The Fighter and The Kid has quickly grown into one of the most popular podcasts on Earth. Unapologetic and absolutely hilarious, Brandon Schaub and Bryan Callen from a Pinky and the Brain-esque team that banters back and forth throughout the show. They needle each other as much as the topics they tackle and it creates a fun-loving atmosphere. Let’s take a look at the formation of such a dynamic duo, and how it came about.
About ‘The Fighter’ – Brendan “Big Brown” Schaub
Brandon Schaub grew up in Aurora, CO. He played football and lacrosse in high school and at Whittier College. Right before his junior year of college, he transferred to the University of Colorado where he would play fullback. After spending time on the Bills’ practice team, Schaub would move to the Arena Football League and play for the Utah Blaze.
After the AFL, Schaub picked up boxing and jiu-jitsu as a way to stay in shape. It was almost by accident that Schaub won a Golden Gloves title in Colorado after only six months of training. In the meantime, Schaub earned his brown belt in jiu-jitsu.
Schaub’s MMA career started in Season 10 of the UFC reality show, The Ultimate Fighter. At 6’4″ 244 lbs. he won his first three fights which advanced him to the final round against Roy “Big Country” Nelson, where he lost by knockout in the first round. He would go on to score big wins over Gabriel Gonzaga and Mirko “Cro Cop” on his way to a 10-5 career record.
In February of 2016, Schaub and his girlfriend, Joanna Zanella, had their first child, “Little Brown”.
Brendan is reported to have a ‘piece’ on him. This is backed up by Bryan “The Kid” Callen.
About ‘The Kid’ – Bryan “The Kid” Callen
Born in the Philippines, Bryan Callen spent the first decade and a half of his life traveling all over the world. As a comedian, Bryan Callen got his start as one of the eight original cast members of MadTV.
Once he “graduated” from MadTV, he began making small part appearances in TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, with larger parts in shows like Secret Life of the American Teenager and The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest. He is a regular guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and even hosted his own podcast, creatively called The Bryan Callen Show.
Witty, tasteful, and obscene, Callen is one of the new age comedians whose intelligence belies their profession. He’s also a gifted actor who plays a wide range of characters. A sexually abusive father in The Secret Life, Callen also possesses the ability to play a fast-talking promoter like Garo Kassabian in the show Kingdom. Bryan now makes regular appearances on the hit comedy, The Goldbergs, as the high school gym teacher.
Callen got married to his wife, Amanda Humphrey, in 2008. He tries to stay out of the media as much as possible because he doesn’t like the attention. Though his style of comedy is edgy and uncompromising, Callen is a very down to earth guy and enjoys the privacy of his personal life.
Callen also claims to have a ‘piece’ on him, although, with his boy-like physique, this is doubtful. Callen is also a blue belt in jiu-jitsu, trains boxing (and has lightning-fast hands), and is a world class tennis player.
Bryan Callen used to drive a Passat…
The Fighter and The Kid: The Beginning
Though they are good friends now, Bryan and Brendan’s first initial meeting was on Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter after Bryan was brought in by the coaches to provide entertainment to the fighters in the house. A short time after that, Brendan moved to Los Angeles. Once he did this, he’s been very explicit in stating that Bryan took him under his wing and they started hanging out regularly.
Once they began to hang out, they really hit it off as friends. Bryan already had a podcast that wasn’t very successful when he asked Brendan to pair up with him and do a show based on news from the sport of MMA. Initially hesitant, Brendan stated he didn’t want to do a podcast with fighting as the only talking point. Callen agreed to meet him in the middle and discuss other things in addition to fighting.
Callen and Schaub credit their fans and their snappy brand of comedy for their rise to prominence. They’ve stated in repeated interviews the ideals of sticking to your guns and owning up to your mistake when you say something people don’t agree with. Brendan and Bryan place an emphasis on being genuine with your audience. Even the advertisements they do are exclusively for companies they believe have a good product. Callen believes in this principle (if that’s what you want to call it), so much that he’s been quoted as saying he feels connected to his fans and massively respects them.
Live Show Performances
Prior to meeting Bryan Callen, Brendan Schaub thought of himself as an athlete. Nothing more. However, as he’s said time and again, Bryan accepted Brendan under his wing as a comedian. Initially, when Bryan pitched the idea of taking their shows live, Brendan was against it. He’s said that he felt that doing a podcast live would be stupid and nobody would watch it. What’s the point?
However, after being given the chance to explain himself, Bryan stated that it would be a show. It would be a similar brand of comedy, but for all intents and purposes, this show would be a SHOW. Not a podcast. They started off light, with Schaub telling stories that had happened while he was fighting, in college, or that were generally funny. Callen would do stand-up for a while, then the two would come on stage at the end and perform together.
Though it’s nothing new to Callen, Schaub has stated that performing on stage is much more of a rush than playing sports or fighting in front of 25,000 people. Fighting, though he was relatively skilled, was not Brendan’s favorite thing. He didn’t enjoy trying to inflict pain on opponents and because of that, grew disillusioned with the sport. It was because of The Fighter and The Kid, that Schaub was able to retire from fighting and focus on doing live shows and podcasts.
The Fighter and The Kid 3D
The Fighter and the Kid 3D is a web series developed by Brendan “The Fighter” Schaub and Bryan “The Kid” Callen. Though Callen correctly maintains that the show “isn’t actually 3D”, the idea for the show came from Hollywood producer, Evan Rodner. This web series rides the enormous popularity of Schaub and Callen’s podcast, The Fighter and the Kid. Right now, they’re on sale for $30 and that comes with a t-shirt, Callen’s stand-up special, and the full first season of TFATK 3D.
The show itself seems to rely on Schaub and Callen’s humor exactly as the podcast would. It simply lends a visual to the already hilarious audio. It allows for a new channel of comedy to open up as well. Particularly for Brendan. While Callen has developed his comedic style to be witty and cutting, Schaub is still largely unpolished. That’s not to say that he isn’t funny, but he hasn’t focused on one particular brand of comedy. While it’s fairly obvious that Callen is his mentor, Schaub is seen dabbling in slapstick comedy in the first season. Such a style loses it’s zip unless it can be seen, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the square-jawed Schaub get a few parts in movies playing a slapstick style role, much like Will Sasso or Chris Farley.
Callen’s Hollywood contacts give the show an ‘in’ with lots of celebrities and movie stars. Schaub’s MMA contacts allow the show the opportunity to interview high-level fighters as well. Outside of their immediate contact list, however, they didn’t have very many notable contacts starting out.
Like any good podcast, The Fighter and the Kid built a rabid following of fans. With those fans comes celebrity fans and notoriety. This new found notoriety allowed Brendan and Bryan to begin to interview more high profile celebrities and athletes. Notable guests of the show in the last year include such stars as Ronda Rousey, Will Sasso, Luke Rockhold, Bill Burr, Tom Segura, Royce Gracie, and many more.
As you can see from the list, it consists mostly of MMA fighters and comedians. Ronda Rousey and Bill Burr are mega-stars making an appearance on the show, and it serves to demonstrate the reach and influence the show has garnered in its time on the air.
As I mentioned earlier, the first season of TFATK 3D can be bought for $30 and that comes with a free t-shirt and Bryan Callen’s stand up special. As Brendan Schaub so artfully boasted, “We sell more t-shirts than Reebok. They should stick to crossfit.”
The shop on their website is very easy to navigate and allows the visitor the possibility to get a shirt that they feel can express the way they feel about the show. As a nod to his Northeastern roots, Callen has several shirts from their live tour from cities like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the remaining shirts are fairly generic and can be bought for less than $25.