Hug Me Brotha: A Very Necessary Timeline of Drake and Josh's Bromance
There’s been Lauren and Hardy, Cheech and Chong, Key and Peele, and even Amy and Tina, but to millennials, the quintessential comedy duo has always been Drake and Josh. *cue super catchy theme song* Josh Peck and Drake Bell secured their spot as Nickelodeon royalty when they stared in the hit show Drake and Josh, and became America’s favorite step brothers. But hearts broke weeks ago when it was revealed that the actors were no longer on speaking terms. Since nostalgia is the best medicine, here’s a timeline of all the good times.
2000 – 2004: The Amanda Show
Drake and Josh began their comedy bromance as cast members on the popular Nickelodeon sketch show The Amanda Show, which starred Amanda Bynes. Even though this was a children’s show, it used some SNL-level satire, and was actually pretty funny. In fact, Drake and Josh notably played Tony Pajamas and Paulie respectively, a Sopranos-style Italian gangster and his dim witted lackey. Drake as Tony would always insist his name was pronounced “Paj-JAH-mas” not “pa-JAM-as” and would say things like “fugetaboutit” before smacking Josh's Paulie around for saying something hilariously stupid. What can I say? It was the early 2000s, and this was the closest to The Godfather that I could handle.
2004 – 2006: The Birth of Drake and Josh
It must’ve been clear to Nickelodeon that they had stars on their hands, because when The Amanda Show ended, the producers almost immediately created Drake and Josh as a spinoff. In the show, they played teenagers whose parents get married, suddenly making them step brothers forced to share the same ridiculously nice and spacious bedroom. Drake played the cool musician whose guitar skills and bowl cut made girls flock to him for some reason, and Josh played the chubby, lovable nerd who had a weird obsession with Oprah. (Don’t we all though?) But the show's Drake and Josh somehow managed to be the best of friends, even coining the phrase “hug me brotha!” Interestingly though, the dynamic between the two characters on the show wasn’t that different from that of Tony Pa-JAH-mas and Paulie. Although Josh was the smarter one, Drake was the dominate one in the duo and the clear star. He even sang the theme song and had his name first in the title.
2006 - 2007: The Musical Slim Thick Years
In season 4 of Drake and Josh, Josh was noticeably thinner. He said in interviews that he made a conscious effort to lose weight and get healthy so he could live a happier life. On the show, it seemed like his character was happier too. Josh starts dating his former rival Mindy, and finally has a loving (but weird) relationship. He even got to meet Oprah! (He ran her over with his car.) Meanwhile, the real-life Drake was building a successful musical career outside of the show, releasing a solo album that charted on Billboard’s Hot 100 and had lots of airplay on Radio Disney. (Remember when Radio Disney was a thing?) By the time Drake and Josh ended, the two were both stars with individually bright futures.
2008 – 2015: Life After Nickelodeon
After Drake and Josh went off the air, Drake and Josh had very different careers. Drake continued to have a successful music career, and also stayed close to Nickelodeon. He sang the extremely catchy theme song to long running Drake and Josh spinoff iCarly and played a weird man child in the live-action Fairly OddParents movies. Josh, on the other hand, garnered more adult roles in movies like Red Dawn and The Wedding Ringer. The two stars were also ever-present on the internet, with Drake have a random Twitter feud with Justin Beiber. (Actually it was mostly Drake versus Justin Beiber’s fans who threatened to kill him for making fun of their idol — typical.) Josh would become a popular Vine and YouTube star, officially making him one of those extremely attractive but somehow relatable and funny people on the internet. I don’t think I’ve stressed enough that Josh is really hot now... because he is. But with all of this, Drake and Josh weren’t seen together at all, making us wonder if they were still pals. Soon enough, we got out unfortunate answer.
2015 – 2017: The Fallout
In 2015, Josh starred in the Fox comedy Grandfathered with the also still very hot John Stamos. The show only lasted one season, but fostered a very cute friendship between Josh and John — it has a ring to it, doesn’t it? However, even though Drake guest starred in an episode of the show, it didn’t mean he was also on the up and up with Josh. When Josh got married in June, even though Stamos was there, Drake was not. We sadly learned that it wasn’t a scheduling conflict, because Drake tweeted the next day that he wasn’t even aware of the wedding and certainly wasn’t invited. How do you do a brother like that? To make matters worse, when asked about it by the media, Josh simply said that he didn’t even know what Drake was up to. I think that’s the moment when our hearts broke. They weren’t even feuding, they just weren’t acknowledging each other anymore. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but a part of me died hearing that, and I’m sure others felt the same heartache. They were a duo so many grew up watching. If they weren’t friends anymore, what even is friendship? p>
August 27, 2017: The Reunion
The VMAs are known to be iconic. Britney dances with a huge snake and kissed Madonna once, and Miley did unmentionable things with a foam finger onstage — the point is, they can get crazy. But who knew that they were powerful enough to bring our story to a delightful end? Josh attended the VMAs this year, and documented the whole experience for his new YouTube channel. It was there that he captured the beautiful moment when he unexpectedly ran into Drake and the two hugged it out. They didn’t say it aloud, but I’m sure they both yelled “hug me brotha!” in their heads. It was great because you could tell there were so hard feelings, simply two old friends who had drifted apart but were excited to start anew. It taught me that there must still be good in the world and hope for the future. After all, Drake and Josh had found a way (sorry, I had to).
Do you have any more fond Drake and Josh memories? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!