A Stay-At-Home Dad That Makes Videos About God and Vaginas?

I struggle constantly with the battle between consistency and variety. And balancing the family-friendly image but allowing the adolescent in me free. And this struggle, paranthetically, doesn’t get easier when I catch yesterday’s Doctor Phil (while on the treadmill, so kinda had no other option thank you very much) interviewing people about Facebook photos that might come back and haunt us. Okay- crossed that bridge a long time ago.

But then I see Jon Lajoie doing a video where he raps about being a stay-at-home dad. Given his edgy style, I was expecting him to pull the rug from under us. But it was a playful reflection of the fact that being a dad can indeed be cool, and there was no surprise shocker in that video. Then weeks later Lajoey is back to his irreverant style with this ear-worm called “Show Me Your Genitals” (Vagina, Vagina).

For some reason Lajoei’s work comes across as a parody of perversion instead of perversion itself. There are times where I think I’d trust him babysitting my kids more than SxePhil). Come to think of it, I think I did dump my kids wtih Phil at the Washington, D.C. gathering but that’s because there were only two or three other attendees.

There’s something intriguing about someone who can vary their style (either by format or tone) and maintain a regular audience. Some of the most popular creators are known for consistency (Sxephil and whatthebuckshow). Others are known for predictably well written sketches (Smosh, Lisanova, and Baratsandbereta).

Like Lejoie, BaratsandBereta also show that us that you can do videos like the recent Bible in a Minute and the timeless Second Coming of Christ, but still return to wholesome skits like the popular Mother’s Day video. Of course, the duo’s Mormon-like style ranges less than Lijoie, who also boasts “Friends With God?” And how in the world is that video not at 10 million views?

Whatya think? Can you appeal to a large, sustained audience if your tone and format ranges, or is it better to find a formula and stick with it? The history of television would tell us consistency is fairly important, and there’s a fuzzy but important line between edgy and perverted. But maybe those rules change with a new medium. Especially if we can segment our content to give viewer’s a choice between the style they’ll accept.

10 Replies to “A Stay-At-Home Dad That Makes Videos About God and Vaginas?”

  1. Sometimes I get shit from the nerdfighters about certain videos. Or the nerdfighters’ parents. Seeing as how the majority of them are underage and my videos aren’t always rated PG. But for the most part I try to keep the videos general audience (and advertiser (wink, wink)) friendly.

  2. Unfortunately I think I’ve boxed myself into the family friendly format. I don’t think my viewers want to see Hank saying “Quit bogartin’ that joint, bitch, or I cut yo’ ass”.

  3. Actually I prefer the videos where you let your adolescent self run free. And where you blog in your car, because you can be very funny in a subtle way. You haven’t been doing enough of those lately, but I’ll cut you some slack because of that back injury of yours.

    We need another weinergate. Or cheese-type prank, if you’re not too high and mighty for us non-HBO stars.

  4. Whatever you do, it seems to me that it has to appear authentic. That’s why Renetto finally grew tiresome.

    You have a variety of stuff, but rarely does it seem calculated to merely generate views. Usually it seems as though you are just having fun.

  5. First off, Lajoie is a really talented comedian. I love his stuff. Next, I think you can change tone as as a content creator if you’re a comedian moreso than if you’re, say a vlogger. Vlogging is pretty much always vlogging – mostly someone talking with a unique opinionated slant. Now Comedy, that’s hard.

    Comedic tone, in my opinion, can change from innocent and silly to irreverent to downright dirty – it’s all about timing and expectations. Look at Monty Python – you never expect a nice old woman from Essex to drop an “F” bomb, but when she does, it’s fantastic. You never expected it – and comedy is often that – playing against audience expectations. But if you do see it coming, and it’s a properly planted set-up, my advice to other web video comedians – go the other way or keep going and take it to the most absurd level you can.

    I say variety is the spice of a good content creator. You or your group is the brand loyalists will follow and who knows, by breaking out of your own mold, you might attract a new, larger audience.

  6. I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast rule.

    Some people can get away with it like Lajoie and Liam Lynch, others just seem off. Let’s not forget that you become a prisoner to your audience’s expectations often “he sold out!” – which puts that realtionship in danger.

    BTW : Bobby J. is right about Lajoie, but he neglects to mention that he’s a hell of a funny guy too.

  7. I am really glad this is a subject you touched on, Naltsy.

    If you have ever checked my stuff out, you’d notice there is mess-with-the-public stuff, song parodies, cartoons, political commentary, etc. Point being, I do a lot of stuff. A site reviewed my channel (positively) and said I was “Tom Green-esque” while TubeMogul called me a cartoonist in a press release. Now, song parodies have become my gravy this year. People eat them up. And either way, my audience is growing (slowly, but growing).

    One of my friends called me “the One-Man Comedy Central” and I think he hit the nail on the head as far as how I am branding myself. Since he said that to me, I have been telling other people that same thing.

    You can go to my channel and watch me play multiple characters in a sketch, you can see cartoons I make entirely on my own, and you can see what happens when I think of something funny to do in public (among other things). People are starting to understand that and that is what they are telling other people.

    I get email saying stuff like “it’s great how eclectic your work is!” Because that word is extremely popular right now. People are using it to describe their taste in music to seem open-minded. And those same people, whatever be the case, seem to be liking what I am doing.

    In response to the “which is better, eclecticism or consistency?” question, I would say I don’t think either one is better. From a creators standpoint, I’d say the easiest is probably consistency. You brand and build an audience quicker because people know what they are getting.

    Artistically, a variety is WAY more fun, though. It’s just really hard to make people understand what you are doing without showing it to them. You can’t pitch a fast-curve-change-up. It’s physically impossible.

    …so I am going to use what my friend said about me and tell people I am a “One-Man Comedy Central.”

Comments are closed.