NEW YORK — Sitting in his parent’s living room in suburban New York, Youtube food reviewer “ReportOFTheWeek” skeptically eyes his newest subject: Burger King’s Cheetos Chicken Fries.
“‘Dangerously Cheesy?’ No. ‘Very cheesy?’ No. ‘Mildly cheesy?’ Yes … I would like to see more emphasis on the cheesiness and less emphasis on the saltiness,” ReportOfTheWeek says to a running Flipcam.
“ReportOfTheWeek” is also known as “ReviewBrah” and, outside of the internet, as John. (He requested that his full name not be used due to privacy concerns.) He’s built a growing and devoted fanbase for his earnest and detailed descriptions of fast food.
With a critic’s manner and a skeptical palette, John is measured in his praise of the about 600 fast food items that he has reviewed. Some, like the Hardee’s Bacon 3-Way Burger, receive unabashed praise (“It’s very interesting what they did with that bacon jam on it.”), while others, like the KFC Chicken Little, are trashed. (“The chicken is even drier than the bread … overall, very disappointing.”).
KFC in general is a particular source of scorn. “I always try to be positive, but I get disappointed time and time again,” says John.
John, a part-time college student who lives with his parents, supports himself with YouTube ad revenue and donations to his Patreon page. He estimates that he makes around $1,500 a month from ads and around $300 in donations.
John has a definitive New York accent — but one that would be more suited in an Orson Welles radio spot or a Martin Scorsese film.
While he admits that his old-time manner might seem to be more suited for “steakhouses,” John chose fast food for a practical reason. Why review a restaurant that only a lucky few might be able to go to when millions of people consume fast food everyday?
“I want to be as applicable to the largest number of people,” says John.
But John isn’t the only YouTuber reviewing fast food — he has stiff competition from the likes of “JoeysWorldTour” and “Daym Drops.” What makes John stand out are his throwback mannerisms and 1940s style.
Sitting in his car while holding an Arby’s “Brown Sugar Bacon” sandwich (“an 8.4 out of 10. I’m impressed”), John shows off a newly acquired oversized brown checkered jacket.
“I don’t care if you think I look like a used car salesman, I like it.”
John loves that his suits are outdated. He gets them for cheap, enabling him to cycle through a personal collection as oversized as the suits themselves.
“They’re not fashionable today, and that’s a great thing…Despite the fact that it’s still quality, I can get it for an easy $100.”
His advice for aspiring YouTubers? Find the thing that make you unique.
“For me it was the suits.”