…ended with you watching a baby owl sneezing.
How did you get here? Who knows, but your YouTube homepage is going to have some fairly eye-opening recommendations for the next few months.
Just like that show you stream all day long, that podcast you can’t stop listening to, and that book you refuse to put down until that final sentence, YouTube is primed to occupy a good chunk of your daily life. Every minute, an average of 300 hours worth of video are uploaded. That means, by the time you’re done watching our buddy Drew get ready to take on the day, almost 1000 videos have entered the YouTube universe, waiting for your precious view or even views.
A few years ago, I wrote about my favorite YouTube channels. My tastes have since changed, and today I pretty much stay away from YouTube stars and influencers. Chalk it up to influencer drama and sponsored posts that made me finally cut the cord.
For me, my YouTube history is filled with with those videos designed to get you through your day, because let’s face it – our days are typically riddled with stress, anxiety, and even fear. While my recommendations may weigh more on the lighthearted fare, don’t fool yourself: some of these beautifully combine humor while still feeding your brain. Here’s just a few of my favorite YouTube binges.
Zack Morris is Trash
When I was a child, I loved Saved by the Bell and wanted to give my flower to Zack Morris. He was suave, cool, and looked hot in acid washed jeans and over gelled hair. Time passed, however, and as I entered the world as a career educator, I came to the sudden realization that Zack Morris was the asshole student I never wanted in a classroom, or at least around fellow students.
That is why Funny or Die’s web series, Zack Morris is Trash speaks to adult Julie’s soul. Their hilarious deep dive – complete with the driest narration you’ll ever hear as well the NSFW reactions – into the sick, twisted world of Zack Morris reveals not a confident and sophisticated young man, but a narcissistic, sexist, and conniving asshole who got his friend addicted to drugs, committed treason on several occasions, and almost murdered not just one but two of his girlfriends. And that’s just the first season.
Zack Morris, you never deserved my flower.
My lifelong dream is to have a wardrobe makeover with Tan France. I want him to pull out all my solid, printless dresses and tops, and for us to have a heart to heart about my fears and my insecurities and how they manifest in my clothing. Then I want to become best friends and end up on a future “Where Are They Now” Queer Eye episode. My goals are fairly realistic.
Our favorite Queer Eye member goes toe to toe with comedians, proving that you can have both a sense of humor and a sense of style as he makes over their clothing choices. Whether he’s attempting to de-age John Mulaney or up Ali Wong’s on-stage style, Tan gives his fierce fashion advice as well as his unadulterated views that make you fall more in love with him.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Hands down, John Oliver is one of the most influential and reverential social commentators in our time. His satirical exposés open our eyes to the corruption and idiocy behind governments and industries. We laugh while learning at the same time, so win for everyone. What I love most about these posts is the diversity of his topics. Although LWT could focus an entire series on the Trump administration alone, they go beyond and feature anything from pregnancy centers to the fast fashion industry to even the corruption of Italian elections. How does this distant European country’s election affect you? Watch the video (It does).
The best LWT? The infamous “Drumpf” story. The video has a record of 35 million views, and anytime someone wants to come at me with Trump’s “experience” for office, I have this piece in my arsenal, ready to fire.
Conan Foreign Remotes
I am Team Coco all the way. For the past four years, I have fought to make it to ConanCon only to be waitlisted, and this year is no different. I devour the Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend podcast (more on that later). Although I’m a fan of his show, what I love most about Conan are the foreign remotes. Conan’s remotes have taken him to Haiti, Italy, South (and for a brief moment, North) Korea, Germany, Australia, and even Cuba just to name a few. Although some may think he’s there to satirize the country and the culture, that is far from the truth. He immerses himself into that country and its customs, uses his humor to connect with total strangers and proves that although we may have our differences, comedy can bring total strangers together. He’s visited an Armenian matchmaker, threw himself a bar mitzvah in Israel, and has guest starred in a Mexican telenovela.
But don’t mistake his foreign remotes as just blithe comedy. For many of his travels, O’Brien and his team select countries that fill our nightly news and become fodder for our current government. While in Mexico, Conan had the opportunity to discuss with residents Trump’s wall proposal. His journey to Israel found Conan visiting refugees in the West Bank and engaging in civil discussion with pro-Palestinian activists at the separation wall. His foreign remotes allow us to have a deeper understanding of the world around us, and provide us a better picture of the human element that is otherwise ignored by mass media and even our own government.
Those are just some of my YouTube time sucks, and quite honestly, whenever I’m done with any of these, I don’t feel my time is wasted at all. I’ve laughed, cried, and learned something in the end. That’s good enough for me.