A Tribute to Trevor Moore, the Elder/Millennial God of Comedy

Rachel Wayne
14 min readAug 6, 2023

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Ask anyone who their favorite comedian is, and you may get a range of answers: Patton Oswalt. Jeff Foxworthy. Sarah Silverman. Favorite comedic actor? Will Ferrell. Steve Carrell. Favorite comedy musician? Weird Al Yankovic. Andy Samberg. Favorite comedy talk-show host? Seth Meyers. John Oliver.

And yet one of the few who mastered all the comedic arts, from sketch theatre to comedy songs to talk shows to biting satire, was less of a household name, perhaps because his humor was too nuanced, clever, provocative, or just plain dark for most Americans’ tastes.

If you know, you know… I’m talking about Trevor Moore.

The Whitest Kid You Knew

Trevor Moore (April 4, 1980–August 7, 2021) was a legend in the modern comedy community. Since co-founding the award-winning troupe The Whitest Kids U’Know, Trevor quickly established himself as the comedy king of younger Gen X/older millennials. His body of work includes dozens of original compositions, provocative and insightful sketches, TV hosting roles, voice acting gigs, and appearances as himself on streaming and talk shows. And of course, hundreds of hilarious performances on the Whitest Kids’ self-titled series, which ran on FUSE and IFC from 2007 to 2011.

His performance oeuvre ranged from historical role-playing to charming goofballs to manically deranged villains. But unlike the Hollywood favorites who tend to occupy those archetypes (Seth Rogen as the lovable stoner, Ryan Reynolds as the quirky anti-hero, Jon Hamm as the handsome sociopath), Trevor embodied such characters with an unbridled commitment and a scathing undercurrent of sociopolitical satire. He transformed into each role in a way that would make Pirandello proud. Most of his roles were his own creation as he skewered historical figures, heteronormativity, white masculinity, corporate conglomerates, the military, and American consumerism.

Today’s viewers may hear “The Whitest Kids U’Know” and assume it’s praising whiteness. But at the time the troupe began in New York’s School of Visual Arts in 2000, being a “white kid,” specifically a young white man, meant that you were oblivious, awkward, and probably a geek. (Witness Weird Al Yankovic’s “White & Nerdy”). The troupe got

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Rachel Wayne

Artist/anthropologist/activist writing about art, media, culture, health, science, enterprise, and where they all meet. Join my list: http://eepurl.com/gD53QP