JD Renes

NYLON Nineteen

Let ‘Try Guy’ Zach Kornfeld Sing Rihanna Karaoke With Vin Diesel

The Try Guys star tries the NYLON 19 — see what we did there?

Zach Kornfeld loves family. There’s his biological family, his Try Guys family, but most importantly, his familia — the fellow die-hard fans of the Fast & Furious film franchise. Kornfeld has been devoted to the high-octane and completely absurd films for years. “I brought print outs of my Fast & Furious drinking game to the movie theater and handed them out in, what? 2011?” he explains during a Zoom call with NYLON. “I've been riding hard for this for a long time.” (Good luck getting your hands on the aforementioned drinking game rules; Kornfeld refuses to share it with the world anymore due to its “reckless and irresponsible” nature.)

Kornfeld, along with his fellow Try Guys Eugene Lee Yang, Ned Fulmer, and Keith Habersberger, leveraged their Buzzfeed franchise of trying pretty much anything into an independent YouTube empire and beyond; the group has traveled across the world for a sold-out live show tour, written a self-improvement book, The Hidden Power of F*cking Up, shot a Food Network pilot, and became Olympians...kind of. The Try Guys collaborated with the Olympic games in a new series about normal people trying Olympic sports — it couldn’t be more their bread and butter if it tried.

“The series is essentially us, as normal people, teaming up with Olympic athletes to try extraordinary sports, and really in a classic Try Guys manner, show how exceptional people are by how mediocre we are,” explains Kornfeld.

What will The Try Guys try next? Maybe, for Kornfeld’s sake, it’ll be a drag racing lesson provided by Fast & Furious star, Vin Diesel. After all, anything’s possible with family.

1. What's your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?

I'm a Leo. I don't think much about astrology, but I do know that Leos are the best, and as someone who is the best, I'm super down with that. One thing people say about Leos is that they're just beautiful, charismatic, flawless, and enigmatic. I mean, check, check, check down the line.

2. Do you believe in ghosts (and have you ever seen one)?

I want to believe so bad. Well, I have a real story. One time, I had this really horrible rat infestation in my house. They shat everywhere. They wrecked everything. They were ruining my life for, like, a full month. They went into my closet and they tore everything to shreds except this one envelope that had my dead grandmother's dress in it, the dress that she wore to my parents' wedding. And it was literally this war zone around the dress, but the dress was immaculate. And so, I like to imagine that my grandmother's spirit lifted from the dress and beat the sh*t out of those rats.

3. What's your go-to drink order? (And if it's boozy, what's your go-to hangover cure?)

I'm just a sparkling water slut. I love those little bubbles. I don't drink alcohol, but there are a lot of weed sodas now. So, I love Cann, they're delicious. And then, believe it or not, PBR makes what I think is the best weed soda on the market.

4. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?

Day one, we have Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana. She's putting on the wig. She's doing “The Best of Both Worlds.” She's doing both Hannah and Miley songs, and she's going back and forth in-between. They never appear on stage at the same time. The audience is wowed. Day two, it’s Vin Diesel singing Rihanna Karaoke. And then, day three, I would go with Sufjan Stevens because there's not enough in writing and on record about how much of a Sufjan Stan I am, and I want that to be immortalized.

5. What's the weirdest snack you make?

I will take a date, and I will rip it in half, and then I'll put almonds in it, almost like the back of a stegosaurus and make it look like a little dinosaur, and then I'll eat it one vertebrae at a time.

6. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?

People think this is weird because my job is the internet, but I'm really trying to separate myself from my phone habits. When I wake up, I just one-eye squint, scroll through Twitter for about 10 or 15 minutes. And so, I actually bought an old alarm clock so that so that I can rewire my mornings and not be on my phone so much. Now, for 10 minutes every morning, I sit with a notebook and I just free-associate write. I'm just trying to free my brain from the prison of the internet.

7. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?

I was watching a lot of the reviews of the new iCarly reboot. I never watched the show when it was on TV, and I have not watched this one, but I was just very curious about it. I know a lot of smart people writing for the show, so I'm like, "What's going on with iCarly? How are we doing?"

8. Describe your worst date in three words?

Probably my fault.

9. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?

I think that we deserve the chance to remake Smash Mouth's “All-Star” music video. No hate to the original, but it was made for the movie Mystery Men. People don't know that. The music video has Ben Stiller and Janeane Garofalo in it. Again, big fans. Love the movie. But, I feel like “All-Star” has become so much more. It's the song of a generation, not to mention the importance in Shrek lore. So, I think we deserve a chance to remake that music video, and I think someday I would like to do a Kickstarter and have the opportunity to be at the helm.

10. What was the last DM you received?

I invited Lana Condor to my birthday, but she can't come.

11. What was your first concert and what are your memories of it?

My first concert was Billy Joel and Elton John. I remember trying grape soda for the first time and flipping out because why was the world keeping that from me? And I fell asleep while Elton was singing, “Can You Feel The Love Tonight.”

12. What was your favorite movie as a kid?

Mary-Kate and Ashley's It Takes Two. I watched that VHS so much that I burned a hole in it from rewinding it at a certain part because I loved the joke so much. And I, to this day, will throw hands at anyone who tries to tell me that Lindsey Lohan's Parent Trap is better. They're wrong. You're wrong. I'm sorry. Mary-Kate and Ashley did it first. They did it better. In college, I bought 10 Mary-Kate and Ashley VHS tapes for $12 on eBay, and when I moved to L.A., I threw a going away party and I bestowed one Mary-Kate and Ashley tape to each of my friends based on their personalities.

13. What was your teenage AIM screen name? What lyrics would make up your AIM away message today?

It was Korndiddy! It's the same f*cking thing. My username has not changed since I was maybe 12 years old, and I keep waiting for someone to call it out, or for someone to tell me it's stupid, but everyone just keeps embracing it. And I'm like, "Guys, okay, I guess I won't change it." My favorite lyric has always been "Oh, I wish I had a suntan / I wish I had a pizza and a bottle of wine," from “Lust for Life” by Girls. The irony there is that I'm allergic to dairy, don't drink, and am hopelessly pale.

14. What's your favorite meme right now and why?

There is this TikTok trend with Vin Diesel and family that is so funny, where it starts with this very intense song. It's the theme song from Loki, and it's someone in a pickle. It'll always be like, "Sir, do you know why I'm pulling you over? You were speeding." And then, the guy goes, "I'm so sorry. I was just trying to get home to my family." And then the music changes to Fast & Furious, and all of a sudden the person has Vin Diesel's head and goes, "Did you say family? Nothing's more important than family. You're free to go." It's funny every single time.

15. What's your favorite red carpet look worn by someone else?

Honestly, whatever Timmy Chalamet is rocking, I'm down for. Just put that noodle man's wardrobe on me and call it on a day. I'd be thrilled.

16. What is one thing everybody should buy that's under $10?

We bought a plant thirstometer. It's a thermometer that you put into the soil of your plants and it tells you if they're thirsty or over-watered, and it helps you keep your plants alive. Game-changer.

17. What piece of clothing from high school do you wish you kept?

I am so mad at all of the things I got rid of. Honestly, it's not the clothes from high school, it's the clothes from elementary school. Everything that I, at one point in my life, got too embarrassed to wear is the height of fashion now. I remember specifically I had this Tasmanian Devil sweater that was so fly, and at one point, I'm like, "Cartoons are for babies!" And I got rid of it, and what a fool. That said, I did have a Frankie Jonas shirt in high school that I got at the Jonas Brothers tour, and I do regret getting rid of that.

18. What reality show would you like to appear on most?

I would love to be on Too Hot to Handle because it's really not that hard for me to go 30 days without hooking up with someone. I went almost 30 years. That's just my early 20s right there. I'd crush that show. You know what, actually? I would like to be on Bad Girls Club. I feel like we would get along. I think they would like me. I think that they would adopt me. It'd be, like, a sexy thing, but it'd be cool.

19. What is your best beauty tip or trick?

Always show a little ankle. Nothing more needs to be said.