Over the weekend, Chet Hanks – current actor, former rapper, and 30-year-old son of actor Tom Hanks – debuted a concept called “White Boy Summer.”
On Friday night, Chet went viral when he said he felt that a “white boy summer” was coming.
So what exactly is a “white boy summer?” Is it bad? Like.. really bad? It sounds bad. Makes a person cringe when you hear it or say it. But it’s not bad! At least, it’s not yet. As a philosophy, it seems innocent and pure at the moment, albeit very goofy sounding.
So.. Is it good? Is it a “depends on who you ask” kind of thing?
Like much of the Internet, I spent most of the weekend cackling about Chet Hanks waxing poetic on the concept. White Boy Summer, according to Chet, is not something toxic or political. It’s not a culture war platform.
I’m not talking about Trump, Nascar type white boy summer, I’m talking about me, Jon B, Jack Harlow type white boy summer.
Really, White Boy Summer was a weekend-long rant / bit about men’s fashion and ‘fits for summer 2021 – A diatribe on what’s cool vs. what’s whack.
I hate even calling it a bit because that implies it’s contrived or performative or insincere.
It’s completely sincere.
White Boy Summer has also evolved into a Tao. I’m calling it the Tao of Chet Hanks – Chet’s observations on the deep cultural divisions of the moment, along with some thoughtful – if not downright inspiring – universal principles about being a decent human being.
So.. What is “White Boy Summer”?
It’s a mystique that’s been meme-ified.
Which makes it hard to explain, let’s start with what it’s not.
It’s not politically motivated. It’s a concept Chet Hanks made up. It’s meant to be fun and celebrated without a heavy lean into personhood or identity.
Don’t read too far into it.
If you’re just catching up, you kinda have to be in on the joke at this point.
But who is Chet Hanks? As mentioned above, he’s Tom Hanks youngest son and quite the Internet legend around here, going viral about ten years ago while testing the waters on a rap career – stage name, Chet Haze – while attending Northwestern University.
Let’s not forget 2011 Chet Hanks, rapping about Northwestern University pic.twitter.com/XakSSeQAfZ
— Ellen Degenerate (@priuscoven) March 28, 2021
There are many smug, ivory tower Chet haters out there who don’t get his energy. I get that. He’s a complicated onion if you aren’t familiar with the Chet Hanks internet canon.
On social media, Chet isn’t a comedian nor someone defined by his career in Hollywood or famous parents – just a funny human being trying to get through life like the rest of us. I’ve always considered the guy somewhat fam, as much as anyone who crosses orbit into the BroBible world is fam.
Here’s a dumb and obnoxious namedrop / brag on my part, in the interest of full disclosure. Don’t tweet me that it’s annoying, I know that it is. I hate myself for it.
We hung out in New York a couple times when he was promoting his rap career, back in the days when BroBible dabbled in being a music blog. I enjoyed our conversations, mostly about music and Internet culture of the moment. We smoked a blunt out of a window in our old office on a Friday night.
Since graduating from Northwestern, Chet’s lived a life balancing his acting career and personal growth like all of us millennials. He’s had some pretty notable appearances as an actor, if you weren’t paying attention: Project X, Fantastic Four, a wonderful role in Maron as a lovable goof in rehab that mirrors his own story about getting sober, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Shameless, Empire, and Your Honor.
In a world full of social media showboats and “stick-to-the-narrative” clout chasing, Chet is a truly unique character in culture that’s become so sterile and mayonnaise-y and, frankly, boring.
See – there’s such a dance around being a careerist on social media these days. The sense of fun and rowdiness from the platforms is long gone. Few dance the line of being charismatic and endearing while also being slightly unhinged, in a completely non-toxic, innocent way.
Chet, however, does. And he’s unabashedly owning it.
I think it’s nice to have a somewhat public figure like Chet just vibin’ with something to say for all the world to see.
White Boy Summer Rules
White Boy Summer comes with a unique set of “rules and regs” for proper swagger.
Really, Chet is pioneering a positive attitude-forward platform that trashes dusty cliches for Nantucket-types and focused on what’s chill. It’s the anti-frat, the anti-hive mind. It’s a lifestyle or vibe, if you will, that’s respectfully “on point.”
On Saturday, Chet started dictating the rules for a White Boy Summer. We captured some of them on Saturday night, but the list kept growing.
Here it goes:
-No plaid shirts,” because the bros “can’t be looking like a picnic table out here”
No plaid shirts, can’t be looking like a picnic table, just leave that shit at home, the Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren…just put on a black tee, white tee just keep it simple
-No Sperry top-siders
No Sperry-Topsiders, that’s not the type of white boys we’re talking about. Get yourself some Vans, some Chucks, and some Jordans.
-No calling girls ‘smokeshows’
No calling girls smokeshows, that term is played out dude, you can’t see a hot chick and call her a smoke, that’s over with.
-Anything salmon-colored … burn that shit.”
Anything salmon-colored in your wardrobe, burn it, burn that shit. Don’t’ ever wear it again.
-“Backwards hats are good”
“Someone put forth a proposition that we ban all backwards hats. I shut that shit down real quick. Backwards hats are, and will remain, good.”
-“Dad hats are iffy.”
“What is very, very iffy, what I’m getting very close to banning is all Dad Hats; but, there are exceptions. If an individual has a clean fade, he may rock a Dad Hat, preferably backwards, because if you rock a Dad Hat forwards, you’re really starting to boarder on Not WBS.”
“If you want to rock a Dad Hat, do the work and find a good barber.”
-“Respect personal space at parties, especially while drunk”
“This is really, really important guys. As we get closer to summer and it gets… hotter out and there’s pool parties and barbecues: white boys, it is Not WBS to get all drunk and sweaty, you know sunburn in your face, booze breathe, and going up to people you barely f—king know and getting all in there personal space, okay. Doesn’t matter if it’s a dude that you think is now your best friend, or a girl that you’re trying to hit on. It’s not WBS to be going up to people with our booze breathe (inaudible) all breathing on them and shit and treating people like they’re our closest friends and family when we’ve only known them for five minutes. We gotta stop that shit guys, we gotta do better!”
–“Flip Flops are good, especially if they’re the Gucci ones. Rock them with some socks… whatever – some sweatpants.”
“No Rainbow or Reef flip flops, especially those ones with the bottle opener. We all have that friend who wears those with everything – night time, day time. Get a different thing for your foot. Stop talking around with your toes out.”
-“Birkenstocks are banned. Not kosher”
-No more Busch Light or Natty Ice for “for all kickbacks, pregames, ragers.”
Those cheap ass plastic flimsy bottles of… god knows what vodka. Spend the extra dollar and get the name brand, like Bud Light, don’t get Busch. And get a f—king bottle of Stoli, you know what I mean. Of Svedka. You can get a f—king Svedka, at least than those little plastic ass, disgusting f—king… off-brand vodka and shit. They should be cleaning f—king jet engines with that shit, or something, ya know, like not f—king disinfecting like urinals, dude. Not f—king drinking it, come on guys, we gotta elevate, we gotta do better. It’s time to f—king elevate this WBS.”
-“Novelty sunglasses… banned.”
“Country music is most definitely WBS!!!”
And this is where Chet’s thesis on White Boy Summer gets hella deep:
Listening to country music doesn’t make you an ignorant racist piece of shit. Being an ignorant racist piece of shit makes you an ignorant racist piece of shit. What I’m saying, guys, is that you don’t have to be one way or another. Shit doesn’t have to be so night and day. There are many shades of gray in this life and there’s nothing wrong with country music. Being patriotic and being American, in my opinion, is just about being a cool motherf*cker and not giving anyone any ill-will. Having nothing but love for everyone from all different walks of life.
See like… this is a huge problem with our culture today. Shit is so binary, people feel like they have to choose one extreme or the other. You can’t just be a fully multi-faceted, well-integrated many-layered individual, which is really what we all are at heart. It’s more simple to just choose one extreme and commit to it. Because everyone is so at each others throats. There’s not much room to be a many-layered individual, which is what we all are, so…
People just have to stop thinking in such binary ways.
-No ill-will towards anyone (straight vibin’)
“Having any ill will towards anybody once so ever that’s different from you, that’s not WBS, dude. That’s the shit we gotta elevate, and.. you know, get rid of, you know straight up, because, you know the real vibes is having nothing but good vibes towards everybody, you know what I mean. That means everybody, when I say everybody I mean everybody. That’s WBS. “Keep that shit player, dude, and don’t get caught up in the bullshit, you know what I mean? Just stay suck-a-duckin’ and dummy-dodgin’ at all times.”
Watch the rant here.
This is the Tao of Chet Hanks:
A just like that, Chet just summed up this moment it in a way no other blue checkmark comedian or podcaster or journalist ever could.
Tao of Chet Hanks, a gospel about style, inclusivity, and respect Easter egged into a weekend-long bit about White Boy Summer.
Chet Hanks is leading the revolution
— dr. professor tan 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@thefiascoo) March 29, 2021
I lost it when Chet Hanks said "it's time for us to evolve from a pikachu to a raichu" he's gonna bring white boys out of the dark ages
— Jake 🐻 (@JaketheBearr) March 28, 2021
Dude there is crazy ass white boy energy going around right now. Watch out for your loved ones. Chet Hanks is leading the pack
— Beth (@Bethie727) March 27, 2021
somebody plug me in with chet hanks
— vice president of white boy summer movement (@callmeshitto) March 28, 2021
Chet Hanks declaring a White Boy Summer has given them strange powers beyond our comprehension. A moonwalk like that on concrete is just absurd https://t.co/kOjyKWMD5b
— k (@kxsmo) March 28, 2021
In my personal opinion, this type of white boy style is the biggest eye sore, yet somehow they’re everywhere. So I fully support any effort to dismantle the Vineyard Vines Industrial Complex even if it means backing Chet Hanks 🤢 pic.twitter.com/IUXPLzTGHO
— Emma🇦🇷 (@hermosavidaemma) March 29, 2021
Whatever White Boy Summer is, it’s only getting started.
Dude is just livin’ while belting out the Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” karaoke-style.
This video pushed me over the edge into Chet Hanks Apologist territory pic.twitter.com/7wtgYAcX9H
— isa (@butch__queen) March 27, 2021
Between the pandemic ending and everyone coming out of hibernation a big ole party during the best months of the year, Chet is on to something here.
You can feel the energy in the air. Summer 2021 is going to be something else.