If there’s one thing to learn from this week’s episode of “Call Her Daddy,” it’s that father definitely knows best.
Alexandra Cooper released the first episode of her Barstool Sports podcast Tuesday without her former co-host Sofia Franklyn. In the world’s number one podcast episode the day of its release, titled “The Funeral,” Cooper discussed the future of the show in light of Franklyn’s departure and Cooper’s emergence as a “single father.”
Prior to this episode, the show took an almost two-month hiatus amid contract negotiations until Cooper and Barstool President Dave Portnoy struck a deal without Franklyn. The drama surrounding the three has grown clearer as Cooper and Portnoy have used their Barstool platform to explain their side and point fingers at Franklyn’s boyfriend, HBO Sports Executive Peter Nelson.
Nelson encouraged Franklyn and Cooper to leave Barstool while they were only halfway through their contract, Cooper said in a Youtube video, and he helped them try to cut a deal with another company. In typical Barstool fashion, Cooper withheld none of her opinion. Nelson, or “suitman” as she has referred to him on air for months, was pulling the strings for his own financial gain. Ever since the release of the video, fans have been waiting to see what the podcast would look like with only one of the founding hosts.
Cooper’s intention for the show is conveyed in the title of the episode: the old “Call Her Daddy” is dead. The pressure is off for egregiously kinky content. In the new era of single fatherhood, Cooper said, the show will be a space to discuss whatever her and her audience known as “the daddy gang” want.
“Maybe this is a blessing. Maybe I can actually finally merge my entire life into this show and not just keep it so sexualized,” Cooper said.
But don’t worry, sex talk will still be a large part. It just won’t be the only part. The pressure to create the wildest, most unprecedentedly explicit content each week took some of the integrity out of the show prior to the split, Cooper said.
“It seems like I’m going through a divorce…You just lost your best friend. The whole show is different.”
Going forward, Cooper asked members of the daddy gang to submit videos telling their craziest stories so she can ask at least one fan to appear on the show each week, promoting the “we’re all in this together” attitude.
“I’m here and I’m using this platform for myself and others to build friendships, not tear them down,” she said.
This invitation extends throughout the company, too. Cooper and Franklyn were notorious for not engaging with others in the Barstool office, but that’s about to change. The perceived stuck-up attitude was brand-building for the old show, Cooper said, and she apologized to everyone at the office. Barstool fans should soon expect to hear and see Cooper on other podcasts and videos outside of her own.
It’s important to note that the show was consistently number two on the iTunes charts behind The Joe Rogan Experience. It wasn’t until the recent episodes concerning the drama around the show that the show took the top spot.
While fans have rallied around Cooper, many have also disavowed Franklyn through malicious social media posts and comments. Cooper addressed these actions with a point-blank message condemning bullying and the tendency of social media users to “cancel” anyone who makes a mistake.
“I don’t support cancel culture. None of us should. We don’t need to agree with Sofia and her decisions, but we absolutely don’t need to be bullying her,” Cooper said.
When having to move out of the apartment to leave your roommate, continue a job without your business partner, and go on without your best friend, many tend to dwell on the negative and resort to inappropriate gossip and slander. And Cooper was certainly in the position to do both. She chose, however, to channel her energy into making the show better and more genuine.
The daddy gang largely includes young men and women looking for entertainment and advice, and Cooper offered a lot in this episode. Trying to navigate her professional career and personal life all in the public eye is no easy task. Her account of losing a best friend and colleague to her significant other is a situation many can relate to.
The ratings and social media response indicate continued success for the show and the community of fans. The daddy gang have flocked to support Cooper and the show despite the changes. In addition to her bold personality and raunchy tales, it’s Cooper’s honesty with her listeners and dedication to the show that created her loyal fan base.
This newfound authenticity and community might be the trick to keeping the podcast number one.