It might be 2022, but it feels like 2017 again; the infamous feud between Drake Bell and Josh Peck appears to be escalating.
If you needed a quick refresher, the former Nickelodeon costars found themselves caught up in a public drama after Drake called Josh out online for not inviting him to his wedding.
For context, the two played fan-favorite stepbrothers in the sitcom Drake & Josh from 2004 to 2007, but they apparently lost touch over the years that followed. When Josh got married to Paige O’Brien Peck a decade after the show finished filming, he didn’t feel the need to invite his former costar.
Drake made this public knowledge at the time, hopping online to post — and quickly delete — a series of harsh tweets. “When you’re not invited to the wedding the message is clear…,” he wrote. “True colors have come out today. Message is loud and clear. Ties are officially cut. I’ll miss you brotha.”
A couple of months later, the two reunited at the Video Music Awards and seemingly reconciled their friendship. They went on to appear in several vlogs together, even partaking in scripted sketches that poked fun at their dispute.
But last week, Josh spoke out about the discord for the first time and made a bunch of claims about what actually went down between the two on the day of his wedding.
“So I didn’t invite [Drake] to my wedding ‘cause I hadn’t talked to him in many, many years,” Josh recalled on the BFFspodcast last Thursday.
“I knew that Drake and I didn’t stay in touch for the 10 years since we had made the show, but no one needed to know that,” he said. “Cut to, I’m getting married that night. And I see these text messages from him cursing me out, coming for me…on the night of my wedding.”
Recalling Drake’s infamous tweets, Josh said: “He takes to the internet and he starts writing these tweets that immediately catch fire. … So then he leans in and goes on this press tour about how heartbroken he is and creating this narrative that just wasn’t true.”
He continued, “I remember a month later ... I was at the Video Music Awards, and I see him there, and he sees me. I go up to him — and this might be the most Sopranos thing I've ever done — I look at him and I go, ‘Go apologize to my wife right now.’”
“And he goes, ‘OK’ and he made a beeline for my wife, and I see him do this whole five-minute performance of an apology. ... I was like, 'Go apologize to my wife or something bad’s gonna happen,’” Josh added.
Shortly afterward, Drake’s wife Janet Von Schmeling publicly refuted Josh’s claims, branding him a “fucking liar” in a quickly deleted Instagram story. She denied that Josh had ever threatened Drake, instead alleging that he’d “nicely” asked him to apologize.
And now, Drake has given his recollection of the night — as well as his opinion on Josh’s remarks — in a brand-new podcast.
Firstly, it’s important to note that in June 2021, Drake faced fierce criticism after pleading guilty to attempted endangerment of a child, and a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. He was sentenced to two years of probation, and has remained fairly quiet in the months since.
On Sunday, Drake revealed on Instagram that he and Janet launched their own podcast, titled Drake & Janet. A bunch of users immediately noted that the name, font, and logo were virtually identical to those of Drake & Josh, prompting speculation that the podcast would be full of further insight into the feud.
Well, not only does the description of the episode read “Drake spills the tea…,” but Josh's comments from the BFFs podcast are also featured in the first few seconds.
Janet firstly discusses her public reaction to Josh’s remarks. “Looking back on it now, obviously I’m more calm. I don’t know why it upset me so much,” she says, to which Drake responds, “‘cause you’re my wife.”
“I was there that day,” Janet recalls. “I saw [Josh] with his camera before he even came up to you. I whispered in your ear and said, ‘Josh is walking up, and he has a camera, and he is vlogging you. … And then Josh walks up shaking with his camera.’”
They then play the footage in question, which was uploaded to Josh’s YouTube channel as part of a vlog called “DRAKE AND JOSH REUNION.” In the short clip, Josh approaches Drake and seemingly catches him off guard. “Holy shit,” Drake says. “What’s up, buddy? Is this happening right now, live?”
Josh says to Drake, “Please tell Facebook to be nice to me” — referring to the onslaught of hate that he and Paige received after Drake publicly slammed him on Twitter. “Oh my god, it’s not even my fault,” Drake replies, before looking directly into the camera and telling fans to “chill out” and “lay off.”
Now recalling the day in more detail on their podcast, both Drake and Janet claim that the entire exchange was lighthearted — as opposed to how Josh described things last week.
Janet says: “We were all smiling, laughing, he did ask you to apologize — rightfully so,” to which Drake adds, “And I wanted to.”
Drake then claims Josh said to him: “Hey, man, you don’t need to say sorry to me, but I really need you to say sorry to Paige.”
“I was like, ‘Yeah, dude, absolutely. Like, I wanna say sorry to Paige,’” Drake recalls. “And that was it.”
Janet and Drake then claim that they exchanged numbers with Josh and Paige after the encounter, and that all four of them went on to hang out several times — contrary to Josh’s claim that they barely communicated after the VMAs.
“We’ve hung out many times,” Janet says, echoed by Drake. He adds, “That’s what bugged me about it. That [Josh] was like, ‘We weren’t friends, we didn’t hang out.’ … That’s not true.”
Drake also refutes Josh’s claim that he had sent him harsh messages on the night of his wedding. “How could I have texted him on the night of his wedding about his wedding when I didn’t know there was a wedding until the day after the wedding,” reads the onscreen text alongside screenshots showing that Drake’s tweets were posted on June 18, while Josh’s wedding took place on June 17.
Drake calls Josh out for saying that the texts came out of the blue and that the two hadn’t talked in years, instead claiming that they’d texted and hung out on several occasions.
“It was just strange,” Drake says. “I mean, look. I said some tarty things. But I was bummed, dude. … I was like, man, that sucks. Like, I wish I could have been there for you.”
“Josh and I have always had our ups and downs. … Maybe it’s just ‘cause we were kids and we had our own demons,” he continues. “We’ve had times when we’ve been friends, and we’ve had times where we’ve wanted to kill each other … but we were like brothers.”
Drake goes on to recall more details from his and Josh’s past, claiming that the two had once planned on creating an entire Drake & Josh reboot.
According to Drake & Janet, Josh had pitched a script for the show that was based on the stepbrothers all grown up and featured a bunch of ruder jokes. For example, Josh had apparently wanted to spin the show’s iconic “Hug me, brother” line to “Hug yourself, fuckhead” as part of a comedic new plot.
But as the couple read back on Josh’s alleged script, they reveal that much of the plot was centered around harmful Mexican stereotypes. Janet is from Paraguay, a country in South America. Meanwhile, Drake now infamously goes by the surname Campana across social media and made the switch to posting in Spanish last year.
“‘We’re in Mexico,’” Janet reads. “‘Drake performs at a quinceañera — a Latin celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. It’s not your typical quince. This newly 15-year-old Elena is the daughter of the biggest drug kingpin in Mexico’ … Really?”
She continues, “'Her father Enriqué — the head of the cartel — sits in the middle of the party at a table surrounded by guards and beautiful women. … Think Escobar, Chapo,’” she reads, with Drake groaning at the stereotypes around the drug business.
“‘Drake is onstage backed by a mariachi band,’” Janet reads. “‘People drink copious amounts of alcohol…and ingest other illicit substances.’” She later adds that they “go into a gun fight” and refuse to pay Drake — which, as she notes, is “another terrible stereotype.”
Drake says, “Right when I read [the script], I was like, 'Man, I can’t represent [Mexican people like that].'” He and Janet call Josh’s script “a direct insult” on all they’d built and cultivated living in Mexico over the years.
Janet then discloses that the “Mexico depiction was just the tip of the iceberg” and that there were apparently “so many other red flags” present in Josh’s script. She says that as Drake’s business partner, producer, and wife, she couldn’t “allow” him to partake in something that perpetuated such harmful stereotypes.
“I wasn’t gonna let you do that script,” she says, noting that their 9-month-old son is half Paraguayan and will speak Spanish when he’s older. “You weren’t gonna let yourself do it anyway,” she adds, to which Drake agrees.