I was vegging in bed one day after work last week, holding my phone and hysterically laughing. My sister came in and gave me a weird look. “What are you doing?” she asked. “Watching YouTube,” I replied. It was then that I realized—I do that a lot. Launched in 2005, YouTube started slowly before exploding into the video-sharing platform that showcases people’s tendency to overshare. But it’s that sharing and re-sharing that has propelled some anonymous faces to household names and others into accidental comedians with a million internet fans. Think of it as “America’s Funniest Home Videos” on steroids. I myself subscribe to nearly 100 channels. Most of them are television networks, so I never miss a single preview of next week’s episode of “New Girl” or the behind-the-scenes fun on “The Walking Dead.” Others are the aforementioned YouTube superstars, some of whom even get paid by YouTube for driving such high volume to the site with their highly clickable clips. So if you’re new to the ‘Tube or just looking for recommendations, here are six channels worth checking out.
WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT IN SOME VIDEO CLIPS BELOW
“I put words into other people's mouths.” The minds behind Bad Lip Reading must have a lot of time on their hands. It’s amazing how accurately the most outlandish sentences end up matching well-known scripts and songs. Launched in March of 2011, they have over 3,659,400 subscribers. Their videos are hit or miss in my opinion, as their subject focuses vary greatly and they don’t upload new ones very often. The best are the Twilight movies. It’s my new favorite way to watch that garbage, and oh, so much funnier.
“No movie is without sin. We exist mostly just to remind you of that.” CinemaSins doesn’t outrightly say who’s behind it, but it’s the same voice in every video. It launched in December of 2012 and has more than 2,687,100 subscribers. They’ve covered over 100 movies in almost two years, from Titanic and Thor to Harry Potter and Hunger Games. Try not to get offended if one of your faves gets insulted, their website clearly states it’s all in good fun. It exists purely to point out how ridiculous some plot points can be, but we gobble them up anyway. One of my personal favorites is the one where they poke fun at themselves in a clip entitled, “Everything Wrong With CinemaSins in 3 Minutes or Less.”
Jenna joined YouTube in February of 2010 and has been making her 13,602,000+ subscribers laugh every Sexual Wednesday with profanity-laden clips like, “How Girls Fall Asleep,” “How Guys Take A Shower,” “How Girls Watch TV,” and more. Each one is alarmingly accurate and hilarious. My personal fave? “How Girls Pack A Suitcase.” Her two little dogs, Kermit and Marbles, always have a cameo appearance. Stuffed versions of the famous canines are even available for purchase. She touts herself as an L.A.-based blogger and entertainer; the latter is definitely true.
Rahat is “The Magician Prankster!” He's gathered over 3,478,600 subscribers since he began pranking strangers in June of 2007. What I really like about this clever kid is that he takes the money he makes on his hilarious prank videos and gives it right back to those in need. One particularly moving video shows how he turned the success of one of his viral clips, “Homeless Lottery Winner” into an online fundraiser. He raised $44,000 and brought the man to his new home. It’s a tearjerker for sure. But he balances out the tears with plenty of laughs in his personal best pranks, the drive-thrus. My favorite is when he dons an outfit that perfectly resembles a car seat and drives up to fast food windows. Their reactions are perfect.
“Voice Actor meets Prankster v2.0. Nine stereotypical characters. One hilarious adventure.” Voice actors are awesome; this guy manages to transform himself into nine distinct (and highly offensive) different characters. These hilarious prank calls began in August of 2007 and have amassed this anonymous trickster upwards of 2,371,500 subscribers. What’s most amazing is how many people simply refuse to hang up and will instead scream at a perfect stranger for so long! I listened to one where a guy asked, “Who is this?” for nearly 20 minutes. Almost funnier than the calls themselves are the accompanying captions. This guy even manages to nab a couple celebs to call! You’d feel bad for these people if it wasn’t so freaking funny.
“Trailers that tell you the TRUTH about your favorite movies and TV shows … these are the hilarious trailers the producers don't want you to see.” As their tagline reads, Screen Junkies Honest Trailers are chockfull of honesty (read: sarcasm) and they poke at plots’ inconsistencies. (Like a different take on CinemaSins, but not quite as funny.) They take suggestions from viewers on social media and have done trailers for movies like Jurassic Park, The Lion King, Avatar, and Les Miserables.