Twitch Streamer Dr DisRespect Is More Than Just A Mullet And A Moustache

drdisrespect
Dr DisRespect in his natural habitat, streaming. @DrDisRespect / Twitter

Guy Beahm is an entrepreneur, a performer and a back-to-back world champion in NBA Jam. The mind behind Dr DisRespect, one of the fastest-growing channels on streaming site Twitch, the Doc has had 37 million channel views and between 20,000 and 40,000 viewers nightly, playing games like H1Z1, Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. These battle royale titles feature dozens of players jumping from planes onto an island littered with guns, cars and ammo but only one can be the victor. They are violent, tense and amazing to watch, a virtual Hunger Games with bragging rights on the line.  

Dr DisRespect is a character, an international video game superstar and self-declared 1993 and 1994 Blockbuster video game champion -- even though Beahm was never there. He’s “the most dominant, most decorated online multiplayer gaming specimen to date,” Beahm told Newsweek at TwitchCon 2017. This facade, created almost a decade ago in grainy YouTube videos about Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, has evolved into something bigger than Beahm could have ever imagined.

Before Dr DisRespect starts streaming, he sits in front of a green screen wearing a greasy mullet wig and reflective sunglasses and gets into character. “You got to commit, you got to be all in,” Beahm said. “Once you step outside of the persona, the curtain’s down, there’s the wizard.” When he streams, he’s trying to exude confidence without traditional toxic gamer behavior.

Think of Dr DisRespect as a modern-day showman, the raw ego inside your head that’s not afraid tell it like it is. He’s a caricature of the overtly alpha-male bro who is the best at everything he tries. As a kid, Beahm loved the action stars of the 80s and 90s, like Jean-Claude Van Damme and Arnold Schwarzenegger, wrestlers like Hulk Hogan and “energized actors with facial expressions and motion” like Jim Carrey from In Living Colour. “I’m able to step into this generation and hold my own, gameplay wise, and then carry myself,” Beahm said.

Sometimes, DrDisRespect can step over the line. When streaming, it’s not uncommon to hear him trash-talk developers over bugs in their games. But the Doc doesn’t hold anything back. “Those developers may or may not like that persona because the doctor’s slamming them,” Beahm said. “I say ‘the connection’s terrible, this game’s awful.’ They might be taking a little heat but that’s just the persona, that’s the show.”

One of the many catchphrases of the Doc is “violence, speed, momentum,” which sort of popped out of his mouth organically. “I had gotten two or three quick kills and I was feeling good and I just screamed ‘Violence, Speed, Momentum’ and the community picked it up,” Beahm said. “It transcended to something I said on stream in response to a situation to a life motto, that you should approach life hard, quick and don’t let anyone stop your momentum.”  

Unlike many streamers, who are fairly young and new to the working world, Beahm treats playing video games in front of a camera like a proper job. He can turn off the persona like a light switch, seamlessly transitioning from hyper-aggressive showboat to family man.

“I go on stream, put everything on and don’t know what I’m going to do for the day,” Beahm said. “Then I press start and boom, I transform. Who knows what we’re doing or what we’re playing today, all I know is that I’m feeling good. You ride that wave and once the stream stops, boom, everything comes off, I go downstairs, there’s my wife and my three-year-old, and we’re watching TV, eating dinner, going to the swimming pool or just having a good time.”

Aiming to appeal to a wide demographic that includes moms, their three-year-olds and corporate sponsors can be hard, but so far Dr DisRespect has managed to strike a winning balance. “One of the things I pride myself on is that I don’t cuss,” Beahm said. “It’s extremely rare, but when I do it kind of adds to the character.”

With a family to support, Beahm is constantly thinking about the growth of his channel, even though he’s already on top. “From an entrepreneur who wants to get bigger and have a ‘take it to the next level’ mentality, I’m shocked that it’s not growing enough,“ Beahm said. “I’m just a guy that wants to entertain.”

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