There’s a whole world on YouTube that doesn’t involve terrible people, it just doesn’t feel that way right now.
The first week of 2018 wasn’t exactly a banner week for YouTube star Logan Paul, for example. Paul, known as the less offensive Paul brother (*&^@&#^?), kicked things off by releasing a tone-deaf video where he encounters a dead body in Japan’s suicide forest. The controversy sparked a debate about what’s suitable content for YouTube (hint: it doesn’t involve gawking at suicide), and prompted many older millennials and Gen-Xers to wonder, “Is there anyone not awful on YouTube?”
Fellow kids, I’m pleased to report there are.
If you’re not that familiar with the vlogging community, it’s likely you only heard about two YouTube personalities in the past year — Logan Paul, or a YouTube personality named “PewDewPie” who loves to make jokes about dead Jews.
Thankfully, there are (mostly incredibly young) vloggers out there making largely inoffensive, not entirely insipid, and sometimes even — get ready for it — good content.
Here are just a few.
Just 21 years old, Liza Koshy is one of those incredibly successful young people who actually deserves everything that’s coming to them. She’s a skilled physical comedian who produces well-cut (i.e. not insanely choppy) videos, and her range of impressions is broad. It’s the kind of content you can be non-depressed that teenagers are watching.
Lilly Singh made $10.5 million in 2016 and she did it without capitalizing on a tragedy in a suicide forest. Instead, she relied on her natural comedic instincts, spot-on impersonations of her parents, and genuinely astute commentary on young adult life.
If you’re new to video game commentary, or mostly hate it but want to learn, videogamedunkey is where it’s at. Videogamedunkey doesn’t have the painful arrogance like others in his genre, and he’s actually capable of crafting engaging, well-constructed narratives. Who knew that such a thing was possible on YouTube?
For all you book learners out there, there’s Lindsay Ellis, a media critic who actually makes media criticism bearable. Ellis addresses everything from vanishing Disney villains to nostalgia, without ever sounding like your “Intro to Film Theory” TA/wannabe professor.
Bill Wurtz is less of a YouTube personality than he is a producer of deeply weird animated videos, but he’s on this list because I like him so goshdarn much. You’ve probably seen at least one of these videos and thought, “I’m appalled by how much I love this.”
Sure, some of his more erratic material borders on twee, but we all need a little Wes Anderson in our lives.
Nathan Zed doesn’t vlog frequently, partially for personal reasons, and partially because he only speaks when there’s something that needs to be said. Zed is one of the more thoughtful ones of the bunch, addressing everything from body positivity to the responsibilities of YouTube personalities. (Yes! He actually thinks about this!)
You probably know Hart from “My Drunk Kitchen,” her weekly YouTube series where she cooks while intoxicated. Hart also makes videos that are more personal and specific to the LGBTQ community, whether it’s about the coming out process or managing queer relationships.
Kingsley is another familiar, proudly out YouTube personality. Kingsley’s commentary about everything about Katy Perry’s betrayal of the gays to “Tragic Gingerbread houses” is like old-school Buzzfeed, modernized and made better for 2017.
Watch this video. Soak up all that magical content. Only then can you return to this post.
Evelyn from the Internet has done more than this viral video — including everything from makeup tutorials to cultural critique — but this is a YouTuber at the height of her form.
Known, accurately, as “The Internet’s most fabulously fierce makeup guru,” Rock rose to fame with his breakout “How to Contour” video series.
Who would have ever thought that a video entitled “Reusable charcoal mound” would achieve over 10 million views? Not me, certainly, and not any person I know.
Still, Primitive Technology, who constructs devices cavemen would have built, has an insanely loyal following, with close to 7 million subscribers.
Best of all? He barely talks.
Apparently, the key to dominating a platform that constantly excretes verbal diarrhea is to embrace silence.
It’s a lesson for all of the bright, beautiful wannabe YouTube stars everywhere.