So a YouTuber just made a really, really fantastic film.

I am Gen X (barely), so I still enjoy watching television on an actual television (not a laptop like many of my young Millennial and Gen Z students). However, I am also a cord-cutter* and a Roku** aficionado, so most of my TV watching is app-based (remember, I’m almost Millennial). All that to say, my version of channel-flipping*** is scrolling through my YouTube recommendations to watch random videos of people embarrassing themselves, aviation history, movie trailers, pop-culture discussions, board game reviews, and celebrities eating spicy chicken wings.

And you thought there was too much on cable.

What I love the most about YouTube is that anyone can be a broadcaster. Anyone can make content that could go viral at any moment. No, I’m not naive; I know Google controls the algorithm and “going viral” is a product of opportunity, chance, and the right influencers sharing with the right network. I get it. But still, anyone can put content up there, and whether they have 1,000,000 followers or 5, there’s still an audience.

 So a YouTuber just made a really, really fantastic film.

Bo Burnham started making little YouTube videos of himself singing silly songs back when YouTube was just getting started. He has since become a viral sensation with tours, comedy specials, a book, and now a feature film. Eighth Grade is a very tender, emotional, funny, difficult, and ultimately hopeful coming-of-age movie that has made its way onto a bunch of critics Top 10 lists. And Bo Burnham just won the Director’s Guild award for best first-time director.

YouTube is a whole lot of content. Millions upon millions of hours, much of it terrible, but some of it good. And here we have a YouTuber who has parlayed his viral success into a career creating some great art and entertainment. That being said, you never know which kid with a camera will become a cultural icon. I love the fact that YouTube makes that possible, and I love that YouTube provides an outlet where future artists can cut their teeth.

Don’t get me wrong — I realize I am one terrible video away from losing faith in humanity again, but I’ll take solace in my favorite YouTube channels. That being said, here is an eclectic collection of some of my favorite YouTube channels:

Dude Perfect:
College kids doing trick shots in their backyard build a media empire on YouTube, with merchandise, multimedia, tours, and lucrative sponsorships.

Flemlo Raps:
Great commentary on college football and Last Chance U, one of my favorite Netflix shows. He’s an engaging storyteller.

Shut Up & Sit Down:
Board game reviews. Okay, I’m a board game nerd. But these reviews are witty, silly, and very thorough.

Toy Galaxy:
Very entertaining and informative histories of classic toy lines, focused on the golden age of action figures (the 80s). A must watch for every 80s kid.

Flite Test:
These guys build and fly model airplanes. I want this hobby.

Epic Meal Time:
Ever want to see a giant lasagne made entirely out of fast food? Yeah, you do.

What are your favorite YouTube channels?


* someone who has cancelled traditional cable to rely on web-based streaming for their televised entertainment. Thanks to Yours Truly, the discussion of cord-cutting is now academic.

** popular streaming device used by cord-cutters to access streaming television applications.

*** the ancient art of lying on the couch flipping through the channels on the cable box via remote control.


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