There’s nothing new about YouTube channels. Everyone with a YouTube account has one, and they are usually filled with a random collection of posted videos, or a themed series of vlogs, reviews, comedy sketches, and assorted nuts and bolts. What is new is the series of celebrity supported channels that YouTube has been rolling out over the last couple months. They are slickly branded, broadly themed, and, best of all, full of original content. We’ve selected three of the most promising to give you a taste.
SModCo Internet Television
This is the brainchild of writer/director Kevin Smith (and friends) and is associated with his sprawling podcast empire, SModcast Internet Radio. To be fair, a good bit of the content on this channel is stuff from the podcasts presented in new ways (Bit O' Babble, Jay and Silent Bob Get Old—Classic, SModCo Cartoon Show). Even the really fun stuff like SMarchives and the gem described below are based on the idea of rummaging through the attic and digging up something to talk about. Critics of Smith are sure to point out that this channel is really just more of the same—Smith and his friends talking about stuff—but they are darned funny to watch when they are doing it (plus, it’s free)!
The Gem: SModco Morning Show and Tell
Smith and his wife Jennifer Schwalbach select objects from their past and explain their significance. There is a wonderful voyeuristic charm that comes from watching this married couple reminisce together, all while cursing vigorously.
We’ve talked about Chris Hardwick before. This is just the latest in his growing mega-brand of geekdom and nerdery. A diverse channel, Nerdist focuses on big personalities who can carry screen time, like Weird Al Yankovic, the criminally under-exposed Justin Willman, and (starting this summer) Neil deGrasse Tyson. This is also a channel that you can feel growing from week to week, with new shows being added regularly.
The Gem: Nerdist Channel’s All Star Celebrity Bowling
Chris Hardwick and friends take on a themed group of challengers, such as the casts of Madmen, Mythbusters, and the Walking Dead. It’s filled with strikes, spares, and pithy (frequently scathing) insults. On top of all that, we can’t remember a single episode where someone doesn’t fall over!
Geek and Sundry
It’s hard to find anything bad to say about Felicia Day. She’s a talented writer, a charming actress, and a great generator of new web content (not to mention a remarkably beautiful woman)! If you boil up this heady concoction and pour it into a YouTube-shaped vessel, you get Geek and Sundry. There’s quite a bit of variety here. If you are looking for pure, uncut Felicia Day, you want to focus on The Flog (Felicia’s Vlog). You can also find book reviews (Sword and Laser), CosPlay (Just Cos), and even old episodes of The Guild.
The Gem: TableTop
Former child actor and geek guru Wil Wheaton plays a tabletop game with three celebrity guests. It’s a fun pastime just to watch the table banter, but it’s also a well-structured crash-course in playing the various games. So, if you’ve wanted to figure out how the heck to play Ticket to Ride, or Munchkin, you could do worse than to just pull up these videos and check them out.
What other celebrity channels have you found out there worth checking out?