Comedy Spotlight: Dashie
Online trends that pop up when you are well into your 20s are oftentimes easy to judge. For me, a 90s millennial, these trends include the rise of YouTube personalities and channels, and within that, the rise of different types of YouTube channels. One thing that these trends have taught me is that I should not judge the context of a comedic personality – that is to say, funny people can parlay that funniness through any platform, so to judge them simply for the platform they choose is doing a disservice to the comedy.
Put in this context, one YouTuber in particular has taught me not to judge YouTubing as a way to deliver the comedic goods – Dashie! Dashie’s channel covers a variety of areas, including vlogs and sketches – your classic YouTube personality. However, his channel is primarily a gaming channel, wherein he plays a variety of games including horror, driving, and platform games. While this description covers a large part of what Dashie’s channel is about, I think it is misleading because it does not note what I think is the necessary through-line for all of these videos, which would be his sense of humor.
Dashie’s comedic style elevates him above simple “watch-me-play-video-games” or “watch my skit/vlog” status. His is an idiosyncratic style, one that you can tell comes naturally and is not over-intellectualized. Equal parts silly, awkward, and absurd, it is apparent that he is pulling from his own sense of humor – what he finds funny and hopes others do too, as opposed to what he thinks others might find funny. I think that is what I like so much about his approach on this channel, which parallels a major reason that I like any comedy that I like. That being, the creator has a sense of humor that is tied into who they are, and they seek through whatever avenue or platform that they choose to communicate this sense to their audience. Why can’t this avenue or platform be a YouTube gaming channel??
It has been interesting to see the online entertainment landscape evolve – from fun one-offs in the 90s and 2000s (sites like ebaumsworld and YouTube videos like “Chocolate Rain”) to the more sustained career-focused YouTubers and online entertainers of the 2010s, to the further diversification of online entertainment into the 2020s. While I do appreciate the grassroots nature of the internet landscape, I do understand why I might have been hesitant to throw my comedy fandom behind an online personality. This can be attributed to the “internet humor style” that so many online creators indulge in, or just the intense noisiness/attention-grabiness of the online atmosphere. Creators like Dashie are a good reminder to me to keep my eyes open through all of this for original comedic personalities and creators, whether the platform is YouTube, TikTok, or one yet to be determined!