Comedic vlogs comprise a genre of web videos that are extremely popular among public audiences, especially the younger generations. Vloggers flourish on YouTube, because this is the most visited public video site, and it is very easy to upload your content. Several comedic vloggers have been extremely successful, garnering upwards of a million views. Some have even attained celebrity status, simply by uploading their homemade video rants to YouTube. Prime examples of the champions of this genre include Jenna Marbles, NigaHiga, Smosh, Shane Dawson, and iJustine.
Each of these vloggers has a unique style and unique interests, making for a very diverse collection of videos within the genre of comedic vlogging. Jenna Marbles, my personal favorite, exemplifies the genre. In her short videos, Jenna Marbles speaks directly to her viewers as herself. She goes on funny rants about topics such as sports bras and how to avoid talking to people, makes hilarious tutorials about things like how to make yourself look hot (not spoofs), and shares funny things that happened recently in her life. She is very much like a stand-up comedian, only her material is designed for YouTube, not for stand-up routines. iJustine is similar to Jenna Marbles, because she also speaks as herself, giving her viewers a look into her “funny” personal life. She especially likes to make videos of herself dancing in public, and urges her viewers to make their own and paste them in the comments section, as part of her interactive Vlog University series.
The majority of comedic vloggers, including NigaHiga, Smosh, and Shane Dawson, take a different approach to the genre. They focus on spoofs and parodies, taking on character roles and generally just acting silly. NigaHiga, the most successful of the aforementioned vloggers, is a Japanese American boy does an interesting combination of character role-play and personal musings. He will make videos like “Epic Meal Time” (about microwaving a hot pocket) where he is clearly playing a character, but in a general sense- he is being funny and ridiculous, with the aim to entertain. He also has a series of rants called “Off the Pill,” in which he gives his fast-paced, stream-of-consciousness thoughts about subjects like Justin Beiber and noisy people when he hasn’t taken his ADD medicine. Others vloggers like Smosh and Shane Dawson make parodies and funny skits with topics like “If Video Games Were Real” or “Taylor Swift Spoof- We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together!” Shane Dawson even made a parody of Jenna Marbles, his fellow comedic vlogger.
Comedic vloggers often use informal means of filming, such as the built-in cameras on their computers or cheap digital cameras. This gives their videos a homemade quality that makes them casual, relatable, and spontaneous. The success of vloggers like Jenna Marbles and NigaHiga lies in their ability and willingness to share their unadulterated, often “offensive,” opinions and musings. The flexibility of their means of communication (YouTube) allows them to truly speak their minds, no matter how outlandish it may be, and their followers appreciate their uncut honesty and freedom of speech.