Founded by Jack Byrne and Trent Simonian, Sidetalk has earned a reputation for chronicling eccentric New York City events like the Bronx Dominican Day Parade, Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest, and anti-vax rallies. This past July, they scored a video with Drake at Starlet’s Gentlemen’s Club in Queens. But back in 2021, they were juniors at NYU with a budding following, betting the Knicks would help them achieve the next level of internet relevance.
“We’re standing outside of MSG, looking at my ESPN app, keeping an eye on what’s happening in the game,” Simonian recounted. “And then we’re like, Oh my God, it’s going into overtime. Oh my God, it’s going into double overtime. So if they win this, the fans are going to be going crazy.”
The Knicks won in thrilling fashion, and the fans indeed went crazy. But the Sidetalk boys remained calm.
“Usually there’s an initial wave of people who come out of the stadium first. We don’t really interview those people, because the most passionate fans are going to stay until the very end,” said Simonian. “Once it’s so packed you can’t see far away, and the people are already starting to cheer and they’re starting to do their Knicks chants, that’s when we like to go out into the crowd and get it crazy.”
One of the fans captured by Sidetalk was the TV personality Desus Nice, who was struck by the intensity of the celebration. “They treated a regular-season win like an impromptu Super Bowl parade. People had actually blocked traffic on Seventh Avenue so cars couldn’t go. NYPD was not there. It was pure NYC chaos. It was such a moment,” Desus recalled.
Then the co-host of Showtime’s Desus and Mero, had to quickly decide whether appearing on Sidetalk would be a conflict of interest. “I don’t know what platform this is going to be on. This could possibly violate my contract,” he said. “And then right away I was like, you know what? Fuck it, let’s do it.”
The Bronx native made a move for the microphone, “I’m like, what am I going to say? You got to say something cool. You got to say something iconic. I’m going to be like, Yo, the Knicks run New York City. But because I was so amped and had been yelling for the whole game, you can hear my voice crack as if I’m going through puberty, ” he said. The next day, he showed up to work with his voice shot.