Who? Weekly Is The Answer To All Your Pop-Culture Woes

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Welcome to Whoville: An entire whoniverse full of wholebrities that occupy social-media accounts, tabloid covers, and gossip headlines. You know the people we're talking about: The quasi-famous folks who recognize, but don't know how. When someone says their name in conversation, it enters and leaves your brain as quick as where you parked your car. Who are these people? Why are they famous? And why am I even talking about them RIGHT NOW? It's because those people I just described are a special subset of human called Whos and just existing in your peripheral vision is their damn job. Well, that and to give Bobby Finger and Lindsey Weber something to talk about each week on their hysterical and addictive podcast, Who? Weekly. It's a show with "everything about you need to know about the celebrities you don't." If you don't already listen, you should start the moment you finish reading this. And if you do, you're in for a treat. So, what is a Who? Well, according to an explainer, the Who experts have a simple way to identify one: "If you have to ask, it’s a Who." Pretty self-explanatory. In the words of Finger, "Whos want to be more famous than they are, basically."
They also poetically explain the physical reaction that occurs when a someone mentions a Who versus a Them: "The traditional A-list to D-list hierarchy no longer makes sense when people whose names you’ve never heard before are trending on a social networks with hundreds of millions of users. Instead, the subjects of gossip coverage can be divided into two categories: Whos (as in: *furrows brow* "Who?") and Thems (as in: "Oh, them.")." During the day, the creators of the complex world of Who? Weekly, cleverly named after Us Weekly, write and edit about entertainment and pop culture; Finger is a writer at Jezebel and Weber is an editor at MEL Magazine. Basically, they know their shit. Refinery29 got to talk to the Who whisperers about the ins and outs of Whoville, which of the Kardashians act the Whoest, and if any Whos have become Thems this year. Let's get started.
What’s the clear criteria for being a Who?
Bobby Finger: "We’ve had to sort of figure this out ourselves a few times."

Lindsey Weber:
"I think the ultimate thing is that it’s subjective and it’s more about your gut and how you feel. It can be kind of black-and-white, but ultimately, it is a subjective experience. There are exceptions to every rule, but we try and have a list of the types of things that ‘Whos’ do that define them."

: "Another really good signifier of ‘Whos’ is that when they’re covered in the press, they always need an extra descriptor. You would never say, 'Ocean’s Eleven star George Clooney,' but you might say, 'Big Bang Theory actress and horse-lover Kaley Cuoco.' You would need something extra, so you could say, 'Oh, that’s why I recognize them.'"

This horse cracks me up- so adorable #pokerface I love him! #showpark Markel Grand Prix

A photo posted by @normancook on

Were you surprised that the podcast is so popular? Are a lot more people listening than you expected to?
LW: "We literally thought we’d just do it for our friends. We’d do it five times and get bored, no one would listen, and we’d give up."
Like it would just be a weird thing you guys did.
LW: "Yeah, our friends are would just like, ‘Remember when you and Bobby did two podcasts?’ I think everyone assumes about themselves and their friends that the things you talk about with your friends are the only things that you will find funny with each other. No one else finds them funny, no one else talks like we do."

"But everyone’s the same. Everyone’s exposed to famous people."

In 2016, do you think anyone has gone from a "Who" to a "Them"? Who has been the most impressive "Who"-to-"Them" transformation?
BF: "I would say Meghan Trainor is the first one to come to mind, because I fully did not expect her to stay successful. Zendaya’s on her way."
Photo Credit: Who? Weekly.
Is there anything that makes someone go from a "Who" to a "Them"?
LW: "The coverage definitely changes, but I think it takes a long time, because there is definitely a transition period where they still talk like Whos and give press like Whos, even though they’re now famous. I mean, you have Meghan Trainor saying the weirdest crap in her Billboard cover story, but yet she is a Billboard cover story. That shows that she’s pretty famous."
It seems like there are rules for what you guys talk about on the show.
LW: "Well, we’re a little careful, just because we know there are other pop-culture podcasts out there and plenty of places you can go to to hear about celebrities and about A-listers. We are not trying to — we could talk about that stuff, too, we definitely care about it. But the point is that it’s more interesting to talk about these celebrities because of the way they’re covered — and also because we’re the only ones talking about them in this way." Like, through osmosis, everyone knows who Ali Fedotowsky is, whether or not they want to know.
BF: "[Laughs] Poor everyone." Have any of the Whos ever contacted you?
BF: "It’s our dream, but no."

"It’s not our dream [Laughs]."

" I want to get the eyes emoji from Rita [Ora] in an email, that’s just the eyes emoji. No subject. Just the eyes."

Since you mentioned Rita, I know you always have to talk about her in every episode. Is she the Patron Saint of Whos?
LW: "Yes. She’s kind of the original, OG Who." BF: "The Patron of Whos. That’s kind of how the joke started. Because it was like, who is this? Rita Ora could end up being the most famous person in the world and she would still be a Who to us."

Yellow Wednesday's #NYC ?

A photo posted by Rita Ora (@ritaora) on

You guys have said the Kardashians are forever Whos, because they always want to be more famous.
BF: "That’s their job at this point." LW: "Kim Kardashian is the most famous person in our country, in our world right now, right? Objectively. Yet, Kim Kardashian is at a party for a sweater or she’s selling a teeth whitener, she still does the things that would make a Who, and yet she doesn’t really need to do those things, you would think. Kim Kardashian sets the trend for how other Wholebrities behave and what kind of stuff they are doing."

Can we rank the Kardashians and Jenners from Who-iest to Them-iest real fast?
LW: "We’ll go from Them to Who."

"Kim will always be number one. Kim will always be number one, then I think it’s Kris next."


"Then Khloé, probably?"


BF: "
Then Kourtney —"

"No, wait —"

BF: "
No, when does Kylie enter? We missed Kylie."

LW: "
No, it’s Kim, Kylie, Kris —"

BF: "
Kris, Khloé, Kendall."

"Rob, Scott."

"Oh, Scott. We’re counting Scott?"

Working hard or hardly working?

A photo posted by Scott Disick (@letthelordbewithyou) on

What about Caitlyn?
BF: "Oh god, Caitlyn! Caitlyn should actually be above Kris. So, it should be: Kim, Kylie, Caitlyn, Kris..." LW: "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

Wait, Khloé, Kourtney, Kendall, Rob, Scott, right?
LW: "Kendall, Kourtney, Rob, Scott. Then, Blac, or sorry...Angela. " BF: "Angela. " LW: "No one calls her that." BF: "People call her Chyna." LW: "Chyna. Yeah, Angela— " BF: "Angela Kardashian." LW: "Yeah, I mean, that’s right now, please state that correctly. That’s just right now."

I know that changes a lot. What about Kanye?
BF: "Oh god, Kanye. I think he’s — "

"I don’t know, he’s barely on the show [Keeping Up With The Kardashians]."

"It’d be Kim, Kanye, and they would be equal."
To summarize, from Them to Who: Kimye, Kylie, Caitlyn, Kris, Khloé, Kendall, Kourtney, Rob, Scott, Chyna.

Editors Note: The Who ranking of the Kardashian is only accurate as of July 19, 2016.

Having a glam party with @amynadinemakeup and @kristin_ess in between press stops... #lccelebrate

A photo posted by Lauren Conrad (@laurenconrad) on

And to finish, can you just answer, "Who" or "Them?"
Ariel Winter? "Who."

ë Grace Moretz? "Who."

Tom Hiddleston?
"Who." Game Of Thones? "Them." Chrissy Teigen? "Them. She's a Them now. She transitioned this year." Gigi Hadid? "Them." Lauren Conrad? "Who." Pokémon Go? "Them. Pokémon was always a Them." Britney Spears? "Them. That's mean! Britney Spears is extremely famous, definitely a Them."

I love handstands!

A photo posted by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

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