The Untold Truth Of Bobbi Althoff

It took years for Joe Rogan to cultivate a mega audience for his podcast, while social media influencer Bobbi Althoff has managed to do so in a matter of months. Granted, Rogan rules the virtual mic-and-cam industry with a staggering 14.5 million followers,  compared to the 1.23 million YouTube minions who signed up for Althoff's show, "The Really Good Podcast," which launched in 2023. But her clout spikes when lumping her 3.2 million Instagram disciples with her 7.4 million TikTok followers, making her the video streaming world's "it girl." Currently, Althoff's riding a Warholian wave triggered by a tsunami in the form of hip-hop star Drake, with whom she shared a hotel bed for one of her podcasts. That, and interviews with folks like Mark Cuban and Shaquille O'Neal helped her show's rookie season harvest enough of a sensation to score an iHeart Podcast award for Best Emerging Podcast. 

That interview also spawned her share of detractors, who hinted at salacious speculation surrounding that exchange, while others deplored her deadpan, seemingly indifferent verbal cadence. "It's definitely hard having so many people have so many opinions about everything you do," Althoff shared with Rolling Stone. "I think a lot of people think I'm just this mean person who says mean things to people. That's why I'm trying to make sure people know there's a difference between the interviewer me, versus the real me." Even without pondering her persona in front of the mic, there's plenty of scuttlebutt surrounding Althoff to explore.

Bobbi Althoff's family apparently had a Snoop Dogg connection

Growing up in southern California, Bobbi Althoff said her family was hardly well-off, largely because of the gig irregularities that her father experienced as a handyman. But he scored one stint strictly by accident, when he was renovating a home next door to the legend, Snoop Dogg. When someone from his entourage asked Althoff's father to do some interior work in the celebrity's home, he accepted — and even took home a set of Dogg's doors originally relegated for scrap. "That was my claim to fame for so long, that we had Snoop Dogg's doors," recalled Althoff to Cosmopolitan. "When we got really poor, my dad would sell everything. There was a time when I'd come home and my bed frame would be gone because he needed money. Those doors, we never got rid of."

That anecdote might have given Althoff bragging rights at school, but the alternative media star revealed her antagonists to declare her father's brush with rap greatness was the sole reason her podcast succeeded. On the show itself, that door story ventured into uncomfortable territory, providing Funny Marco a chance to turn the interview around and interrogate Althoff about her family's history with destitution. "Why are we arguing about how poor I was?" lamented Althoff, getting lightly defensive on her show. On another episode of Althoff's podcast, Drake was amused by the anecdote, remarking, "That's a cool memento."

She's paid people for interview connections

Bobbi Althoff's baptism into social media seemed innocuous when the married mother of two decided to start a TikTok account to share her pregnancy experiences, launching with a video of her dancing and unconventionally eating a banana. She decided to cast her net wider when she started her show, "The Really Good Podcast," hoping to land some famous folks. "When I started my podcast in April, I wanted to do interviews with celebrities, but I didn't know how I was going to get there," she said to Cosmopolitan in 2023. "It was really hard to get guests, so I made a video on TikTok saying that I would give $300 to any person who successfully connected me to a celebrity for a podcast." Viewers of that posting gave her tips on some potential candidates, including comedian Rick Glassman and comedic interviewer Funny Marco.

Thanks to a legion of fans willing to help populate her itinerary, Althoff didn't really work that hard scrounging up personalities. Additionally, Althoff admits she doesn't prep for any of her interviews, simply letting the chips fall where they may. It's an approach many professionals in the entertainment industry hardly find endearing. "I would call her the queen of the fringe of cringe," said award-winning TV executive Vinnie Potestivo to Hollywood Reporter. Unfazed, Althoff said to Rolling Stone, "I think a lot of people didn't get that it was a bit, and I still think people don't."

Bobbi Althoff interviewed Drake in bed

Once her podcast started getting attention, Bobbi Althoff didn't have to search hard to find her next guest. Instead, the person who answers to Drake found Althoff, after watching her episode with Funny Marco, hitting the "Like" button, and following her. And so began the process of trying to land the star, who turned out to be her highest-profile subject to date. "I decided to just go for it and shoot my shot," recalled Althoff to Cosmopolitan. "I DMed Drake and asked if he wanted to be on my podcast, and he said yes." The rest was pure infamy.

Why she chose to physically get into bed to interview Drake is anyone's guess, although the overwhelming traffic to the video suggested Althoff chose her perch well. But the rest of the interview was hardly titillating, with Althoff asking Drake a series of arcane questions like whether he could buy a Lamborghini for her, and when he learned how to walk after being confined to a wheelchair (an allusion to the paraplegic character Drake played in the TV series "Degrassi: The Next Generation"). The episode was awkward, sometimes intense enough to hack with a katana, although some wags thought it helped Drake's profile. "Like, sure, Bobbi might have almost five million followers on TikTok but he's Drake, he doesn't have to get into bed, literally, with a TikTokker," noted gossipmonger Elaine "Lainey" Liu. "He does it because he knows what the benefit is TO HIM."

She deleted her famous Drake interview

Bobbi Althoff received a lot of backlash over the Drake interview, especially over her rather dismissive, oblivious demeanor, which irked entertainment pundits like music reporter Naima Cochrane. "The optics of it with Black men, especially, are rooted in the fact that she is a pretty white woman who is clueless about Black culture and hip-hop culture and doesn't care to be informed about Black culture and hip-hop culture," Cochrane lamented to Hollywood Reporter. "The entire humor of it is like, oh, this white girl doesn't care to be here. Why is that funny to us?" Drake, for his part, seemed far more amenable, even remaining friends with Althoff.

But that all changed a month later, when Althoff removed the interview from YouTube, while both personalities deleted each other as followers on social media. One clue, per USA Today, revealed a since-deleted Instagram post by Althoff looking bored at a Drake concert, captioned with, "Really in my element here @ this guys concert" the day before. Several months later, in March 2024, Althoff was reportedly kicked out of a Drake party at the SXSW conference in Austin. "I have no idea how she got in because she was not invited by organizers or hosts of the event," said one unidentified partygoer to Daily Mail. "If you look up the past history between her and Drake, it's easy to see why she wasn't invited — and why she was removed as soon as possible."

Bobbi Althoff has locked horns with guests

A typical Bobbi Althoff podcast episode might be disappointing to viewers expecting glib deliveries a la Howie Mandel on his show "Howie Mandel Does Stuff" or high-octane chatter by Russell Brand on his eponymous program. Instead, Althoff casts herself as a deadpan interviewer coming across as condescending to her guests, much like the comedian Zach Galifianakis on his podcast "Between Two Ferns."  The tactic seems to work since Althoff's show recently placed third in the top 5 in Spotify's comedy podcast rankings. 

But some celebs aren't crazy about her approach, such as rapper Offset who challenged her at one point. "This is my interview, it's not yours," said Althoff. "It's ours," responded Offset. "I'm allowing you to interview me. It's a partnership." In another episode, Rainn Wilson puts up with Althoff's nuances as the two paint portraits of each other, until he had enough, concluding with, "Please, God, make this stop." And in yet another installment, Michael Cera simply walked out.

To Althoff, those reactions come with the territory regarding her persona. "She says what she thinks and she doesn't care about what people think about her," Althoff remarked to Rolling Stone. "She leans into the things that people think are stupid about her. With guests, we see what happens. So if the guest is throwing punches, I can throw punches back. If they are super sweet and mellow, then it's like, I then feed off that energy. It's like improv."

She became the victim of a deepfake porn video

While Bobbi Althoff's podcast has delighted the Gen-Z set, her project has also attracted its share of haters, with several of them mercilessly skewering her on social media. Concerning those more malevolent detractors, Althoff said that she brushes them off in her brand of jocularity. "I just respond to people's assumptions with humor and lean into it," she said to Variety. "Make a joke out of it." But she found nothing funny about one AI-generated post, featuring a deep fake video of an unfettered Althoff in porn mode that somehow surfaced on X, which reportedly sports countermeasures to ensure such images don't appear on its platform. "I was like, 'What ... is this?'" Althoff commented in her own video on Instagram about the incident, per Washington Post. "I felt like it was a mistake or something ... I didn't realize that it was actually people believing that was me." 

Initially, Althoff thought she was trending on X on the strength of her podcasts, until her team uncovered the real truth. It took only hours for the video to hit 4.5 million views until it was removed. Another nude Althoff video stayed on for nearly a day, accumulating more than 5 million views before X took it down. By then Althoff had to step in, tweeting on X, per TMZ, "Hate to disappoint you all, but the reason I'm trending is 100% not me & is definitely AI-generated."

Bobbi Althoff's husband divorced her

Bobbi Althoff's reputation might have exploded with the success of "The Very Good Podcast," but it seems that fame's aftershocks had a detrimental effect on her family. In February, her husband, Cory Althoff, a software company vice president, filed for divorce from his wife, citing irreconcilable differences. The legal action ended four years of marriage, although it turned out the couple were separated as early as July 2023. "As most of you have heard, Cory and I have filed for divorce," said Althoff on her Instagram account. "As sad as I am right now, I am so thankful for the time I got to be his wife. Our girls are so lucky to have him as a father & I am so lucky to be able to coparent with such an incredible father and person. While our relationship did not work out as husband and wife, we will always be friends and I will always love him." 

The rumor mill connected the dots of the separation, which took place roughly the same time as Althoff's infamous interview with Drake. Althoff denied the rumor in a private DM with Barstool Sports head honcho Dave Portnoy, saying, "I am not commenting publicly, but off the record, you are right. That is not true." Regarding the reason for the split, TMZ sources revealed Cori Althoff felt that his wife's high-profile celeb status was disrupting the family's stability. Remarkably, the couple settled the divorce in two weeks.

She's been accused of copying one of her interview subjects

In her skyrocketing rise to podcast prominence, Bobbi Althoff has become a punching bag for backbiters declaring her an industry plant, and critics dismissing her amateurish hosting skills. Entertainment reporter Jemelle Hill was particularly critical of Althoff's celebrity rap episodes, lamenting on Instagram, "I don't find these types of interviews particularly enjoyable or interesting. Instead it just sadly points out how real hip-hop journalism has been practically erased." But antagonists also believe Althoff stole her interview style from Funny Marco, who made a living with his understated delivery. Althoff jokingly admitted as such to podcaster Keke Palmer, saying "I did, I'm so sorry, Marco, it's up." She later clarified that remark, adding, "The way I found Funny Marco is because someone commented on my page and was like, 'You have such a similar sense of humor to Funny Marco,' and I was like, 'Who's that?'"

For the most part, Funny Marco hadn't made a big deal over the issue, but addressed that alleged misappropriation when he had Althoff on his own "Open Thoughts" podcast. "I say to that, you took my stuff," the host shared. She responded coyly, "I honestly think that we are both doing the same thing a little different." Funny Marco agreed, "I just feel like you're being you, I'm being me."  Later, Althoff gifted the host with a huge wad of cash in a Wal-Mart bag as gratitude for helping to build her audience.

Bobbi Althoff helped create a viral fake story

Bobbi Althoff has done a few weird things on her podcast, such as interviewing billionaire Mark Cuban on an oily floor of a garage and telling NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal she didn't believe he ever played basketball. But one interview with Michael Cera snowballed into something bigger, when she asked him about a cosmetic line that contained all the letters of his last name. "Look in my eyes right now and tell me, did you or did you not create CeraVe?" she inquired. Looking flummoxed, Cera excused himself from the interview, saying, "I've got some things I want to rub on my arms," ending the session, leaving Althoff agape in astonishment.

The segment turned out to be orchestrated by CeraVe's parent company, L'Oreal, as part of a subversive marketing campaign. At an SXSW panel discussion in Austin, Althoff revealed that L'Oreal approached her with the promotional idea, but didn't check out the brief they sent. "Then I read the brief with my little sister, and said 'Oh my God, Lexi, did you know Michael Cera made CeraVe?'" recalled Althoff, per Deadline. "She was like 'I had no idea.' We aren't good at reading very well." The campaign went through another phase before culminating in a Super Bowl ad, satirically hyping Cera as CeraVe's creator. Having used CeraVe as a teen, it was a product Althoff could get behind. "It's easier to let viewers know when I'm not lying about something," she added.

She's battled a lifelong series of insecurities

Despite the breakup of Bobbi Althoff's marriage, it's unlikely that the high-profile podcaster is hurting financially. She's apparently worth $4 million, while her show, "The Really Good Podcaster," draws roughly 5% additional subscribers each month. What the show's done for her self-esteem is another matter entirely, given that Althoff has frequently revealed that she's lacked self-confidence as far as she can remember. "I've been so insecure my whole life," she said in Bustle. "My first memories that I have of being insecure are in elementary school. I have a video of me doing my sixth-grade speech, which was something I really wanted to do, but I'm stuttering over every word."

Since her podcast started, garnering a fan base in the millions might have done wonders for the ego, but the negative feedback from legacy and social media might have tempered that credence. After shooting 13 episodes in 2023 (including the deleted Drake installment), she took the rest of the year off to heal before launching a second series of interviews in January. "My mental health did struggle a lot in the last few months, but I feel like I'm at a good place right now," she said to Rolling Stone. "I got put on an anxiety medication and that single-handedly changed my life. I have never felt better and I think that's why taking such a break between creating a new season was so helpful for me."