We can laugh — but we should also recognize that Americans have a soft spot for our troublemakers and scamps who are, as Waylon Jennings sang of Bo and Luke Duke, “good ole boys, never meaning no harm.”
Start with YouTube, which is crammed with fellows in their 30s and 40s who have declined to put away childish things and have instead made their fortunes by singing love songs to their pillows or performing trick basketball shots. Millions of subscribers watch Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, both 39, eat bugs or play “Will It Taco” with pine needles. Colin Furze, a 37-year-old inventor, with his 360-degree swing and his wearable Wolverine claws, is also huge.
On radio and TV, 42-year-old Ryan Seacrest and 45-year-old Chris Hardwick have ridden boyish charm into lucrative ubiquity, with each man hosting multiple television shows and, in Mr. Seacrest’s case, a popular drive-time radio show.