Nick Kroll & Paul Scheer Take on Yuppies

Comedians Nick Kroll and Paul Scheer are commentators on VH1’s Best Week Ever, which means they get to sound off on just about everything. Here they tackle two of their favorite topics—the image of the eighties yuppie and their own penchant for shopping at Whole Foods and driving Priuses.

Q: Do you think there’s anything wrong with being young and upwardly mobile?

PS: I always think it’s great when you can spend $100 on a vintage Ghostbusters T-shirt. That’s what you’re in it for. It’s like, yeah, you’re rebelling, but at the same time you’re doing the same thing people did when they bought their Izod shirts in the eighties.

Q: Would you consider yourselves yuppies?

PS: Yeah, I’m like, “The Q is definitely better than the BlackBerry!“ And I have a Prius! So I guess I am.

NK: We’re all yuppie people, but we’ve just convinced ourselves otherwise because we like to feel like we’re “artists.“ But we’ll spend our money on a vintage shirt over a Brooks Brothers shirt.

Q: Don’t you think that’s a bit like being in denial about it?

PS: I think you just get caught up in it. It’s like, “Of course I should be shopping at Whole Foods.“ But I think the new yuppies have covered over the greed and sleaze aspect by doing things we think are cool, like driving a Prius and shopping at Trader Joe’s. You’re much more in touch. You’re still doing everything the yuppies do, you’re just changing the physics of it.

Q: Well, those stores have a little bit of social awareness. Whole Foods has organic groceries and donates to charities, and a Prius is good for the environment.

PS: I feel like the yuppies in the eighties were much more sleazy, like doing a bunch of cocaine and trying to get ahead with their business cards and stuff like that. See, this is the new yuppie. I feel like we’ve done a good job of convincing ourselves that consumption is fine as long as it’s done with a conscience. There’s a socially conscious thing that makes us not as sleazy as the yuppies before us, so I think we can carry ourselves in a lot cooler way.

NK: It’s like, “Yes, my kid goes to a $5,000-a-year private kindergarten, but he’s wearing an ironic shirt that says HAMBURGER, so we’re still in touch with the people!“ It’s like, “Yeah, I live in the East Village! In a condo that’s been renovated!“ Also, I think the yuppie look has changed. I used to think of blond white men, but now it’s more of a meritocracy. Indian women and black men and Asians can all be consumptive assholes too. It knows no bounds.

PS: Yeah, I think those first yuppies just broke the seal for us. They were like, we’re going to consume, and live in the places we want to live and live nicely, and they’ve opened up the gates for the rest of us, and now we’re going to follow behind.

NK: Yeah, yuppies were the Lewis & Clark of jerks.

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