Why Dan, Phil, PJ, and Chris are the Most Underrated Creators
Before I begin, let me just state that this is in no way meant to be an attack towards other creators. There are a lot of incredibly talented creators out there today. In fact, I wish I was as talented as 99% of these people because then maybe I wouldn’t be rotting away in a godforsaken cubicle in a dead end job (don’t go into software engineering kids. You will hate everything and yourself). That being said, if you find yourself offended at any point during this narrative, please accept this homemade apology from me:
With that out of the way, let’s go!
Prior to YouTube’s existence, bored people like myself mainly browsed websites like Ebaum’s World, Stupid Videos, Albino Black Sheep, and shitty flash sites for bizarre, humorous, and at times traumatizing content (anybody remember The End of the World, Numa Numa, and Schfifty-Five before they were uploaded to YouTube?) . Enter 2005 - the birth of YouTube! At that time, I was one very bored 15 year old full of angst. YouTube offered up a new way to find content that appealed to millennials like myself. Not only that, but YouTube became the platform for people to connect with the world by sharing their interests, thoughts, and work with the world! While I never uploaded anything to YouTube, I spent an unhealthy amount of time searching and stumbling upon videos. Things got exciting in 2006 when I discovered a wonderful YouTuber you may know as AmazingPhil! Subsequently over the years, I would find myself stumbling upon Dan, Chris, and PJ.
Let’s start with the first of the four I encountered - Phil Lester. Honestly, is there anyone on YouTube, let alone this planet, who is nicer than Phil? Even though he is a true YouTube trailblazer, he has fewer subscribers and gets less appreciation than his collaborator and best friend, Dan Howell. In spite of this, Phil does not get envious and remains fully supportive of not only Dan, but all of his friends. Phil is the paragon of a sincerely kind and generous human being. If more people in the world strived to be more like Phil, humanity would be better off. Phil’s creativity and talent never fails to make me smile and amaze (well, he is AmazingPhil!) me. I love his light-hearted silly jokes and when he spontaneously bursts into song (my favorite is in the Snake Oil video PJ did with Dan and Phil - “He slithers down your chimney/ He licks you while you sleep/ You don’t know where he’s been tonight/ He’s a snake on Christmas Eve”). Here is a guy who has accomplished so much in his life so far - graduated with a master’s degree, presented on BBC Radio 1 with Dan, won a Guinness World Record for coin stacking, and invented the game concept for the 7 Second Challenge app. Personally, I think Phil offers higher quality content than many other YouTubers. As a viewer, I can tell that when Phil makes a video, he puts in so much effort and heart. Yet, do others truly appreciate Phil’s talent, creativity, and personality? If I walked into a random crowd on the streets of Seattle and asked the crowd’s opinions on Phil Lester, what do you think would happen? I’m willing to bet most people would look at me as if I just asked them to solve a differential equation. Phil is so genuine both as a creator and person, and I wish more people appreciated him for all he does.
Next up is Dan Howell! I have yet to encounter a person who is as eloquent in their vocabulary and sarcasm as Dan. As someone who was also raised on Winnie the Pooh (and raised by an intensely literature/English focused mom. English class didn’t end after school for me!), stumbling upon a YouTuber like Dan was one of the best things to happen to me. Intelligent and bona fide, Dan is someone I could sit with over some tea or wine and have in-depth discussions with. While I love Dan’s typical commentary on his experiences with social awkwardness, being an outcast, and making mistakes, once in a blue moon he will post a very sagacious and intensely emotional video. Daniel and Depression is one of those videos. In this video, Dan opens up about his experiences in understanding and managing his depression. After watching his video, I took some time to absorb and dissect the content I just watched. As someone who has been dealing with chronic depression and anxiety since childhood, this was a video that profoundly struck a chord with me. Dan’s videos are very engaging and easy for many people to relate to. Even as I’ve gotten older, I still find the content Dan posts to be easy to relate to. For all his sardonic humor and sarcasm, Dan comes across as a very kind and generous person. Everything he creates is done with so much insight and character. I hope Dan continues to produce the content he does!
Now then, on to PJ Liguori! If there is one channel that you will never find another one like it, it is KickThePj. The first video I ever saw on his channel was Retro MakeOver. I immediately subscribed to his channel after watching that video. PJ takes his artwork and creativity to whole different level on his channel. Not only can he draw, but he is musically inclined and an outstanding storyteller. The way in which PJ tells his stories with a twist of imagination makes his videos unlike anything I’ve ever seen both prior to and during the existence of YouTube. I love how as a viewer, I feel as if I’m in the moment with PJ, observing his imagination in action - nothing feels scripted! The way he engages with his viewers is also very genuine (I know I’ve said that a lot. Honestly all four of these guys can be described as genuine). PJ seems like a very pleasant person that I’d gladly chill with over a card or board game. I’m honestly surprised that more people haven’t discovered PJ or don’t seem to have an appreciation for this type of content. In a world that seems to demand more originality and creativity, you couldn’t find a better creator than PJ. PJ is a one in a million and a very talented creator. I can’t wait to see what he does next both on and outside of YouTube!
Finally, but not least, Chris Kendall! I would venture to say that no one could get through one of Chris’ videos without laughing their socks off. Chris does some the best impersonations and parodies I’ve seen on YouTube! I love his casual attitude in his gaming videos where he just acts like himself and doesn’t take things too seriously (his random burping always makes my day :P). Much like the other three, his content is original and there is a discernible effort in his videos. Case and point - both of his I Can’t Even YouTube Quiz shows. I laughed until I was in tears during both of them and loved all of the geeky references! I would describe quite a bit of his humor as both geeky and classically British. Beyond his comedy, Chris is also a great actor. Both in his videos and collaboration videos, his acting skills are impeccable and he is absolutely hilarious! I was sad when Chris took a hiatus from YouTube (though I understood), but I am happy he’s back to creating more awesome content. Chris is a creator that I hope more people will discover and follow!
I hope to be fortunate enough one day to meet all four of these wonderful men outside of a computer screen. If anything, to shake their hands (and hug them if they’re ok with it) and thank them for how much each of them have positively impacted me in some way or another. If any of them are reading this, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and for all the great work you are doing!!