Noisey Show

A Look Inside 'Nirvanna the Band the Show,' the New Show Not About Nirvana

We meet up with the pranksters behind the cult web series-turned-VICELAND show about two loser, wannabe musicians from Toronto.

by Kate Killet
Feb 2 2017, 7:47pm

Eight years ago, I fell in love with a web series. Nirvanna the Band the Show is about two Toronto goofs, Matt Johnson and Jay McCarrol, whose main aim in life is to get a show at the Rivoli. For non-Torontonians, the Rivoli is no CBGBs—but to Nirvanna the Band (yes, that's what the duo call themselves), the Rivoli is their ticket to stardom. The web series quickly became a cult hit, with many Torontonians wondering "are these guys for real?"

The answer to that question is complicated, as Johnson and McCarrol blur the lines between reality and fiction by playing characters with the same names who are essentially embellished versions of themselves—twisted, yet sympathetic. Johnson is loud, talkative, and rambunctious, like a kid who just ate too much candy and wants to build the best fort ever; McCarrol is imaginative and a little more quiet, but no less silly. Together, they cause trouble amidst real Torontonians going about their day, essentially seeing just how much they can get away with. Needless to say, hijinks ensue.

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