All Hail the Liver King

A return to our ancient ancestors’ way of life, via TikTok.


Episode Notes

Brian Johnson, aka the Liver King, has amassed millions of followers with his bizarre yet addictive workout and raw-meat-diet videos. On today’s episode, Rachelle and Madison comb through the king’s core tenets, his obsession with explosives, and of course his taste for liver with a side of maple syrup. Later in the show, science communicator Jonathan Jarry joins for a discussion of why we look to people like the Liver King, and why we can’t look away.*

If you’ve listened to the episode, here’s the Google Form that Rachelle and Madison mention. Send them your internet faves and nightmares.

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder, Derek John, Jasmine Ellis, and Kevin Bendis.

Correction, March 9, 2022: This page originally misspelled Jonathan Jarry’s first name.


About the Show

Join Madison Malone Kircher and Rachelle Hampton twice a week as they gaze deep into the online abyss—and tell you what’s gazing back. All episodes


  • Rachelle Hampton is a culture writer and reporter at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. Her work has appeared in the New Republic, Pacific Standard, Smithsonian Magazine, and In These Times. She still hasn't recovered from Tumblr’s demise.

  • Madison Malone Kircher is a senior writer at Slate and co-host of ICYMI. She was previously a staff writer at New York magazine, where she covered internet culture and edited New York’s Approval Matrix. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Vulture, and the Cut. Madison lives in Brooklyn, where she regularly drops her phone on her face watching TikToks in bed.