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This "Brooklyn mom" adopted a murder of crows
Sydney Battle's parody of ritzy, ditzy NYC moms is a hilarious act, but seriously: Don't mess with her crows.
Here’s the first segment from Friday’s episode with T.J. Raphael, the host of the BioHacked: Family Secrets podcast. Thanks to everyone who has already checked out the new episode; if you haven’t yet, you can find the full audio & transcript by clicking the button below. Or, just search for “Follow Friday” in your favorite podcast app.
ERIC: Your first pick is in the category, "someone who makes you laugh," and you said Sydney Battle, who is Twitter @Sydneybattle. She's also on Instagram @sydbattle. Sydney is a writer, a comedian and actor. Do you remember how you first started following her?
TJ: Yeah, I believe it was during the bad times of the pandemic, March 2020, April 2020, when we were all at home, locked up in our houses, not really going anywhere and spending a lot of time on the internet. And I thought that her videos, specifically the "Brooklyn mom" skit that she does, she sort of invented this character. And as somebody who lives in New York, I lived in Brooklyn for many years, I live in Queens now, I just thought it was so funny and I would watch it again and again.
She did an unofficial series with that character and every time a new one would come out, I would watch it right away, I would send it to all of my friends and just say this is hilarious. It's too true to life. And so that's when I started following her, and she's developed a couple other characters that she does.
And it seems like in the last few years, and I think because of you know, that, that Brooklyn mom character, she's really taken off. I think she had less than 10,000 followers when I first started following her, now she's up to 30,000 or more. So yeah, she's just hilarious, and I especially loved that Brooklyn mom character because it kind of makes fun of the ritzy kind of Park Slope moms who live in $2.5 million brown stones.
And I think in her skit, she goes out to her Hamptons house — the character does — and it's like "oh, there's no space!" While I was in my small apartment in Brooklyn with two roommates trying to weather the pandemic and you just kind of hear from these people, it was so true to life. So that's when I started following her and I just love her.
ERIC: It's one of those characters where it's a very specific parody of a person who is by definition bound to this geographic area. And yet, as someone who has never lived in Brooklyn, I can watch this and be like oh, clearly, every word she is saying in every intonation is specifically chosen that if you know this person in real life, you are dying of laughter.
TJ: Yeah, I don't actually know people ... I mean, I'm not close friends with people that are that pretentious, but I definitely have crossed paths with them and it was great to kind of get a laugh.
ERIC: So I'm going to cut in a clip here from a video you sent me called "To Atticus with Love: A Brooklyn Mom's Story."
ERIC: So yeah, you're not friends with people like this character, but are there other folks who Sydney has either parodied or something about the way that she approaches comedy that really rings true with your life? Is there a specific reason why you chose her here as someone who makes you laugh, something that connects with you in a way that other comedians don't?
TJ: Yeah, I really love her dryness. I feel like I have a very dry sense of humor and I really connected with her in that sense. She's also done other kinds of characters that I feel like are equally as dry and sort of ridiculous, and parodying real people who you kind of know in the world, and it just feels so spot on. And that's one of the reasons I've really liked her comedy, it's just super dry, and it just makes me laugh a lot.
ERIC: I also wanna call it something that I noticed when I was scrolling through Sydney's tweets, and as far as I can tell, this is not a bit, this is not a character, this is an earnest thing she does, which is that she has adopted a murder of crows near where she lives. Have you seen this?
TJ: (laughs) Yes, it's so funny. She's just got this real absurdist nature to her, which I feel like, especially nowadays, we need some absurdity in life because I don't know how you could get through it without that.
ERIC: So, here is a quote from one of her tweets:
TJ: (laughs) Yeah, that's just so funny and also absurd, and crows are creepy animals in a lot of ways, even though they're super smart as well. So I think it's like playing on both of those things and just the idea of you're at home, you're trying to watch your TV and your neighbors better be ready to hear your TV blasting. I don't know, it really makes me laugh.
ERIC: I think what you were saying earlier, how the fact that you discovered her right, as we were all entering lockdown, it really seems like this was a pivotal moment for comedians, right? Especially online comedians, the fact that we were all at once sharing this experience of not being able to go anywhere, it was a constraint that forced them to think about, what are the new relatable forms of comedy? Well, it's the birds I see outside my window or it's the vague impression of that obnoxious Brooklyn mom I met back in the before times, you know?
TJ: Yeah, exactly. I do think that especially early in the pandemic, the first half of 2020 from March 2020 through the fall, so many of us were inside. We had a little reprieve over the summer where we could go back out a bit more, but the online comedians then really took off in a way that was excellent to see.
I'm a very big fan of standup comedy. I mean, pre-pandemic, that was my hobby, I was going to a standup comedy show once a week in my neighborhood in Brooklyn where I lived. And the ones for 10 bucks or free shows and you could kind of just pop in and see people. And a lot of those comedians, before the pandemic, of course they were making online content and doing skits, but they really got attention in a way that because we were all online so much more, so many hours of the day, that they may not have otherwise gotten and it may potentially would've been harder for them to break through.
So that is a one tiny silver lining of the pandemic is we've got all these wonderful voices who maybe would've taken a couple more years to gain this sort of following, gain the notoriety they have. But because this light was shown on them during this specific time, they've really been able to build great followings and I'm excited to see — you know, Sydney is also acting, so seeing what she might be in down the line as well.
ERIC: Well, that was Sydney Battle who is on Twitter @SydneyBattle and on Instagram @Sydbattle.