Extremely Online

‘The Basement Yard’ Hosts Were TikTok’s Biggest Crushes In 2023

From wholesome stories to hilarious fights, their content was viral gold on the FYP this year.

The FYP never fails to serve up a mix of head-scratching trends and amusing viral videos. That’s usually how we end up stanning the most random people — sometimes they bring us into their personal drama, while other times they give us a peak into their very regular lives. Of course, you can’t forget about the people who always have a podcast mic in front of them and know how to charm us with witty quips and belly-laughs in 60 seconds or less.

There’s no shortage of podcast content on TikTok, but there’s one duo in particular that’s taking the platform by storm. Their names are Frank and Joe, and although putting two podcast bros in a room together has been known to yield less-than-positive results, TikTokers agree that the wholesome moments and hilarious conversations on this show make The Basement Yard the exception.

What Is The Basement Yard Podcast?

The Basement Yard is a comedy podcast co-hosted by childhood friends Joe Santagato, 31, and Frank Alvarez, 31. Audio episodes of the podcast are released every Monday, but they also have a video component on YouTube that boasts 584K subscribers and counting. The Basement Yard has over 400 episodes as of Dec. 15, though exclusive bonus episodes are released each week to Patreon subscribers only.

There doesn’t seem to be a central theme surrounding the show — in fact, the program’s description on Apple Podcasts reads, “The Basement Yard is a podcast ran by me, Joe Santagato. I would write a long description about what this podcast will be about but I’m not even sure.. Enjoy!” On some episodes, the co-hosts will exchange stories from their childhood, and at other times they try to make each other laugh with games and powerful poetry slams.

While some male podcasters use their platforms to share controversial opinions and contentious conspiracy theories (hi, Andrew Tate!), the fights on The Basement Yard are harmless, side-splittingly hilarious, and even relatable at times. Each episode feels like a hang-out sesh in your friend’s basement, which is why the show’s name is so apt.

But if you decide to dig back into the show’s archives, don’t expect to hear Santagato and Alvarez’s signature bickering and banter on every episode.

Who Are The Hosts Of The Basement Yard?

The Basement Yard was created by Joe Santagato, 31, in 2015, but Alvarez didn’t join the program as co-host until 2020. Before joining the show, Alvarez co-hosted the Santagato-produced pop culture podcast The Stank from 2019 to 2020. Before Santagato hopped behind the mic, he also had a following on YouTube (which currently has an impressive 2.41 million subscribers) and a popular account on Vine.

Growing up together in Astoria, Queens, New York City, Santagato and Alvarez always had aspirations to be on TV and make people laugh. As young kids, the duo would entertain their friends and family by making videos and recording sketches on Santagato’s camera. “Me and Frankie, this was our dream,” Santagato shared during an appearance on the 2nd Wind podcast in April. “Even when we were younger, we’d be at my house watching Saturday Night Live, we’d always talk about, ‘Yo, this is our dream, to be on this show.’”

After three years of podcasting, it looks like their dreams are coming true. On Dec. 11, the duo announced that they’re taking their act on the road, and embarking on their first-ever tour. The comedy team will be making stops in New Haven, Connecticut, Montclair, New Jersey, and Medford, Massachusetts, with more dates to be announced soon.

Going Viral

If you’ve scrolled through the FYP, you’ve probably seen clips of The Basement Yard on your feed without even realizing it. In fact, the show went viral on TikTok so many times this year that it’s almost pointless trying to count them all.

First there was a lively discussion on how to pronounce “coconut.” Then, of course, there was the Copenhagen debacle, where Alvarez tried to convince Santagato that Mystic, Connecticut is a suitable alternative to the capital of Denmark. Some moments really emphasized their differences, like the time when Alvarez wanted his co-host to tell him he missed him, and episodes that underscored just how in sync they are like all the times they broke out in song together.

But it was a debate about Pop-Tarts — yes, Pop-Tarts that kicked off their virality streak. In the clip, Santagato asks his co-host what his favorite Pop-Tarts flavor is. Alvarez names Strawberry as his top choice, but Santagato isn’t satisfied.

Frustrated, Alvarez shares his true answer: “the 2002 tie-in merch Pop-Tarts that came out for the Spider-Man movie.” Stunned by the niche response, Santagato asks, “Can you be a person?”, and the fight snowballs from there.

The argument went viral on TikTok in October 2022 and has since amassed a whopping 5.6 million likes. But if the amount of likes and shares they receive on their videos aren’t a testament to their popularity, maybe the comments will change your mind.

“This is how all men should talk on podcasts,” wrote @missdarcei. “They’re literally just Nick and Schmidt from New Girl. I can’t stop watching,” commented @mega8bit. Once you see it, there’s no going back.

Though clips from the podcast frequently go viral on TikTok, that’s not the only place The Basement Yard has found success. The show is currently ranked at number 21 on the Top Comedy Shows chart on Apple Podcasts, and number 16 on the comedy chart on Spotify.