My Awkward e-Interview with Mike Bender About Awkward Family Photos: The Show

Mike Bender, left, and Doug Chernack explain the "matchy-matchy" technique for family portraits.

Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, the founders of Awkward Family Photos, are now bringing their awesomeness to us in a new format: The Awkward Family Photos Show on the YouTube channel Nerdist.

The show debuted on Friday, and the premiere episode featured not only Mike and Doug’s hilarious take on family portraits, but an epic i-chat with Mike’s grandparents, who turn out to be slightly more awkward than even the Top 10 Most Awkward Grandparent Photos of all Time.

Below is my awkward e-interview with Mike, and the premiere episode of The Awkward Family Photos Show!

Me: So, what’s the deal with the new show?

Mike: Well, let me start off by saying we never thought we’d have a show or intended to have a show (because as you’ll see, we’re awkward on camera), but our friends at Nerdist threw out the idea and Doug and I thought it would be a lot of fun. We love riffing on the photos in a mystery science theater kind of way, but most all, we’re excited because every week we do an ichat with a special guest, some of which are our own family members and others are real people from our most awkward pics.

Me: On a scale of Donald Trump’s hair to Ryan Seacrest’s yearbook photo, how awkward is your own family?

Mike: Well, isn’t everyone’s family “Ryan Seacrest’s yearbook photo” to them? My personal belief is that every family is awkward in its own unique and beautiful way.

Me: Do you have kids?

Mike: Yes, my son is just 13 weeks old and I’ve already begun to find myself taking awkward family photos. It just happens.

Me: I’d like to have some blackmail on hand for my children’s teenage years. Do you have any tips for parents who are trying to take the most awkward photos possible?

Mike: Poses, matching oufits, and oversized props. You cannot go wrong with that winning formula.

One of Mike's favorite awkward photos. Sweet baby sparklepony, those Latvians sure can party.

Me: Of all the awkward photos on your site, do you have a personal favorite?

Mike: I have so many, but I have a special fondness for a photo that came to us all the way from Latvia. It’s a family on their farm and there’s a bearded man on top of a haystack that has an axe-tan on his stomach. How it got there I’ll never know, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Me: Do you and Doug ever argue about which of you is more awkward? I’m picturing a fight that ends with one of you doing “The Crane” move from The Karate Kid. (The original one, obvs.)

Mike: No, Doug and I have known each other for a long time, since high school. We’re both from New Jersey. We both have curly hair. And we’re both Jewish. So, we usually see eye-to-eye on awkwardness.

Check out the premiere episode, below, and be sure to enter their caption contest to win two free, signed Awkward Family Photos books!


(Photo Credits: Awkward Family Photos)

Read more from Joslyn at Babble Pets and at her blog, stark. raving. mad. mommy. You can also follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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