Breaking news from podcast land: Che Diaz, founding co-host of the cult-hit sex-and-relationships podcast X, Y, and Me, is stepping away from the show to dedicate more time to their television career. The move, which was announced abruptly, will see the comedian relocating to Los Angeles in time for pilot season. We’re told that Diaz’s co-hosts, Carrie Bradshaw and Jackie Nee, were informed earlier this week.
Created in early 2020 as a pandemic side project, X, Y, and Me drew groans at launch for what some critics called its “insufferable tone” — the podcast has a kind of pseudo-morning-zoo quality, complete with the excessive use of a soundboard — and “hokey conceit.” For the uninitiated, the show pitches itself as a raunchy conversational podcast taking on the latest in “woke culture,” featuring three hosts with differing, supposedly diverse perspectives: the comedian Diaz as someone who identifies as a “queer, nonbinary, Mexican Irish diva”; the veteran relationships writer Bradshaw, who offers the cisgender, hetero (white) female perspective; and Jackie Nee, who ostensibly represents the cis-hetero-bro viewpoint. (Nee is Asian American.)
X, Y, and Me would go on to carve out a following after a series of early gaffes led to several viral TikToks and subsequent clout among, perhaps counterintuitively, the Gen-Z demographic. The show eventually earned its cult-hit status after a breakout episode featuring a seemingly medicated Bradshaw recalling a personal friend’s gynecological incident. Later, a successful attempt to integrate live-caller elements into the production also caused the podcast to ride the Clubhouse wave, further increasing its listenership, and its signature “WOKE MOMENT” soundboard effect has also been sampled in the latest Cardi B track. And though the show didn’t make the cut in the first annual Vulture Podcast Survey, which polls industry insiders for their picks on the best shows from the year, it did make an unexpectedly strong showing throughout the voting process, perhaps thanks in part to a recent piece in Vulture about Diaz.
Complications will likely arise from Diaz’s departure. While the show generally adhered to a classic three-person roundtable format, the comedian functionally served as the anchoring force of the program. It remains to be seen whether Bradshaw and Nee will be able to work through the new dynamic or opt to bring in a new third host instead. There’s been some speculation Nee might leave the show as well — a recent post on Deuxmoi has linked him as a possible addition to All Things Comedy’s TigerBelly podcast — and a source close to X, Y, and Me told Vulture that there’s interest in refashioning the show solely around Bradshaw, perhaps in the style of her old New York Star column.
Also unclear, and tantalizing, is the question of the podcast’s ownership. While episodes are recorded in a swanky Flatiron District studio, it’s never been clear who, exactly, operates and publishes the show. Whichever the publisher, there’ve also been rumors about a possible movement on this front: Industry insiders have suggested that Smartless Media, newly flush with Amazon money and expansionary ambitions, has expressed interest in an acquisition, regardless of the show’s new composition.