The first grown man to give advice was Kurt Braunohler, a stand-up, sketch, and improv comedian who you may know from when he encouraged Kristen Schaal to ride a horse. In September 2011, he answered questions by way of webcam about life, love, and boys asked by adolescent, tween, and teenage girls who read Rookie Magazine. Rookie then posted his video answer online.
And that’s when Ask a Grown Man began. The monthly web series from 16-year-old fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson’s online publication for young females (that she describes as ”a place to make the best of the beautiful pain and cringe-worthy awkwardness of being an adolescent girl”) has featured a number of notable 30 and 40-something-year-olds with Y chromosomes on camera.
After Braunohler, there was Damian Kulash from OK Go, followed by stand-up act and television writer Hannibal Buress. Then there was Paul Rudd from the movies, who was a few weeks before comedian Dave Hill. BJ Novak was next, followed by Mad Men star and recent objection of Tubefilter affection (sorry, I’m in like with him and dude’s been making a lot of sweet online videos lately) Jon Hamm. All of whom used decades worth of practice at life to help young ladies with theirs.
Hamm did so in a casual St. Louis Cardinals t-shirt with a scratchy voice and lo-fi camera. He answered questions from Brittany and an Anyonmous or two about fashion, butterflies and breaking wind. “I’m 41 years old. Doesn’t mean you have to pay attention to me, but it’s probably in your best interest,” Hamm says to the young women watching. Take a look:
Pretty good, right?! The great thing about Ask a Grown Man is, unlike something stereotypical you’d find on the pages of Seventeen that addresses questions of teenage angst with clever copy, this series can be palatable to individuals who aren’t in high school and aren’t female. That’s because it’s super easy to relate to the program. Part of the reason is the vlog format, but most of the reason is the fact the people in the vlog aren’t trying to be anyone other than who they are. They appear genuine, and that makes it engaging for almost anyone who watches. (The celebrity factor certainly doesn’t hurt the series view counts, either.)