Insulting a friend’s shoes is one of the true pleasures of existence, as anyone can tell you, but only on Twitter has it been elevated to an art form. We’ll all remember the Great Shoe Roast of 2015. Where were you when @Arr took on @Fart? Obviously, you know what I’m talking about, but to refresh your memory …
On February 20, 2015, Twitter user @fart (real name: Jon Hendren) tweeted this picture:
What followed was a disaster. Many made fun of the bad shoes. Ferocious tweets flew at Hendren left and right, mainly coming from users @Arr and @weedguy420boner.
The entire saga is incredible, a drubbing of epic proportions. That Hendren survived at all is amazing. You can read the whole Storify here; it goes on for months and was recently revived:
An astonishing roasting for sure. Reached for comment @Arr (real name: David Thorpe) passed along the following message, explaining how the roasting was accomplished.
Glad you enjoyed the shoe content. Interactions have been through the roof. All credit really goes to my social media team; once I saw the viral opportunity the shoes presented, they agreed to put in a late night coming up with some fantastic content. They stayed totally on-brand, on-message across the board, and I think that’s really come through in the engagement numbers.
A couple of the guys on my team had been interns for Jon’s branded content crew at one point, so I think they enjoyed the chance to be on the other side of it. Best part was that Jon’s team had already logged out for the night, so he was basically powerless to respond. Comedy is all about timing.
Luckily, this has a happy ending. Hendren told me that he and Thorpe have reconciled and that his personal brand is still very strong. He wrote:
There’s no real hard feelings between Dave and I. I think he’s really smart and really funny. Only thing is, he tends to hire vengeful scoundrels for his social team. The entire reason the roast went on as long as it did is that they knew from having worked with me that my head writer Paulo had already gone to bed, leaving me essentially unable to respond. It was pretty bad at the time—my Klout went down almost 4 points—but thankfully I don’t believe it damaged my brand irreparably. Interactions and brand awareness are as strong as ever, and Dave and I made up over a bottle of white zin a few weeks later.
White Zin. Amazing. Glad this story has a happy ending.