We meet the team behind Mack’s new venture Bunny Ears – a platform he describes as being as like ‘Goop meets the Onion’
The internet is a beautiful, brutal, toxic place, right? An infinitely expanding arena of endless possibility that’s simultaneously a maelstrom of mindless madness, a cacophony of ill-considered opinion.
What the internet has a lot of is celeb-obsessed lifestyle sites, with advice on how to get thin, or how to get fat, or gossip features masquerading as concern for its subject, i.e *insert name of famous woman* has been dumped AGAIN and we are all just so here for her.
One person who knows something about celebrity and its trappings is Macaulay Culkin, the star of Home Alone, My Girl and Richie Rich who quit acting in 1994 at the peak of his fame as a young kid, making a return in 2003 for the seminal club kid movie Party Monster.
After a stint playing in a pizza-themed Velvet Underground covers band between 2013 and 2014, Mack is back, now with a new podcast and website called Bunny Ears – a site he described on Fallon as being like “Goop meets The Onion”.
The website is a genuinely beautiful and funny send up of lifestyle sites, with Mack unafraid to get self-referential without becoming self-indulgent – a prime example being the must-read feature where he interviews the swarm of bees from My Girl. Other highlights include Interior Design For The Cripplingly Depressed and Keeping The Spark Of Psychological Warfare Alive In Your Long Term Celebrity Relationship.
To find out more about Bunny Ears, we caught up with Mack and his editor for Shawn DePasquale for the lowdown on their new satirical publishing platform.
Why launch Bunny Ears now? It’s tough out there in digital publishing; why do you feel the world needs Bunny Ears?
Shawn: The world needs to laugh now more than ever before. I think as a satire site that’s our foremost goal. Yes, digital publishing is tough right now, but we did notice that there’s a hole to be filled in the satire genre. That’s why we wanted to approach this as a skewering of celebrity-driven lifestyle brands.
Mack: “Need” is such a loaded word. What do we really need? I “need” food. I “need” water. Nobody “needs” us. There’s a hole in the ‘celebrity lifestyle’ articles market, and we’re filling it with fun, unique satire. Long story short: Buy low, sell high.
What does Bunny Ears stand for?
Shawn: The ears themselves are just that. Mack wears bunny ears a lot in his personal life so it was an easy visual to pick up on and run with. As a company I would say that Bunny Ears aims to keep you entertained by any means necessary.
Mack: They’re auditory receptacles; they’re large ears. Open up your earballs.
What are your favourite and least favourite websites and why?
Shawn: I love Clickhole so much. There’s a manic irreverence there that is just deliciously entertaining. I’m also a big fan of Cracked. My least favourite website is probably any place that hides all their content behind a paywall. I get that folks need to get paid (we too need to make money) but there has got to be a better way than locking out the casual fan.
Mack: Wait, was that a pop-up?
Shawn, you’re the editor, but how hands on is Mack as a publisher? Is he demanding?
Mack: I demand hands; lots of “hands on.”
Shawn: Mack is actually the best boss I’ve ever had. He’s encouraging and supportive in all the right ways. He’s very hands-on with the day-to-day work around the site. Many of the article ideas/title came directly from him as well.
I loved the article about not being invited to the Oscars and also Mack interviewing the bees from My Girl. Which is your favourite Bunny Ears piece and why?
Shawn: I wrote the bees article so thank you for that! I really don’t know if I can pick a favourite because all our writers are the most talented people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and they consistently surprise me by knocking it out of the park with every piece they turn in. I will say that my favorite changes almost daily. Right now I’m really feeling ‘Best Jade Eggs To Summon A Sex Demon’ and ‘This Fall’s Must Have’s According To Pumpkin Spice Tea Leaves.’
Mack: Asking me which article is my favourite is like asking me which of my children I love the most… That said I love the horoscopes, ‘The Beginner’s Guide to Regretting Buying That Turtle’, and ‘The Beginner’s Guide To Faking Your Own Death’. They’re humorous yet informational, and that’s what Bunnyears.com is all about.
Are you going to pivot to video?
Shawn: Yes. It’s a natural progression for starting a new media company I think. We already have a couple of videos up on our YouTube page, but you can expect that number to grow by a lot before the end of the summer.
Mack: Absolutely. We already have one, as Shawn said. It’s growing. Like an acorn into an mighty oak, it’s something to behold.
“The internet can be as wonderful or as awful as you allow it. We’re looking to contribute to the positive side of the internet” – Shawn DePasquale
Bunny Ears is described as a gentle internet hug. Do you think we need more of those online?
Shawn: The internet can be as wonderful or as awful as you allow it. We’re looking to contribute to the positive side of the internet. We want to be one of those sites that puts out content that reminds people, "Oh shit. The internet is fucked up and weird as hell, but I love it."
Mack: Wait! The internet can be horrible?!?
How do I apply to work for Bunny Ears?
Mack: Are you good at writing? Are you funny? Then shoot us an email to the Yahoo address! Come at me, bro!
Shawn: MackNeedsWritersForHisWebsite@yahoo.com is still a working address and it does get checked regularly.
Am I actually talking to “Mack”? It feels like I am, but maybe you really are Shawn.
Shawn: You’re talking to us both, but also it is entirely possible you’ve just been talking to yourself.
Mack: Nah, this is actually me. Shawn is the best, but this is Mack.