The first thing you see after clicking the mock PornHub logo is Datubo Macharry looking frustrated as his friend, Todd Louis, swings a golf club aimlessly. He looks incredulously at a beer, thinking it is the alcohol tricking him into seeing what he’s seeing. These two, mainly Louis, are the stars of the newly launched Things With Todd web series, an almost Seinfeld-like show that takes Louis across the city as his dry humor and wit carry him through a ton of misadventures.
The goal of Things With Todd is to laugh at how seriously Houstonians tend to take ourselves. Louis, one of the production arms of Houston rap collective The Niceguys, has found another extension of his creative powers. Macharry, known by many as merely Tubo or OG Danny Ocean, is the head of Evesborough Creative Agency, a creatives suite that has worked with Nike and other entities. The two have been friends for more than a decade, and Things With Todd is their take on Viceland and Adult Swim-style programming, complete with all of the absurdity and sly humor both these gentlemen and those cable networks are known for.
“This is how the idea came around,” Louis begins. “Me and Tubo, we at the crib, drinking and smoking and shit. I said, ‘Hey, I’m kinda funny, you know how to work a camera and know how to edit and shit. I work in a kitchen, and they’ll let me back there and shit.’ Plus I like watching shows like Anthony Bourdain and Action Bronson, which is why it’s called Things With Todd.”
As long as I’ve known Todd Louis, the Beaumont transplant has always been able to carry a party. Last Friday night, he brought his show to life with a little help from all his friends, including the guys behind Sole Purpose clothing, his Niceguy brother Easy Yves Saint and more. In their rented-out ShareSpace tucked in East Downtown, open space surrounds a full bar and the libations flow freely.
In one room, Things With Todd is airing on a giant projection screen. Upstairs feels more like an Airbnb that might appeal to Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. An enormous overhead fan doesn’t work, but the glass bathroom nearby helps make for otherwise comfortable living quarters. It feels like a house party that doubles as a Sole Purpose pop-up shop, where Things With Todd T-shirts are selling left and right.
“We were back at the house watching Eddie Huang or Will Travel and said, ‘Fuck it, we can do our own,’” Tubo chimes in. “Like…Black Galifianakis.”
The first two episodes of Things With Todd, which launched last Saturday, do just that — Louis, Tubo and the Evesborough crew travel across Houston, filming whatever and doing whatever. In the first episode, Louis ventures into a restaurant helmed by chef Mike Nutt and tastes fried rabbit, among other dishes. How does Louis toast the event? By asking Nutt about his preferred direction to look, his favorite color and his astrological sign. “Apparently I’m really f*cked up in the head,” Nutt says.
“The original concept was that it was supposed to be about food,” Louis says at the release party. “Wanna know the original name? No Veggies. Cause, I...usually anywhere I go and order food, I usually tell the server, ‘Yeah, no vegetables, dog.’”
Tubo chimes in, “He’s allergic to vegetables. No, really. His taste buds are awful.”
For years, Tubo and Evesborough helmed the visuals for a vast number of rap releases in the city. They’re the minds behind every Niceguys video project, so helming a TV show taps even more into their creative freedom. In particular, Tubo helped give even more color and splash to the Houston Slab Parade near 8th Wonder Brewery earlier this summer. Louis acts utterly aloof on camera when interviewing a patron about his slab until they bond over their mutual love of being from Beaumont. “See how this conversation just got cooler?”
“It’s not easy at all,” Todd says of the editing process. “You watch this on TV, and you’re like, ‘Aight, whatever.’ When you have to piece together your stuff? Oh no.”
Tubo nods. “It’s hard as fuck. That’s why it took a year and a half to finish. We’re still not there, but there’s a lot of things that I saw or I see where I’m like, ‘I wanna fix that.’ But that’s the perfectionist in me. But this is more fun than a lot of the work I do. But we’re trying to make this thing that...is profitable.”
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“If I can continue to do this show with people I know, then cool. But in reality, I know I can’t,” Todd says in regards to future episodes. “The reality of it is, the people I knew I had a history with? It makes the show come out more organic. But I didn’t want to go too weird because my parents found out I finally smoked weed through the show. My parents thought I was square as hell.”
The show opens with a slowed-down Screw chop and a crudely drawn map of Houston. The inspiration of the show is the city itself, the different spaces that house the genius of the H. The highs, lows, beauty, ugliness, round and slim. Every episode begins and ends with Houston, outtakes and more. It’s meant to be that way.
“None of these big shows come to Houston to cover shit,” Louis says. “So if I can be regular with my regular friends that know how to work cameras and my regular-friend entertainers? We can just be regular people on TV. And if I can bring life to that, then that’s real.”
Both episodes of Things With Todd are available now on the Things With Todd official site.