Goodbye Dlisted

June 30, 2023 / Posted by:

Do you ever read”. I can still remember my friend Addie asking me during a break in one of my college classes. Although since this story takes place in 2005, I’m pretty sure she said the full website address, like Dlisted-dot-blogspot-dot-com. It doesn’t matter, really. The relevant information here is that long before I began writing for Dlisted; it was my dream to write for Dlisted.

Scrolling through the blog in those early years was as close as I could physically get to a religious experience. Every single post made me feel like one of those grandmas that swears she saw the face of Jesus in her toast. It was like magic; you refreshed the page, and a new post would pop up, written by Michael K, saying what you were thinking, or more often, saying what your brain couldn’t come up with even on its hardest-working day. It was lyrical. It was musical. Never had the word “slut” felt like a melody or “chonies” read like a poem. For someone who grew up joyfully wrapped in weird comedy culture, Michael K’s Dlisted was a revelation. From my very first day reading, I thought to myself: “I want to do that.” I wanted to write. I wanted to make celebrity gossip funny too. I wasn’t nearly half as good as Michael K, but I wrote and wrote and wrote, hoping that one day I might be able to make someone laugh with the dumb jokes I was writing in my own attempt at a blog. And the whole time, whenever someone asked what the end goal was, I’d explain that I’d love to write about celebrity gossip and pop culture for a living. “My dream job would be writing for Dlisted.” I rarely said those words out loud because it sounded about as possible as waking up with two heads or driving past a Taco Bell without tearing ass into the drive-thru. But I said them to myself a lot.

In 2013, Michael put out a notice that he was looking for interns, and I applied at the suggestion of my friend Anais (thanks, Anais). I had just quit my latest office reception job and was trying to seriously focus on comedy writing. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I was sure I wanted this more than almost anything. My stomach flip-flopped when I received an email back from Michael K asking for a sample practice post to see if I could be a good fit. I chose to write about Britney Spears’ video for “Work Bitch.” I wrote it in a Starbucks, scamming hours and hours of their free wifi, meticulously freaking out over every word as I sipped the watered-down remains of an iced latte. I wanted it to be perfect. I couldn’t blow this chance at my dream job, and I absolutely didn’t want to eat shit in front of Michael K. I took so long writing it I got a $315 parking ticket for leaving my car in a spot an hour over the time limit. I turned it in, sweating. And that day began one of the most encouraging working relationships turned friendships of my life. Michael responded with constructive feedback. He helped me edit. He gave me notes which turned into greater confidence in my skills. He’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. Oh lord, I’m about to start crying over my laptop keyboard. And usually, I only do that when my sister sends me photographic evidence of the year I bought a men’s XL flannel shirt from Walmart and convinced myself I looked exactly like Ariana Grande. But I sincerely cannot stress this enough: I am forever a better writer and comedian because of Michael K and Dlisted, no question. Of course, I spent time and a half writing this, too, because I wanted it to be perfect. It’s what Michael deserves! If only I’d been such a perfectionist when it came to spelling people’s names correctly, like There’s-no-H-in-Nicolas Cage or Lord, Give Me The Strength To Spell Matthew McConaughey, without looking it up online.

And you might question how much technical skill there is in writing about reality TV or dumb celebrities, but it’s hard! The jokes have to make sense; the point has to be clear. Michael K has always made it look so easy. But after working with him for nearly ten years, I know it’s the exact opposite. It’s hard work, and he works the hardest. The website existed on a completely different plane of excellence, and that was completely Michael K’s doing. Thankfully, he encouraged us all to thrive and pushed the very best work out of the writers. All I’ve ever wanted to do was make people laugh. Sort of a cosmic thank-you to the years I spent stifling laughter at various office reception desks while covertly reading Dlisted, a way to escape whatever was going on in my own sad, shitty life (and for quite a few years, it was extra crispy extra shitty). Even when I started writing for Dlisted, it was still an emotional support website for me. After my mother died in 2019, I wanted so badly to return to work, and start writing again. It was something I shared with my mom, sending each other links to Hot Sluts like Jan Crouch and Jayne Meadows or laughing about Tom Cruise’s shoes. I wanted to laugh. Dlisted did that for me every day. Dlisted was my grief counseling. I’ll never be grateful enough for the support I received at that time from Michael, the other writers, and this community.

This is my first time writing anything since I gave birth to my giant baby son last July (10 lbs 10 oz – please keep me in your prayers every time I sneeze). And, of course, I would have loved for it to be packed with as many jokes as our publishing platform would legally allow. But I’m feeling sentimental. I’ve had an incredible time writing over the past ten years and almost twice as long reading. Co-hosting Dlisted: The Podcast was pure joy. There were so many recording sessions where I got the stupid laughs and needed to take a breather. I will miss Dlisted so so much. I don’t know what’s crappening next for me. But where do I go from here? I got to work my dream job for ten years, and it was exactly that – a dream. Thank you for reading, thank you for laughing, and thank you for pointing out my endless typos. Thank you for being there for me as much as I could have hopefully been there for you. Thank you, Michael K, thank you, thank you, thank you. Much love, and bye-bye! (Blows Miss Piggy-sized kiss to you all).

Twitter: @allisonmdavey
Instagram: @itsbirtneybitch
TikTok: @itsbirtneybitch

Pic: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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