to viewers to sell a product.

“A large part of the online population is quite young and quite impressionable,” she says. “I really feel a great disgust for all the easy saccharine content that is posted on YouTube. I hate the idea that morality should be rewarded.

Podray points to videos where the creators ask strangers for money and then reward them with huge sums of money.

“On the surface, it’s a good story because they were charitable and rewarded. But they are forgetting that this is the exception of that situation. In one sense it is a poor shame.

To satirize this type of video, Podray created equivalents with his signature dark twists. In one, the charitable person is rewarded not with money but with a used needle. In another, Podray poses as a homeless man available to be used in other people’s TikTok videos to gain influence.

Podray showed how easy it is to create manipulative content with an experiment he conducted at Drake University. Parodying charity videos of people approaching strangers and offering them money or the chance to double the amount and offer it to the next person, she enlisted students to participate in a fake version of the video.

He stated to the students that while the video was almost obviously staged, it would rack up views. He was right. The video got more than 3 million views on TikTok.

The real dad behind Scumbag Dad

Using his humor to deconstruct trends is not where Podray expected to be in life. In almost every way, it’s not typical internet influencer.

In his 40s, Podray lives in Iowa with his wife Hannah and young son and works full-time as an orthodontist. His career in comedy began when he formed the pirate rap group Captain Dan & the Scurvy Crew with his best friend from dental school.

After a few years of incremental success with the band, the band went on America’s Got Talent. It was seeing how staged and manipulative reality TV was that Podray initially began to question the industry. A failed attempt at Masterchef followed and Podray was now busy with his career in comedy and music.

He has since released around 40 albums and his videos have garnered millions of hits. And while she’s gaining more and more followers through parodies of her, that’s not where her heart really lies.

The very core of what Podray talks about is his own Asshole dad series. For years, she has worked on a long narrative for Scumbag Dad as his actions slowly fade away on his once innocent son.

But before he could complete the story arc he had vaguely planned for the Scumbag Dad character, his content began to be banned from platforms and his channels demonetized.

“I was really building a message and I wasn’t able to make it,” Podray laments. “I started getting banned all the time. So I had to nerf the series.

Any use of blood or violence would cause a video to be removed. References to the drug had to be completely oblique in order not to remove its content. Podray realized that the platforms through which he had raised his fame were no longer willing to accommodate his dark creativity.

Utilizing multiple locations, complex storylines, and a large acting ensemble, the Scumbag Dad series was by far Podray’s most engaging series. It’s also what he loved the most, relishing the opportunity to film ridiculous storylines with his friends.

He still makes Scumbag Dad videos, but they are no longer featured as part of a longer story in the same way. It’s Podray’s passion project, but for now, making his own version of “easy” content is what gets the views. It is the origin story of Podray, the Dirty Dad.