Filthy Frank, IdubbbzTV, Anything4Views, HowToBasic and MaxMoeFoe each have their own alternative brand of content on YouTube, but every couple months they all get together to create a disgusting, painful-to-watch video.
So why are these videos getting so many views?
1. They are pooling their audiences.
As with any collaboration, these videos garner the attention of all the involved parties’ fans. While Max is typically the uploader of the videos, they appear in the related videos for Idubbbz and Filthy Frank, who have more than four million subscribers each.
With those numbers, it makes sense that a video promising pain and suffering would get 2-30 million views.
2. The format mimics a popular genre.
The Dudesons and the like pioneered the “watch us seriously hurt ourselves” phenomenon on TV. Successful YouTubers often borrows from aspects of successful television and movies.
That’s not to say these videos don’t have a unique flavor; they do. However, their purpose may be to fill an inevitable void on the internet.
3. They take it a step further with behind-the-scenes.
One of the most impressive and perplexing parts of these videos is the amount of effort put in. It seems simple to bake a bunch of hair into a cake, eat it, then throw it up, but in fact, it takes weeks of planning and preparation to put together such a horrific video.
Anyone who may notice the BTS videos in the sidebar would be compelled to watch the original video again to see why the heck they put in all the effort.
4. They all stay in character.
Bless Filthy Frank for keeping composure and maintaining his trademarked accent while getting his feet burned by twenty little candles. If nothing else, this level of devotion has earned them their success with these videos, and as YouTubers in general.
This team of misfit YouTubers has found success through dedication and passion for their craft. While it seems like the last thing people might click on, the view count goes to show that there is an audience for this sort of thing. They walk a fine line, but they certainly achieved something great with this unofficial series. All it took was a little elbow grease (and other bodily fluids).
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Gabriel Dufurrena is a mathematician, writer, and educator living in Oakland, CA. When he’s not watching YouTube videos or teaching math, he’s cooking a whole chicken in a nonstick pan.