With over 500 million monthly users and 190 localized version, YouTube has become a one-stop destination for viewers who love to laugh. From stand-up specials and sketch comedy shows to hidden camera pranks, video interviews, and unedited streams of comedians in action, there’s a wide range of content that caters to fans of the genre. A few well-known names have launched their careers on the platform: Bo Burnham, Hannah Hart, and Colleen Ballinger all started their YouTube channels before becoming famous comedians. In addition to these household names, countless other comedians have also used their personal channels as a way to connect with an audience that wouldn’t normally be able to see them live. Here are four examples of comedians whose fame may not rival Bo’s or Hannah’s yet—but they’ve built loyal followings nonetheless. read more
A long-time friend of Paul Shlemsky’s, Trevor Moore got his start with the sketch group and podcast The Whitest Kids U’ Know in the early 2000s. Although the group was initially based in New York City, Trevor relocated to Los Angeles in 2005 and was featured in many of the group’s videos. The group disbanded in 2012, but Trevor’s YouTube channel has continued to grow. His channel currently has over 1.5 million subscribers, and he has a devoted fan base that regularly comments on and likes his videos. The most popular video on his channel is a sketch about a “furry convention” that was posted in 2015. Since then, it has gained over six million views and been reposted in multiple languages.
Paul Shlemsky is probably best known for his work on the sketch show UCB Comedy Originals. He also has his own YouTube channel, which currently has over 200,000 subscribers. His channel is primarily focused on sketch comedy, and many of his videos are collaborations with other comedians, including Trevor Moore and Tawny Newsome. Paul’s videos are either original sketches that he writes and directs himself, or they’re re-mixes of popular YouTube videos that he edits to include commentary, additional audio clips, or visual effects. This style of video has become so common, it has a name: “YouTubing.”
Tawny Newsome is the host of the podcast The Tawny Show (formerly The Blackest Show), where she interviews a variety of guests about a wide range of topics. Her YouTube channel currently has over 100,000 subscribers. One of her most popular videos is a Black History Month-themed parody of Cardi B’s hit song “Bodak Yellow.” She regularly performs stand-up around Los Angeles, and her set can also be found on her YouTube channel.
Zach Reinert has been hosting the podcast Comedy on Vinyl with co-host Zachary Taylor since 2012. He has also been creating Let’s Play videos on his YouTube channel since 2013—mostly featuring his experiences playing video games. His YouTube channel has over 90,000 subscribers, and many of his videos have been featured on the website Comedy Central. Zach also regularly performs stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and has been featured in episodes of The Comedy on Vinyl podcast.
Mark N, who co-hosts the podcast Baby Mark and Friends, has also been uploading videos to his YouTube channel since 2013. His channel primarily features Let’s Play videos, but he has also starred in hidden camera pranks, commentaries, and original sketch comedy pieces. Mark’s channel currently has over 80,000 subscribers, and he has collaborated with many of the other comedians on this list. Mark regularly performs stand-up in Los Angeles, and his set can be found on YouTube.
YouTube is a great place for aspiring comedians to hone their craft. Uploading videos allows comedians to work out new material and get feedback from their audience. Viewers can either subscribe to their channels, leaving them notifications so they know when new videos are posted, or they can “like” and “comment” on videos if they want to show support. If you love comedy, you can watch comedians old and new on YouTube and discover your favorites. If you want to get in on the action—or you just want to support your favorite YouTubers—you can start by picking up a camera.