A few weeks ago, Señor Dylan Heyden, The Inertia’s Associate editor, had a brilliant idea to throw a little twist into the standard pro-surfer-contest-interview format: Add a caricature artist into the mix and see what happens. Sounded like a great idea. Then we thought maybe we could turn it up to level 10 by including none other than Greg Dohlen, who appeared on the near-flawless Comedy Central show Nathan for You, where Nathan rebranded him as the “King of Sting.” In said King of Sting portraits, Dohlen goes XXX-over-the-line offensive with his portrayal of the subject, to the point where it’s awkwardly jaw-dropping. See the video below to get a feel for what I’m talking about. The crazy thing is that no matter how offensive the portrayal gets, the subject invariably laughs. Because as Nathan Fielder said, caricatures are a form of insult comedy, so the more you commit to the over-the-top insult, the funnier the material typically is.
We didn’t have the balls to unleash the King of Sting on unsuspecting surf royalty like Dane Gudauskas, Alana Blanchard, Joe Turpel, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Strider Wasilewski, Carlos Muñoz, and Ryan Callinan. We thought it might be in poor taste if things went south, so we opted to keep it PG. Which was still quite enjoyable.
Through Dohlen’s art, we delved right into the heart of surf commentary, dissecting Stryder’s “avocado and toast” and encouraging Carlos Munoz to bring his fro back. And Dane Guduaskas left with a radical birthday cake in a barrel portrait.
And our staff left with King of Sting portraits. Which were awesome. Everyone wins!
Special thanks to Greg Dohlen, the nicest (and only!) caricature artist I’ve had the pleasure of meeting as well as the WSL and Vans for indulging us. That was a good time.
Video shot and edited by Alex Smolowe.