- The “let’s go Brandon” chant has moved beyond the confines of conservative media.
- A new #LetsGoBrandonChallenge is giving the meme viral steam on TikTok.
- Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, said it on his channel.
Over the past two weeks, the anti-Biden chant “let’s go Brandon” has broken out of the confines of conservative media into new frontiers, including the otherwise apolitical realm of video game streaming.
Some of the momentum for the euphemism appears to be coming from the #LetsGoBrandonChallenge hashtag on social media, with TikTok views for the tag topping 3.3 million as of Oct. 27 – not even three full weeks since its origin at the Talladega NASCAR race on Oct. 9.
Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, broke into the chant during one of his streams on YouTube earlier this month, with a viral TikTok following shortly thereafter. The video has over 93,000 views, despite coming from an account with a following in the low hundreds.
Born Herschel “Guy” Beahm IV, the 39-year-old “Call of Duty” superstar has tens of thousands of viewers tune into his hours-long play sessions on YouTube, with his all time record viewership landing at 363,980 during a stream on his former platform, Twitch, averaging around 78,000 per session. He has a YouTube following of more than 3.58 million subscribers.
Beahm is suing Twitch after the platform banned him for undisclosed reasons in June 2020. Beahm and his representatives did not return Insider’s request for comment.
The doc – who also refers to himself as “the two-time back-to-back Blockbuster 1993-1994 video game champion” or just “the two-time” – has built a brand as an unabashedly cocky and domineering persona, showing up to award shows and festivals in-character.
His mantra of “Violence. Speed. Momentum” is also the title of his memoir, published in March by Simon & Schuster.
Politics has not been part of his on-camera persona, but a seemingly cryptic comment from someone in his live chat caught his attention earlier this month regarding the “let’s go Brandon” meme.
“‘It burns when I pee,’ says Brandon, with a $US5 ($AU7) donation,” Beahm said during the stream, a common interaction with fans who donate to him mid-game via YouTube. “Brandon? Champs, Brandon? Come on, who’s gonna be the first one to say it?”
Apparently familiar with the meme, Beahm broke into the chant once the rest of the chatroom caught on.
Video game streaming remains a mostly untapped venue for American political parties. Younger members of Congress such as Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have both dabbled in streaming before, with AOC garnering a top five all-time viewership of nearly 438,000 watching her play Among Us on Twitch in Oct. 2020 for a get out the vote initiative.
Around 65% of Twitch users are male, according to the best available 2021 data from Statista and StreamScheme, down from 81.5% in 2017.
The heavily male viewership could give Republicans an advantage on the platform, but as AOC demonstrated last year, there is still a massive audience for games such as Among Us that draw a more diverse player base.