It's Okay: Giggly Squad's Hannah Berner and Paige DeSorbo Think You're Their Friend, Too

paige desorbo hannah berner giggly squad
'Giggly Squad' is Coming Soon to a City Near YouAfrik Armando

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Sitting on a Zoom with Hannah Berner and Paige DeSorbo, I have to keep reminding myself that this is meant to be an active, three-way conversation, that I’m not just listening. The pair of besties have been giggling in my AirPods every week since January, when two separate friends and one cousin all texted me within a few days of each other to say that I absolutely had to listen to the Giggly Squad podcast. Needless to say, they were right. The hour-long catchup session between stand-up comedian Hannah and Summer House castmate Paige provides a delightfully unhinged respite from the many stresses of daily life; a healthy dose of the specific kind of contagious, laugh-at-just-about-anything-until-you-can’t-breathe goofiness that only your closest people can bring out in you. Well, your closest people, and now Hannah and Paige.

The Gigglers—their name for the formidable crew of listeners who have propelled them to over 44 million downloads to date—are in for a particular treat this year, as the duo just announced presale for their 25-city, 28-venue live show tour. “Giggly Squad Live: Club Giggly” kicks off in Charlotte, NC on September 6, and presale tickets are available now. While specific programming details are still under wraps, they did divulge a few of the things Gigglers can look forward to—once I remembered to interrupt their banter and actually ask my questions, that is.

paige desorbo and hannah berner wearing sunglasses
Courtesy of Giggly Squad

But before we get to that, if you’ll allow me just a moment of earnest fangirling: Hannah and Paige describe the show as being about nothing, which it is. It’s just two best friends who make each other cry with laughter over their signature dry, self-deprecating humor and thought, “What if we record our Facetime sessions to share with the world?” Yet at its best, the show is also about the threads of connectedness between us all. Woah, yikes, serious, I know. But hear me out: So many of us go about our lives wearing a variety of masks—professional, buttoned-up, self-protective, whatever it may be. We’re all bringing different versions of ourselves to different scenarios, which means we’re then often interacting with other people’s masked selves, too. But there are probably people in your life around whom you feel most authentically connected to your truest self, who energize you when you’re around them. What if we could all connect to that spirit, like, one percent more in our day-to-day lives? What kind of success, connection, joy might that bring?

The fact that this show has caught on with such a wide audience and created a space for instant friendship-making seems to indicate that perhaps there’s a Giggler hiding inside us all, even the most tightly-wound of us; that maybe at our core, many of us are more alike than we are different. Oof! I realize that that's a lot to attribute to a podcast that often dissects topics like the merits of self-tanner vs. spray tans, or which funny viral TikToks hit hardest this week. But therein lies its genius, and the reason that they’ve amassed the huge, loyal community that they have.

Right. Okay, enough of that—about those questions…

What are you most excited for with this upcoming tour?

Hannah: I’ve been on the road for stand-up alone, and I really miss having Paige. I’ll be on stage and people will be like, where’s Paige? And I’m like, guys she couldn’t come to St. Louis for no reason this weekend. But when we’re together it just becomes a party, and that’s why we called it Club Giggly. And we’re girls with anxiety and depression, so if we're going to leave our apartments it has to be like a safe, fun community. We’re really lucky to have cultivated that.

You’ve done a tour once before—what will be different with this one? What can people look forward to?

Paige: It’s definitely a brand new show. Still the same Giggler energy. We have so many more inside jokes with our listeners now and I feel like we know them even better now, so it will be even more personalized.

Any particular city you’re most excited for?

Paige: We haven't we've haven't gone the state of Florida yet, not one time, and we’re going to Miami. We’re basically going to redo Hannah’s bachelorette party.

Hannah: Yeah, the last time we were in Miami was my bachelorette, which we still haven’t fully recovered from emotionally or physically. But it’s kind of an excuse to road trip with my best friend. It’s just an excuse to spend time together in different forms.

Do you ever fight on the road?

Hannah: Mostly we're fighting our own demons.

Paige: That is actually such a funny question, because I don't think we've ever fought on the road. I think the only time I'll say something is when we do hair and makeup. Hannah likes to really throw the makeup artist for a loop and she’ll be like, “I think I’ll do sparkles.” And I’ll be like, why don’t you calm down for a second? That’s the only thing we really disagree on other than like, Uber sizes.

Hannah: Yeah, Paige needs an Uber XL even though she's literally 5’4”. I'll accidentally get the smallest Uber and she’ll have ten suitcases. I do annoy her on purpose, though. I like to walk places, so I'll be like, “It's literally a block away,” and then we'll be walking for three hours and she'll be bleeding and crying and throwing up.

Paige: Hannah likes to put me in awkward situations and see how I react.

Hannah: That’s growth, that’s learning.

What do you think has made the show explode in the way that it has?

Paige: Hannah and I have been best friends for so long now, and it’s just natural that when you get with your best friend, you’re a different version of yourself. You’re lighter, you’re funnier, you’re sillier. When we started the podcast, we really just took our FaceTime calls and were like “Well, I guess we could record this.” The best part about Giggly Squad is that the world is so crazy all the time, and we genuinely are talking about nothing. It’s a total one hour escape. When you’re laughing, you feel happier—it’s science, you’re in a better headspace.

Hannah: It’s a form of therapy for us. We’ve done a lot of different forms of entertainment, and Giggly Squad is where we really feel like we can be seen as like our truest selves. There will be something I don’t tell anyone all week because I’ll save it for the Gigglers, things I don’t even tell my mom. And it’s not clickbait, it’s not us trying to serve drama. We make fun of everything, but most importantly ourselves. We can laugh about really hard, serious things in our lives, and the messages we get after are like, “This happened to me last week, too, we’re so silly.” I think we’re just trying to help people take themselves less seriously, and it’s been a fun journey.

The stand-up comedy world can be very male-dominated. Giggly Squad snuck in in a weird way, because we started as a TV and film podcast. And then we were like, we’re a fucking—sorry—we’re a comedy podcast. We’re trying to laugh. And the girls were like wait, I love this. So we moved our pod to the comedy charts instead of TV and film, and that’s when it really started to take off. People were relating to our sense of humor because we were being ourselves. I think there’s been a missing place for a fun comedy podcast of girls our age. Women put so much pressure on ourselves all the time—we need some light comedy.

You’ve created this really strong community with your listeners, and I’m sure many of them feel like they already know you. Do you like when Gigglers say hi when they see you out and about?

Paige: Come up and say whatever you want, do whatever you want. We were actually walking down the street yesterday, mid-gossip session. And this girl came up to us and was like, “I love you so much.” And we were like, “We love you, too,” and we all just kept walking.

Hannah: My favorite was I was in the airport, and this girl looks at me, stops, makes this funny face, slaps my ass, and keeps walking. And my husband's with me, and he's like, “What was that?” And I was like, “She's like Giggler.” People will come up and whatever we were joking about that week, they’ll joke with us about. I really do feel like the podcast is like a girls’ bathroom at a club. The girls’ bathroom is such a special beautiful, hilarious place, but also an emotional safe space. We've kind of created this like, secret, like bathroom humor, where we're walking down the street and girls will just be like, “What’s up?” It feels like an actual friendship as opposed to someone seeing us.

Paige: When you're in a bathroom at a bar, you can yell out to anyone in there, “Should I text my ex-boyfriend back?” And they're all yelling back, “No, you're too good for him!” And that genuinely is what Giggle Squad has become. There are so many girls graduating college or moving to different cities for different jobs or just picking up and moving, and it's hard to meet girls our age and make new friends. The number of times that girls have come alone to Giggly Squad Live and sat next to someone who's also alone and then that becomes their best friend in their new city, is the best.

Paige: And we are scared that we started a cult, so just please don’t draw attention to that.

Hannah: And we don’t know who the leaders are, to be honest with you.

Paige: We’re really scared.

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