-Anahita Teresa Paul, I B.A. Visual Arts
Ah, YouTube. That complex, computerised, algorithmic system that knows me in more ways than anyone on Earth does To be fair YouTube has known me since I did pirouettes on my parents’ bedroom floor listening to Selena Gomez’s ‘Fly To Your Heart’ to my adolescent self crying at the computer desk because my life was nothing like Bethany Mota’s to discovering and being able to cover every single Pop Danthology mashup ever. YouTube’s also been a major source of entertainment during its life span, which makes sense considering it has a diverse range of content creators, so regardless of the person or how annoyingly erratic their mood swings are, there’s always something for somebody.
Comedy content creators or ‘C cube’ as I like to call them are quite possibly the most popular of the kind. Now, I haven’t watched Superwoman’s videos since I found them unfunny in 2015, same for Miranda Sings (I do watch almost every video Colleen Ballinger uploads now because I can’t resist babies) and two years ago I finally gave Ryan Higa a shot and I thought he was pretty funny, though I haven’t watched him recently. I’ve never watched a Liza Koshy or a Shane Dawson video so this isn’t going to be about them either. This is going to be about the relatively small group of YouTubers I find solace in when my daily doses of the three L’s- Lana, Lady and Lorde- drive me to points where I either want to smash something or smother my face in my pillow.
Benito Skinner: Like almost all nice things to happen to me, Benito Skinner’s videos popped into my feed in 2018. As someone who thinks she’s something of an acting critic- Mollywood has the best actors (not stars, actors) in Indian cinema, Charlie Chaplin is a legend because he didn’t need dumb words to tell us a story and Cate Blanchett is perfection (sure, there are other actors just as talented but I just think she’s perfection) – I give Benito Skinner my stamp of approval. Sure they’re completely random skits with over exaggerated characters but they’re very well executed. My favourites include his Fashion Week videos in which his best friend Turquoise is everything I want to be and his Dear Benita series (if she wasn’t an alter ego comedy sketch I’d say she’s a pink haired, insightful Reese Witherspoon whose advice you need to follow).
Movies Explained For: In YouTube’s quest to quench my undying thirst for everything Audrey Hepburn- especially if it includes my man Hubert de Givenchy- this little gem, or should I say Jeb, of a channel came my way with ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s Explained for Millennials’. Instantly, I fell in love. Jeb Ediah is probably in his mid thirties man who as of now is faceless to ‘the internets’ as he calls it, is my spirit animal. I’ve never watched any of the Marvel movies but I’ll be on the front row and centre if Jeb’s explaining them. In fact, I love Jeb so much I not only watch his ‘movies explained for’ videos but also his other content because like the majority of his subscribers I’m here for that priceless commentary- even if it’s about his doll collection.
Lucas: I had no idea who Fred was, still have no idea who Fred is but I sure do know who Lucas Cruikshank is and I think he’s pretty cool. This Nickelodeon star of an era bygone uploads videos about things my brain did not need to know about because now suddenly I find myself thinking about the Lindsey and Hilary feud when I’m trying to sleep at two in the a.m. It’s not the most constructive way to pass your time but I’m not saying you won’t learn anything in the process. If anything, he’ll resurrect your obsession with the Jonas brothers.
Alex Meyers: Cartoon YouTubers are becoming a thing and a few I can think off the top of my head are Domics, Let Me Explain and Cynical Reviews- but my favourite of them all has to be Alex Meyers. Fun fact: he left his home and parents in America after high school and moved all the way to Japan where he still lives now in what I’m guessing is his late twenties. While he does have the most incredibly blue pair of eyes I’ve ever seen, I’m more interested in the cartoon version of him as he rips apart teen dramas. Riverdale literally feeds him content with their remarkable writing decisions and he’s milked the opportunities rather well. I’m not complaining- I even like his video essays on how the High School Musical movies don’t make any sense and I love, no live High School Musical.
Of course YouTube also has a facet of comedy channels which are run by large networks: Trevor Noah is a nice five minute break from all your woes to laugh at the woeful state of the world, John Oliver does the same but for about quadruple the amount of time, Kalen featured on the Ellen show’s got it going for him and of course Saturday Night Live, most would say that it’s quality of comedy has gone done these past few years but my only argument to that is this: Kate McKinnon.