Below is from the TV series, The Good Place.

Michael: I've been working on my Western Hemisphere brunch banter.

That New Yorker article was crazy.

You haven't seen Hamilton?

Hey, did you hear about Stephanie?

Michael is a demon in a human body, now (pretending to be) trying to learn about human lives.

I think he said Western Hemisphere "brunch" banter because he could share those jokes about western culture over brunch table or something, and New Yorker is a newspaper and Hamilton is a musical(?) (Have I guessed right so far?)

But I'm not sure about what Stephanie is.

1 Answer 1


Yes, each of Micheal's lines is an example of something you might hear at an stereotypical upscale Western brunch. I'll explain each a bit more fully:

"New Yorker" is a weekly magazine (not a newspaper) known for its long-form, in-depth articles. It has a good reputation, but there is a well-known joke that everyone pretends to read all the long articles because they want to be known as smart, but few people actually do.

As you suggest, "Hamilton" is a popular Broadway musical. The joke here is that it is so popular that it is notoriously difficult to get tickets (they are regularly sold out a year in advance). So asking someone why they haven't seen it is a roundabout way of bragging that you have.

"Did you hear about Stephanie?", though, isn't a reference to any specific person named Stephanie; it's a joke about a common type of inter-personal gossip.

I can't confirm this, but it might even be a reference to a specific gossip-related meme, where the person who starts the rumor about Stephanie then has to feign surprise when a friend repeats it:

a picture of a squirrel looking surprised with the text "Did you hear about Stephanie? / Me:"

  • Thanks a lot for such detailed explanations ;) I would have given you 5 upvotes if i could
    – dbwlsld
    Apr 18, 2020 at 7:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .