Streeter Seidell is a name many a thirtysomething male remembers well, and not just because the name is “Streeter Seidell.” Seidell was on the ground floor at CollegeHumor, a site that owed much of its success to his editing. He and Amir Blumenfeld’s notorious pranks on each other eventually led to the MTV series Pranked. Seidell went on to write for Trophy Wife before landing a gig at Saturday Night Live last season. I caught up with him as he was wandering the, ahem, streets of Minneapolis, where he’s performing stand-up this week. He’s looking forward to his second season of SNL starting this fall, but not as much as not having to read the newspaper every day.
“I used to get The New York Times home delivery every day, but it was so much,” Seidell says. “It was beginning to feel like a chore. It was stressing me out.” When I tell him I stopped my subscription because people always kept stealing it off of my stoop, Seidell hears a lifehack. “I would’ve been thrilled if someone had done that,” he says, “because that would’ve been one less thing I would’ve had to do that day.”
His main news source these days is Reddit. “I read it every day: the news and world news sections, and then a bunch of random subreddits,” he says. When I ask him about the recent shitstorm over there, he demurs. “I wouldn’t call myself a true Redditor, in the sense that I don’t actively participate in the community that much. I use it mostly as education and entertainment.” Seidell finds the firing of Reddit’s director of talent, Victoria Taylor, the most fascinating. “I didn’t really have a visceral reaction to that,” he said. “It was kind of interesting to see how mad everyone got. I guess it was a little bit of a feel-good thing knowing that a single employee at a big company — normally you’re such a replaceable little thing — can cause so much commotion if they’re let go.”
Seidell also checks out Mashable, in part because he finds the app “very nice and slick.” Oh, and also for random historical photography. “They do a series called Retronaut which is old pictures of various stuff,” he explains. “They’ll just be like, ‘Here’s what people wore to the beach in the 1800s.’”
He hasn’t completely done away with print, though. “I read New York magazine and National Geographic,” Seidell says of his mail delivery. “I get some travel magazines from my credit card. Whatever Amex’s travel magazine is — not too bad.”
Along with CollegeHumor and SNL’s YouTube channels, the ubiquitous page where he starts his day is Vice. “I pretty much will read or watch anything from Vice,” he claims. Seidell is also a fan of Splitsider — with a caveat. “It has kind of a limited appeal. If you’re not in the comedy world or a really big comedy fan, it might be lost on you,” he says. “But they do some broad stuff as well.”
At night, he’s got a one-track mind. “I’m pretty much a full slug at home. I like to lounge around and watch whatever’s on. I watch the regular stuff that everyone watches — like Game of Thrones.” When I ask whether that’s to feed some sort of cultural competency, he’s more pragmatic. “Everyone watches those shows because they’re good,” he says. “It doesn’t seem like a chore, like something I have to do. I genuinely enjoy it. I really like Veep. I like The Brink.” A self-admitted slug, perhaps, but a slug with an HBO subscription.