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Back in 2005, a brand new video-sharing platform called YouTube launched and immediately impacted pop culture. This website allowed creative people to make accounts and post videos. These video topics could be anything, from makeup tutorials to music video parodies, the possibilities were endless. As creators posted more of their videos, they gained more of a fan base known as subscribers. 

Growing up, I watched a lot of YouTube. I would spend hours watching a lot of different creators. These Youtube videos are some of my favorite memories I have from my childhood. When taking a trip down memory lane this week, I started to wonder where the YouTubers from my childhood are now. While some still actively post on the platform, others have left the platform

Here’s a list of a few original YouTuber stars and where they are now. 

  1. Smosh 

Then: I was a huge fan of early Smosh back in the day and this was the channel that inspired this article. Smosh was and still is a YouTube channel that was created in 2005 by co-founders Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox. They originally posted lip-syncing videos of famous theme songs and their lip-syncing video of the Pokemon theme song is what made them go viral. Eventually, their main channel turned into a space for them to create and post fun, short skits. 

Now: Smosh has now expanded into several channels, all having specific content. Although successful, Smosh would run into hard times. In 2017, original co-founder Anthony Padilla left Smosh and started his own Youtube channel to pursue his own creative independence. Then in 2018, Defy Media, the media production company that ran Smosh productions shut down which led to the channel being picked up by Mythical Entertainment. Smosh is still active on their main channel along with their separate channels releasing fresh content frequently. 

  1. Philip DeFranco 

Then: Philip DeFranco created his YouTube channel under the name Sxephil in 2006. He started off and has continued to make videos about the latest news, pop culture events, and more. Along with that, he had a separate second channel, PhilipDeFranco, where he posted vlogs. 

Now: DeFranco’s occasional news posts soon caught many people’s attention, growing his subscriber numbers up. He now posts his news show The Philip DeFranco Show, weekly to his Philip DeFranco channel. 

  1. Fred

Then: I feel like Fred was a YouTuber you either loved or hated. Fred Figglehorn was a loud, energetic character made by Lucas Cruikshank in 2006. Cruikshank created and starred as Fred on the Youtube channel JKL Productions, with his cousins. This character went viral and became the first YouTube channel to reach 1 million subscribers. This success would lead to 3 movies and a spin-off series. 

Now: Nowadays, Lucas Cruikshank retired from his role as Fred and left the channel Fred to be a safe place for children to be creative. The channel has family- friendly content “inspired by the spirit of Fred Figglehorn”. Cruikshank launched his own channel Lucas Where he creates reaction videos and occasionally makes music videos. Cruikshank will occasionally reprise Fred but as of now, it looks like the character isn’t making a comeback anytime soon. 

This is just a shortlist of the YouTubers that I was curious about but I know there are plenty more out there that I would like to catch up with and I encourage you to do the same. 

Let us know about your favorite original YouTubers at @HerCampusSJSU!

Hey, my name is Joanna but I go by Joe. I’m a Journalism major at SJSU. I love music, plants, photography, and writing.
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