there is only one (1) thing i love even more than making YTPs: gushing endlessly about how much i love other people’s YTPs!!
earlier this march, i decided to start writing about YTPs that particularly interested me. calling them ‘reviews’ may be a bit of a misnomer - ‘thinkpieces’ or ‘analyses’ would be more precise (but clickbait is a powerful thing!). i usually just write about how cool the YTP is, and never stop.
until now i’ve stored my reviews on a list over on RateYourMusic - my original goal was to support YTPs being added to the site’s film database by reviewing any that were submitted. (sadly that has yet to happen, probably because it’s not allowed!) you can read them over here!
or you can open the boxes below to view the reviews directly:
"It's a good thing I have some shoe stickers" - by Chemistryguy
I only started watching Chemistryguy’s videos in 2014, and have been kicking myself ever since for never going back over his extensive and illustrious back catalogue. Until now, I guess. This is from 2011, but you wouldn’t really think that on first watch—it carries a lot of traits that would later become hallmarks of future ‘art poopers’ from 2013 onward.
The tone disconnect during the first minute of the video, for instance, is total genius and is pretty representative of the entire thing for me. The use of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ against a silent film-style alteration of the Blue’s Clues opening creates a sense of foreboding and sorrow, which is then immediately displaced as Steve appears and just kinda goes apeshit as in any other poop. Here, Chemistryguy crafts this kind of Frankenstein’s monster of emotions, tension and hilarity co-existing simultaneously, that really can only be found in a YTP. It only intensifies from there.
Even while first watching his later 2014 work, Requiem in Steve Minor, I got the sense that Chemistryguy was something of a visionary—he was using After Effects for high-quality animation and cinematics in a time when it was only really used in YTP for making abstract and surreal 3D scenes—but watching this basically cemented that for me. Thank heavens this scene has old fogeys like him to tell the rest of us young’uns that there’s more that can be done with YouTube Poop than we once thought.
"How the Grinch Got Dragged Into the Street & Stoned for His Infidelity" - by Awful Fawful
The practice of satire is, just as much as parody, a cornerstone of YouTube Poop—it’s an integral, if often unspoken, principle. Take all of those YTPs riffing on commercials, or speeches from public figures; each joke, no matter how infantile, is commentary in a sense. It’s the pooper saying, “Imagine if that person/advertisement really DID say [sex joke]! THAT’S how dumb they are!” And if harnessed properly, a sentence-mixed obscenity has the power to be just as biting and necessary as the work of any broadsheet satirist.
Okay, I admit, all of that was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Obviously nobody will interpret Krobo’s “We need to build a walrus!” as intelligent satire of Donald Trump’s campaign strategy. However, before you dismiss YTP out of hand as a silly endeavour with nothing clever to say—gaze to the heavens, my dearest kinsperson. A new Messiah has come.
Awful Fawful is no amateur at wielding satire and critique, even at the expense of her peers—with her previous JonTron YTP criticising systemic oppression of minorities and poking fun at the oversaturation of shallow political remarks among YouTubers and YouTube Poopers (“Ah, Donald Trump Joke, we meet again… This’ll kill 'im.”). But How the Grinch Got Dragged Into the Street represents a major step up. It’s a surprisingly broad, left-field, and powerful work of satire—a piece of art in its own right. I am only slightly exaggerating.
Fawful’s main comedic target throughout the video is religious individuals - specifically the nutters, racists, and terrorists among them - and of course Dr. Seuss and the people who made this animated adaptation. Along the way, she spins a surprisingly complex (dare I say even… thought-provoking?) yarn, of the nature of religion and the evils caused on both sides under its name. Of course, then you come across a scene where Grinch fingers his invisible dick and cums snow all over his dog, but still. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a YTP more artfully ambitious than this—or a person more capable of pulling it off than Eden McDermott.
The editing is, as Fawful’s work always is, flawless. She takes an extra-cinematic approach for this production, as many scenes (particularly dealing with the arrival of the Cat in the Hat’s ship) appear framed with the special flair of a film director. You almost forget you’re watching a YouTube Poop made by one person in her room somewhere. There’s a lot of stuff going on, and Fawful’s attention to detail is remarkable—especially considering this video apparently only took like two months to edit. (I’m not jealous.) As she twists the Grinch’s story into her own through sentence-mixing, so she does using the animation itself, recontextualising scenes in often genius ways to construct this new twisted world.
The sentence-mixing itself may be rough around the edges, but with the aid of a transcript down in the comments you’re sure to get the gist (and appreciate her efforts all the more—it mustn’t’ve been easy to find suitable material). A selection of particularly choice lines:
- “If we can’t find God, we’ll make one instead!”
- “I’ve a better chance at heaven than they ever could. / How powerful was Jesus? They killed him with wood!”
- “That day, the Grinch found out something he hadn’t thought of before. / When you die, nothing happens.” (This, incidentally, somehow beats out her previous JonTron YTP as the most unnerving ending of a YTP I’ve ever seen. ‘Nothing is scarier’, indeed.)
Can I also take a second to mention how, even with all the wild sentence-mixing alterations going on, Fawful still keeps the dialogue within the classic Seuss AABB rhyme scheme? That’s gotta take some insane planning and editing work, on top of everything else.
Of all of Fawful’s works, this is the one she should be the most proud of. It’s a masterpiece of the artform, and a benchmark by which everything of its ilk that comes after will be judged. (And that is not exaggerating.)
"robotdike makes durum wheat pasta" - by Nineroe
I absolutely love Nineroe. You probably won’t, but that’s okay. I consider him to be at the forefront (alongside Dew) of a style resurgence in YouTube Poop as of late: of people making videos that harken back to the ‘boomer’ era ten years prior, using the same techniques, the same sources, the same absurd and confrontational sense of humour. However, whereas other YTPers such as theadventuretimefan resurrect these classic poop staples with a sense of irony, using them as gags in and of themselves, Nineroe always plays it commendably straight. (He does seem to have a stronger connection to that bygone era than most, having actually been in the scene since 2007.)
There’s always another strange quality to Nineroe’s works though; a taste for the experimental side of YTP that seems almost anachronistic amid all the AOSTH and Mama Luigi and Windows Movie Maker worship. No actual 2007 YTP was ever as expertly disjointed as this—opening with the (unedited) ‘Siskel & Ebert’ opening set to a metal soundtrack, only to cut away without fanfare to a few seconds of aimless Robotnik stutter-looping. Nineroe succeeds in cranking up the absurdism of mid-2000s YouTube Poop to a whole other level, with very little in the way of the era’s traditional jokes and catchphrases to complement it; one might be left staring at one’s screen wondering if this barrage of seemingly random stutters, close-ups, and reversals was even meant to be funny.
That’s not how I normally interpret Nineroe’s videos though, and it’s not how I imagine he intends them to be viewed either. robotdike makes durum wheat pasta is an exercise in abstraction—taking well-known hallmarks of YTP, cutting them up even further, and picking them at random out of a hat. He takes an ‘artfully artless’ approach to editing (if that’s a thing), creating truly engaging and unpredictable videos in the process. And they’re funny, too, of course—but in an almost primal way, as you find yourself extracting humour subconsciously out of mere sudden changes in volume, wacky expressions on a character’s zoomed-in face, certain repeated lines that only add more absurdity to the fire (“They’re all lion-men! They’re all lion-men! They’re all lion-men!”).
These kinds of jokes can be found in any other YTP, of course. But Nineroe’s unique method removes the comedic framework that usually binds these elements together, and in this way he creates an almost dream-like atmosphere that’s difficult to find anywhere else in YTP. Watching another video of his, Youtube Poop Live at Birdland, I came to the realisation that he’s probably the closest thing YouTube Poop has to a James Ferraro, or an Ariel Pink: obviously pulling from recognisable relics of an old era, but masterfully twisting them so as to seem worlds apart from anything that could ever have been made back then. And that’s why I love him.
(Another reason I love this video so much appears four minutes in, and it is one of the most incredible, most well-executed, most ‘fall-off-your-chair’ hilarious uses of ear-rape in YTP’s history. You’ll understand when you watch it. God fucking damn.)
"WHEN YOU'RE HARD" - by Geibuchan
One of the Great Lost YTPs of our time has at last resurfaced, and I rejoice with a rather overdue review. (Or a celebration, I suppose, as all of these so-called ‘YTP reviews’ really are—and I really am overdue in celebrating the work of my favourite YouTube Pooper of all time.)
Ever since its original creation in 2013, the only way you could really watch this YTP on YouTube was in the form of an abridged 6-minute version with the central Land Before Time section removed. (You could also have just watched the entire thing on Dailymotion, but is this the ‘Dailymotion Poop Review’ list? Hell to the no.) And believe me, the Land Before Time section is what makes the YTP, however good the bookending material is—so when Geibuchan finally reuploaded a slightly-altered version of the full video on YouTube today (July 16, 2018), you could imagine my delight.
You might not think of this YTP as one of Geibuchan’s most impressive videos (considering this is the guy who made The King’s Epic Adventure and Allison Won Derland 4) but it fully deserves the title, in a wholly different way. It’s impressive in that it displays Geibuchan at the absolute top of his game—not in visual flair or storytelling, but in comedy and pacing. It says something that the Land Before Time segment in this YTP is one of the most barebones and slow-to-unfold segments in any Geibuchan video, and yet one of the most hilarious. Let me count the ways.
If The King’s Epic Adventure is, say, a sprawling multifaceted encyclopedia of YTP as a medium, then WHEN YOU’RE HARD is a monograph—a video with a much narrower scope, but perhaps even more depth. (An inch wide and a mile deep, to butcher a phrase.) Geibuchan begins the LBT segment with a totally unedited section of the song ‘When You’re Big’, then, bit by near-excruciating bit, ramps up the editing over the course of nearly eight minutes. This man knows how to develop a running gag better than anyone else, and it’s fascinating to watch the way his influence creeps in and evolves over time: at first, simple word replacements and shifting of sentences (“They’re looking- [down], while you are looking- [up]!”); then, more developed jokes and sentence-mixing humour begin to surface (“You can sn-atch someone’s sn-apple!”); and by the end, the jokes Geibuchan employs are as complex and visually entertaining as anything else in his body of work. Not only that, but the nature of using such a short source material for such a long segment means that snippets of audio inevitably end up getting reused over time—creating mini-running gags in and of themselves, which are often just as funny.
It’s hilarious, too, to think of just how fucking thorough Geibuchan is across the length of this segment. Not a single comedic opportunity is wasted, and each opportunity is stretched to its fullest potential. Going back to that ‘[down]/[up]’ replacement gag: Geibuchan keeps that going for over half a minute, trying out every possible permutation of the joke that he can think of—but in the end you can only thank him for going so far. The segment feels ‘comprehensive’ in a way unique to his craftsmanship, leaving you strangely satisfied upon its conclusion—it really feels like Geibuchan managed to create every single possible joke that could be made out of the original work. (He even manages to squeeze in an entire “S” gag! A gift for the 2008 crowd perhaps.) It’s a refreshing change of pace for a YTPer who’s usually far more manic with his style of editing, and it cements him as a master of pacing in all its forms.
The bookending segments of this YTP (a Donkey Kong Country intro and one of his trademark Azumanga Daioh segments to cap it all off) are still as wonderful as I remembered them being, having watched the original abridged version however many years ago. Yet now, they can’t help but feel like a massive shift in tone with such a wholly different video separating the two. Those parts are Geibuchan doing what he does (and he’s always been great at what he does, so they’re great), but that part in the middle strikes me as something entirely different—and it elevates the entire video from being just a standard entry in Geibuchan’s vast catalogue into a visionary work on par with his best. In anyone else’s hands (certainly in the hands of people who do this kind of simple style all the time, those Dathings of the world I call them) this video would’ve been an unfunny disaster—but if there’s anything Geibuchan’s succeeded at proving in his ten years on the YTP scene, it’s that you can make anything funny if you time it perfectly. (Now if only he was that good at timing the release of his next YTP okay that’s my one joke for this review I’ll go now)
"I AM BECOME SP☹NGE B☹B" - by LinkOnDrugs
The return of LinkOnDrugs has to be the greatest thing to happen to the psychedelic YTP scene, bar none. The already elusive pioneer of the subgenre became an almost messianic figure upon his disappearance in mid-2015, and prompted a new wave of surreal poop practitioners that took inspiration (and sometimes just stole ideas) from him. Few other YouTube Poopers can claim to have such an influence on the community in their absence (you’d probably have to go back to BarneyIsPerverted for that—and I probably will soon), which goes to show you how impactful his work was.
There’s something about LOD’s approach—found in the subversive brilliance of °°°°° soliloquy for subterranean ᵇᵒᵇ °°°°°, the in-your-face insanity of A̶n̶x̶i̶e̶t̶y̶ ̶A̶t̶t̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶M̶o̶d̶e, and beyond—that absolutely none of his many copycats could replicate, and that I don’t think many of them even noticed through their rose-tinted view of him. Whereas many of them were preoccupied with just being weird and edgy, LOD managed to balance that out with a deep playfulness and humanity. You can tell he really put his heart into the more frightful and saddening scenes in his videos, but also into those wackier gags and references. I feel like people forget how many Actual Jokes can be found inbetween the mindfucks—and while, yeah, a few of them were pretty edgy, they were neither overpowering nor all that confrontational. This is why all of LOD’s videos are just so damn fun to watch, compared to, for instance, any early SightOfDelirium video. (Though to be fair she did later evolve beyond stiffly moving puppet tool images side-to-side against a shitty After Effects background. Whether others of her ilk did, on the other hand…)
Two years of inactivity is, however, a lot of time. Once I got over my ineffable excitement at seeing LinkOnDrugs finally return in 2017, I grew to wonder if he still ‘had it’, so to speak. All these concerns abated once he released this, his longest YTP up until then (I only really count the reversed second half of soliloquy on good days), which seemed spectacular at the time—a strikingly dark and bold tour-de-force that announced LOD as Back In The Game with a vengeance. However, looking back upon it, I’m starting to realise how similarly rose-tinted I might have first approached it—and by extension, how he himself might have too.
Forty seconds in, LOD proclaims (channelling Nas) “The king is back! Where my crown at? I am the truest! Name a [YOUTUBE POOP]er that I ain’t influenced!”. And for a while, this braggadocious statement is well earned. The ‘wasted time, wasted youth’ segment that plays afterwards is just as real and arresting as, say, the ‘life of mediocrity’ segment in The Paint Job (not least because of the excellent use of John Maus)—and Mr. Krabs exclaiming “I’ve got a boneyard bone-r!” is perhaps the funniest sentence-mixed line LOD’s ever cooked up. (Seriously that shit deserves to be a YTP catchphrase for the ages.) Watching the first half of this video left me without any doubts that ‘yeah, THIS is LinkOnDrugs.’ It’s a concise display of all his many talents: creating mind-bending visuals, cracking slyly great jokes, and presenting moments of sudden beauty and sadness.
However, at 3:17 exactly, something changes. A transition from a SpongeBob clip to a video filmed by the Columbine school shooters, which is edited slightly to feature SpongeBob entering the frame and fraternising with them. If this had been a short gag tossed aside quickly with a ‘yeah whatever who cares’ I probably wouldn’t have minded—but it just keeps going, with Patrick later viewing the original Columbine news broadcast, shouting “Go SpongeBob!”. Further on, SpongeBob, standing next to Adolf Hitler in a black-and white broadcast, whispers “Hi! I’m SpongeBob!”, and subsequently stands on a podium dressed in a Nazi uniform saying “there’s power in pride”. Immediately followed is a gruesome scene from The Walking Dead with SpongeBob and Patrick lazily edited in. A TV appears featuring the ‘panty raid’ exchange from ‘Mid-Life Crustacean’ edited to feature the three characters doing… something else (“You’re talkin’ about [little boys] right? And you’re talkin’ about [raping] their [asses]?”) which continues to an excruciating length.
At this point I’m sure you can infer what exactly went so wrong for me, rewatching the second half of this YTP. I did not find a single thing funny. There were many times, in fact, that I thought, ‘why on earth is this here?’ This is stuff only a fucking edgelord would make—and if there’s one thing I respected about the LinkOnDrugs of old, it’s that he was not an edgelord.
YouTube Poop is rife with offensive humour; maybe moreso in the olden days, but it’s subsisted in the scene’s current global consciousness. Still, any YTPer worth their dinner can make offensive humour, well, humourous, through any number of techniques: making it clear in the joke’s presentation that it’s only a frivolous detour; using clever pacing to diffuse the joke’s negative impact; simply distracting you with how cool everything else looks; or just making the joke actually fucking funny. Returning to an old LOD video like Spongebob gets crucified by angry 90s kids (one of my favourites) reminds me just how perfectly LOD could harness these techniques to keep his YTPs enjoyable no matter what. Even the scene where Jeffrey Dahmer kicks and murders the dog from Elfen Lied doesn’t become uncomfortable because (a) it only lasts a short while, and (b) it’s Jeffrey Dahmer doing it, which reassures you that this is all a big piss-take at his expense. None of LOD’s humour was poorly paced; none of it gave you any indication he saw these taboo topics in any complacent light.
The second half of I AM BECOME SP☹NGE B☹B is poorly paced. It drags on and on to such a degree that the attempts at humour become protracted and annoying. Neither are these scenes commented upon in any way. They just stand there, menacingly, until they’re finally over, and you’re left to wonder what LOD himself thinks about these events and experiences he presents in such an indifferent, Sam Hyde-ian way. Does he condemn them, or condone them? It’s no longer easy to tell. Also, on the topic of pacing, I haven’t mentioned the solid minute of almost complete nothing at the end—just an ominous drone, another tiny Columbine clip tossed in there, and a dead black screen surrounding it all. When this YTP came out, I praised this scene in the comments as ‘ultra-dark freeform experimentation’—now, it just leaves me cold. Perhaps I’ve grown older, and more curmudgeonly when it comes to edginess for the sake of it. But I’m surprised that the opposite seems to have happened for LOD. It’s like he went back to his older videos after two years of absence, and thought—as his many disciples did—that all there was to them was weirdness and edginess.
I wish I could be able to enjoy this video across its entire length, as I used to. I will still wholeheartedly champion the first three minutes as a spectacular return to form—but after that part ends, I can’t help shaking my head and saying that the second half is one of the emptiest, most tone-deaf pieces of YTP I’ve ever seen. It’s a hollow shell of LOD’s past greatness. It shows the myth, the legend… but not the man.
any future reviews i write will be posted directly to this topic! stay tuned!!
(i hope i’ve chosen the correct category for this - the ‘recommended poop showroom’ also seemed suitable though! i surrender myself to the will of the moderators…)