Fans of Desus Nice & The Kid Mero were shocked by the comedy duo’s surprise split in July and the subsequent cancellation of their late-night show, Desus & Mero, on Showtime. Since then, we’ve wondered how the cohosts of the popular Bodega Boys podcast would do on their own while remaining curious about what will come next.
For Desus, it’s partnering with Verizon to promote the new Google Pixel 7 Pro with a fun, new idea where users go on The Magic Street Search scavenger hunt through New York to meet up with him and possibly win a new phone. Influencers Yvonne Ng and Jenna Bandy are also participating in the search, and fans can play in Los Angeles too.
Desus spoke with The Root about the interactive campaign and randomly meeting up with fans around the city.
“When they [Verizon] approached me, they were very authentic about it. They were like, ‘We want to do an ad campaign, but we don’t want it to be corny,’” he said. “Basically, you have to find me and I’m going to be in front of various landmarks in New York City. Then, using the Magic Erase feature on the Google Pixel Pro 7, we’re gonna erase some stuff in the background so you can’t exactly tell where I’m at. If you can figure it out, you can actually win a free phone. It was just a cool, fun way to show a proposed feature.”
The Bronx native also thought it would be a cool, fun way to interact with his fans, who don’t even know they’re actually hanging out with him every day. He joked about how they often think he’s a guy who sort of looks like Desus but can’t possibly be him.
“All these places are places you would see me at in New York City,” Desus said. “I’m not that kind of person where I’m not gonna leave the house. I’ll be outside. Sometimes you’ll turn around in the bodega, you’ll be like, ‘Is that Desus buying ham?’ Yes, it is.”
The campaign is just the first step in the comedian’s new solo journey. Though he’s still playing it close to the vest on what’s next, the NAACP Image Award-nominee is enthusiastic about what he has in store for his fans.
“I’m super excited, and I can’t wait to get the ball rolling. I have so many projects that I can’t wait to show people, but I can’t show them until they’re officially announced,” he said. “I’m ready for this next chapter because I love working, I love performing and making people laugh and just making a good product. Just being able to reach audiences [while] being my authentic self, and hopefully on a bigger and better platform. That’s all I want and I think people are really gonna appreciate it when they see what I’m doing.”
To me and other members of the Bodega Hive, it’s Desus’ authentic voice that makes him so fun to watch. When he’s talking about his strict Jamaican parents, or his life growing up in New York, he’s not playing a character named “Desus Nice,” he’s just being himself.
He may not be ready to reveal details about what’s to come, but I’m certainly ready to check out whatever it is because he just wants to entertain us and that’s all I’m really asking for.
To learn more about Verizon’s Magic Street Search, visit Verizon.