https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/2022/09/28/who-are-the-try-guys-and-why-have-they-let-go-of-ned-fulmer.html

“The Try Guys Try Adultery” is one of the many cheeky tweets that have been posted since the revelation that Ned Fulmer, one of the four original “Try Guys,” was leaving the group after having what he described as a “consensual workplace relationship” despite being married.

But who are the Try Guys and why does it feel like the entire internet is talking about the news?

The Try Guys originally formed as a group in 2014 while they worked together at Buzzfeed. The members were Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, Eugene Lee Yang and Zach Kornfeld. The quartet were known for making videos where they tried new things, often experiences that other people, especially men, weren’t likely to do: they tried on wedding dresses, corsets, drag, and learned skills like ballet, roller derby and diving from pros for the first time.

In 2018, the group left Buzzfeed (though the company still has a stake in their LLC 2nd Try), and began to expand the types of content they created on a channel that now boasts nearly 8 million subscribers. Habersberger was known predominantly as the food guy and had a popular series where he ate the entire menu of various franchises. Kornfeld opened up about his struggles with mental health and chronic illness. Yang played up a persona of being hyper-competent and hyper-judgmental but also drew viewers in by making videos about his experiences being gay and Asian.

Fulmer was known as the “wife guy,” a reputation that made his fall from grace that much more shocking. His shtick was loving his wife, loving his family and most of his solo content revolved around lifestyle videos about home decorating, home cooking and raising two children. His wife, Ariel, was as much a part of his brand as he was. They even released a book together called “The Date Night Cookbook.” His figurine, still for sale on the Try Guys website, features him holding a baby.

The Try Guys also frequently collaborated with others: their channel features spinoff series’ with their partners, affectionately referred to as the “Try Wives,” and staff members including engaged producer Alexandria Herring — the subordinate whom Fulmer is rumoured to have cheated with. Going independent also allowed them bigger opportunities: a New York Times bestseller, a U.S. tour, and a Food Network show.

The drama began when internet sleuths noticed that Fulmer had not appeared in recent videos. That’s not super unusual, as the channel has grown, the guys have taken various absences and invited guests in their stead. What was unusual, however, was evidence that Fulmer had been present while filming and been edited out of the videos in post-production. After some digging, stills from videos emerged of individuals that looked like Fulmer and Herring embracing in a dark nightclub. They were allegedly sent to Herring’s then-fiancé who is said to have shared them with Fulmer’s wife. After some online speculation about the legitimacy of the information, the Try Guys released a statement announcing Fulmer was no longer with the group. Fulmer posted on social media that he admitted to having a relationship in the workplace and was going to focus on his family.

The reason the entirety of the internet seemingly exploded has more to do with Fulmer’s place in the world. For many, the Try Guys were a prime example of non-toxic masculinity: predominantly composed of cisgender heterosexual white men who weren’t afraid to be affectionate or try feminine things, were respectful and loving to the women in their lives, and who treated their gay, Asian friend as an equal not a token. They invited viewers — mostly younger millennials and older Gen Z — into their homes, and parasocially occupied the space of distant friends or weird dads. Of course, the guys had embellished personas but they had a veneer of authenticity and truth to them. Following up on the heels of other famous “wife guys” being exposed for not exactly loving their wives as much as they led the public to believe (see: Adam Levine, John Mulaney), the scandal leaves many asking, if you can’t trust the guy who openly and loudly adores his wife, is there any man you can trust?

The remaining Try Guys seem to be trying to assure their fans that the answer to that question is yes, with their swift rebranding to remove Fulmer from their content and their rallying around his wife. But it remains to be seen whether the scandal will have a long-lasting impact on how their viewers perceive them, or if they’ll shake it off.

Maybe they’ll rebrand to the Tri-Guys?

Sima Shakeri is a digital producer at the Toronto Star.