The Wisecrack Way (or: What Makes A Successful You Tube Channel?)

What did you do during the lockdown? I watched a lot of YouTubes and created two YouTube Channels. Since few things were open in Las Vegas, there wasn’t much do except to create and watch content. I created The Last Fundamentalist web series and tried to pump some steroids into my other channel Vegas Apocalypse. The great hope, of course, was that one of them might score a hit and get monetized! That didn’t happen.

I studied channels that did get monetized. They all looked pretty bland: young people sitting on a couch bitching for hours. Well, I can bitch on a couch, too! Boy, do I get bored easily by the sound of my own voice! The channels produced by YouTubers closer to my age centered around specific topics: how to dress over 50 to how to repair your car. Single topics. Niche topics.

Variety within a YouTube channel seems forbidden and toxic.

Wisecrack bucks that trend. This successful YouTube channel produces a number of web series with different subjects. There is Thug Notes, movie critiques like What Went Wrong With Suicide Squad?

Wisecrack was created by Jacob Saloman and Jared Bauer. This story from Tubefilter reveals how they met in college, came to California, and began exploring viral video. Their youtube channel became popular and attracted millions. They are now youtube millionaires and their videos are used in high schools and community colleges across the country.

Lloyd Kauffman (right) next to his creation, The Toxic Avenger

Lloyd Kauffman, the founder of Troma Entertainment, once described his motivation as being one that made ‘unsexy subjects sexy’. Kauffman addressed important issues of environmentalism and man’s contribution to pollution through movies like The Toxic Avenger and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead.

Wisecrack does the same thing. The video, ‘Why Are Smart People So Dumb?’ addresses the rise of ‘thought leaders’ who amass great followings and dollars from Ted Talks, podcasts, and social media by pretending to be the contemporary extension of Voltaire and other 19th Century European thinkers. It illuminates the fact that society’s problems are so complex that it takes more than a ‘power pose’ or a ‘positive attitude’ to fix some of the problems we have in our country, and in our lives.

Sparky Sweets, P.H.D. analyzes Go Set A Watchman.

I was introduced to Wisecrack by way of Thug Notes. I finished Go Set a Watchmen by Harper Lee. The ending confused me. Was it suddenly ‘be kind to bigots, week?’ Since I’m practically a non stop watcher of YouTube, I entered ‘Go Set a Watchman’ in the search bar and came up with Thug Notes take on the book.

Sparky Sweets, PHD, commentary on Harper Lee’s novel was just what I needed to hear! This was a book Harper Lee did not want the public to see and, were it not for an assistant taking advantage of her for that ‘sweet sequel money’ as Dr. Sweets tells us, the book would never have seen the light of day.

I couldn’t get enough Thug Notes! I started out with books I had read and then branched off to those I’ll never get to spend the proper amount of time reading.

What Went Wrong with Billionaires?

There are timely short subjects on the theme ‘What went wrong?’.

Billionaires: What Went Wrong? explores just where billionaires came from.

Hint: government contracts.

Their video about anti-vaxxers is especially noteworthy because it explores the origins of vaccines and the often inhumane ways our military and founding fathers often did experiments on slaves. Consent was never required!

This understandably breeds a distrust in doctors. Snake oil salesmen, who exploit the mistakes and gullibility of the masses, exploit these terrible practices for something even worse. The illusion people are going to ‘take back your medical care’ and sock it to the medical establishment by buying from snake oil salesmen is a very lucrative one. There’s corruption on all sides, but ultimately, we must keep our wits about us and not fall for people who exploit our weaknesses.

This is a video I would love to share on Facebook, except for my paranoia that they would suspend my account for anything that has the word ‘covid’ in it. The bot is no respecter of context! Many of these diverse videos deserve to be seen. Share if you dare:

The uniqueness of Wisecrack is found in it’s variety.

There is a love for sharing as much information in the most entertaining way. Perhaps that is the common theme? I find that very appealing. YouTube ‘thought leaders’ emphasize that successful monetized channel is one centered on a niche theme. Sure, Thug Notes might be a book review show, but I am not sensing any main theme or niche topic from the bulk of the videos from Wisecrack.

Perhaps the secret of YouTube success isn’t to narrow in on a topic and stick with it until boredom do you part. Instead, be true to your attitude, but keep exploring the variety and keep breaking through the boundaries. Like they do at Wisecrack.