Mamrie Hart Deserves a Drink
YouTube star/author spills the beans about Beanz and John Mayer's bed
By Alexa Harrington,
3:55PM, Wed. Jun. 3, 2015
She’s the raunchy Lucille Ball of YouTube. Her show, You Deserve a Drink, is packed with puns as she concocts odd pop-culture themed cocktails, and in HeyUSA she treks the U.S. with hilarity to spare. She's Mamrie Hart, and we caught her passing through town.
In her latest episode, she makes a cocktail with fake blood called Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. She spends about nine minutes demonstrating how to make the drink, while rolling off lines like, “Do you know why I like the 'Bad Blood' music video? Because finally there’s something in Hollywood that has more women in it than John Mayer’s futon.”
It’s easy to understand why people cry when meeting her. She’s hilarious, down-to-Earth, and captivatingly charismatic. Watch one video, and you’re hooked.
The line wrapped around BookPeople as people chatted nervously, anticipating their chance to have their copy of her brand new book (named for the show) signed and their selfie taken with the up-and-coming queen of comedy. One or two preteens were literally moved to tears upon meeting her, and nearly everyone else was smiling from cheek-to-cheek once Mamrie Hart hit the room.
But before all that, she and I chatted on the phone as she frantically prepared for her book signing. She confessed doing the interview on speaker while ironing her clothes, topless. Like I said: a raunchy Lucille Ball.
Austin Chronicle: Do you want to start by telling me about your book, You Deserve a Drink?
Mamrie Hart: Yeah, totally.
AC: Go ahead!
MH: Oh no … I mean, what do you want to know? I need to be prompted, I talk about it a lot. [Laughs]
AC: What was your writing process?
MH: I sat down and went through all of my best bar stories and stories that I tell friends after a couple of drinks. Stories worthy of a book called You Deserve a Drink. Once I narrowed that list down, it was just diving in and sitting down with a drink, and then trying not to filter any of it.
MH: Yeah, definitely. They have quotes on it, and Grace wrote the foreword [namechecking Austin, Texas while donning some Coco Coquette wigs, by the way, thank you very much].
AC: So who has the best book out of all three of you?
MH: Oh, I would never say that! All of ours are extremely different.
AC: Do you know anything about Tyler Oakley’s book that comes out in October?
MH: I don’t. I just know he’s been working really hard on it. He came over to my office – I have an office outside of my house with no Internet – to work on my book without distractions, and he came over a few times. The words he was asking me to double-check spellings on were really interesting. [Laughs]
AC: I have to say that some of my favorite videos are when you two are together.
MH: Oh yeah, he’s great. I love love love love love Tyler Oakley.
AC: You were in the feature-length Camp Takota. How was being in a film different from being in a YouTube video?
MH: It was a really big test of patience. I come from a very traditional background, so I understand how much work goes into a two-minute scene on TV and whatnot. I guess the biggest lesson in patience was not being able to show it for so long because we are so used to putting up an Instagram photo of us shooting a video and that video going up as quickly as the next day. To be able to make something and be really proud of it but not being able to share it for a long time was tough. But I guess it kind of set me up for this [writing a book], which was an even longer process.
AC: So the process must be very different then?
MH: Yeah, it’s completely different. We have a crew of 50 people. Also, a lot of people would come to us and say, “We want the bloopers videos,” but we took the movie really seriously. When you’re shooting in your living room and you’re messing up and cutting up, it’s not a big deal – it’s just an SD card. But when you’ve got 50 people on payroll, you have to get down to business.
AC: So it was it hard for you and your best friends not to cut up on set?
MH: I mean we definitely had our moments, but we were pretty pro about it, I would say. I was especially impressed with Hannah – who doesn’t come from any acting background – with how well she did. We were on our game. Also, mind you, we weren’t hanging out at one of our houses. We were getting up at 5am every single morning and driving an hour to set, so that took some of the giggles out.
AC: Do you plan to be in more movies?
MH: I hope to! Things are in the works to do more things in that same vein as Camp Takota – working on a smaller level and making something that is really aimed at our specific audience. But also, I’d like to do more traditional, large-scale projects that go to theatres.
AC: Well, Austin’s a great place to be for film, so maybe you could work on something here.
MH: Yeah, it’s also super fucking hot!
AC: I just watched your HeyUSA video in Austin. It was great.
MH: Yeah, Austin is great. Everything we did was super fun, but we showed up to Lady Bird Lake to go paddle boarding, but it was just so fucking hot that you see us leave.
AC: You’ll have to try it again because once you get in the water, it really cools you off.
MH: I’ll take your word for it.
AC: So what’s your favorite place you’ve been to for HeyUSA?
MH: This season I went with Jenna Marbles to Tennessee and that was really awesome because I’m from North Carolina, so I love all the kitsch of go-karts and stuff. That was extremely fun. And then there was the very first episode where Grace and I went to Alaska. The town might not be a destination, but the place where we went whale watching was really fucking rad.
AC: Why is your dog named Beanz?
MH: People say you have to see the dog, and then you can just tell. She looked like she wanted to be named Beanz. Also, she’s hairless and gets really dark in the summer, so when she curls up, she looks like a little bean.
AC: So she looks like a bean, but she also looks like she wants to be called Beanz?
MH: Yes. In my mind, she has a little lisp from her tongue that hangs out, and thinking of her calling herself Beanz just seemed so funny to me.
AC: Finally, what was it like being “In Bed” with Joan Rivers?
MH: Oh, it was amazing. I had met Joan before, and I’m a huge fan. But getting in bed and being interviewed by such a comedy legend was incredible. And she was such a pro, even with something so silly as a web series in which she was interviewing me, an up-and-comer. Everything was researched and she even asked me questions I had never been asked before. Joan Rivers was extremely sweet.