Powerful Hollywood studio bosses used to control actors, actresses, and other talent with an iron fist, crushing anyone who got in their way so ruthlessly that the cliche, “You’ll never work in this town again” was dedicated solely to their ability to make or break careers with a single phone call. Well, those days are over, and the talent game is now a meritocracy. Anyone can post videos on YouTube, and if you’re funny or clever or compelling, the masses are waiting to follow you.
Here is a glimpse at some of the best young talent on the Web.
Grace Helbig is Daily Grace.
With nearly two million subscribers and 160 million total video views on nearly 700 videos, the success and work ethic of Grace Helbig, a.k.a. Daily Grace, is matched only by her sense of humor.
Geek chic personified, Grace’s nerd charm and absolute mastery of sarcasm is put to the test literally daily, as she churns out an unfathomable number of videos on a regular basis. The informal setting of her messy apartment, punctuated with occasional interruptions by her dog, complement her lovable awkward charm. If you watch her music reviews without laughing, you are not a living human being.
My Drunk Kitchen
The alcohol-diminished brainchild of San Francisco native Hannah Hart, My Drunk Kitchen is a cooking show – if the cooking show host gets really drunk while filming. As the level of Hannah’s drink of choice during any particular episode gets lower and lower, her wit and comedic bite only increase. Filled with catchphrases so absurd they could only come from a booze-soaked mind, Hannah takes the stuffy pomp out of cuisine shows and occasionally cooks something edible.
With more than 10 million subscribers, Jenna Marbles is the fifth-most popular channel in the entire YouTube universe. Choppy editing and coarse language contribute to the difficulty in deciding whether Jenna’s awesomely authentic personality is overly aggressive, cute, or disturbing. Her rants are reminiscent of those made famous by Andy Rooney – if Andy Rooney were young, adorable, and funny.
Jenna Marbles occasionally has to compete with her dogs for camera time.
Booze once again plays a supporting role, this time in Mamrie Hart’s YDAD, or You Deserve a Drink, brand. With each episode, she teaches how to make a new drink, which is often dedicated to someone who made their way into the news through some unfortunate episode they wish they could take back. With her over-the-top, high-pitched personality, Mamrie blends Three’s Company-esque sexual innuendo with a legitimate mixology pedigree from her experience as a bartender.
Although art is subjective, funny is undeniably funny. Day after day, week after week, millions of viewers after millions of viewers, the Internet’s best continue to delight. If you’re not on YouTube watching the hottest young comedic minds, you’re not laughing hard enough.
Photo credits: Flickr users Gage Skidmore, Streamy Awards
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about online entertainment and protecting your online reputation.