*This list was original posted on 08/10/2018, updated on 18/07/2019 and updated again on 14/12/2019 to include new entries which have made it onto my Top 10 List.
Before we actually start the Top 10, I want to introduce you to Jon Jafari, who is better known online as JonTron. He is an American comedian, reviewer, and internet personality. He started his channel JonTron or JonTronShow back in August 31st 2010, uploading his first video(s), Daikatana Review Part 1 and Part 2 that same day. These original episodes contain some of the elements which would feature in future episodes and make JonTron the channel it is today, however because it was rather straightforward and similar to content created by other reviewers, JonTron ended up retooling the show, and going for a more original approach which incorporates his energetic, random and over the top reactions, and thus the JonTron we all know and love was born.
Also in 2010, while making videos for screwattack.com (now called Rooster Teeth) Jon met Austin Hargrave (also known as PeanutButterGamer) and together the pair went on to form Normal Boots, a website where they could post their own original video content. After establishing their site, they also invited other creators to post their content on the site, and were joined by The Completionist and Continue?
Normal Boots continued in that format until 2012 when the site closed down due to Google’s AdSense program meaning that creators were earning more money using YouTube rather than Normal Boots. This was just a temporary hiatus however, as the site reopened on January 25th 2014, with a redesign but retaining all of the original members. The reason for returning to Normal Boots was that creators were having issues with YouTube such as their content being flagged for copyright infringement, and that they wanted to have a place to put content they couldn’t post on their channels. Following the site being reopened the original members were joined by Jared Knabenbauer (also known as ProJared) and Satchell Drakes (also known Satchbags).
JonTron continued to make content during this period, it was after his video DinoCity BRO!!! was posted to Reddit however that he really started to become popular, in fact it was around this point that he caught the attention of fellow internet personality, Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor). Together Arin and Jon, on July 18th 2012, came together to form a Let’s Play channel called Game Grumps, with Arin playing the character of ‘Grump’ and Jon playing the character of ‘Not So Grump’. Jon and Arin co-hosted Game Grumps together until Jon left the channel on June 25th 2013 (having posted approximately 619 videos during his tenure on the show) to focus on his own channel, JonTron, after which he was replaced as ‘Not So Grump’ by Dan Avidan (also known as Danny Sexbang). I have actually made Top 10’s for Jon’s tenure on Game Grumps which you can check out here and here.
Jon continued to post content sporadically during this period between leaving Game Grumps and the present, often posting in short bursts followed by varying periods of inactivity. Following certain remarks he made while on Steven Kenneth Bonnell II’s (also known as Destiny) Twitch channel he received considerable backlash, including a drop in subscribers, having his voice acting removed/replaced via a release date update from Yooka-Laylee (a crowdfunded video game, and a spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie series) and coming to a mutual understanding that while he would remain an honoured founder, he would leave Normal Boots, which happened officially on May 18th 2017. He talked further about his remarks, but didn’t retract what he said on h3h3Productions (produced by husband and wife team, Ethan Klein and Hila Klein) YouTube channel.
So that brings us up to now, and I’m really sorry that this introduction was so long, I guess I got carried away, but now I hope you know a bit more about JonTron, last up before we move on to the actual Top 10 list, I wanted to note, that during this period of activity, the channel has changed considerably from what it has been in the past, with a bigger budget, more of a clear script and much higher production values. In fact JonTron himself discussed this shift in a recent video where he talked about wanting to bring “stuff that’s new and fresh and funny”. So now that I’ve successfully overloaded you with way too much information, check out my Top 10 below.
1. Waterproofing My Life With FLEX TAPE
The now famous flex-tape episode which was so well received that Jon eventually made a sequel. This is a holdover from a previous version of this list, it even kept the top slot, a testament to how good this episode is even upon repeat viewing. When making these lists, I tend to consider a few variables including quotability, genuine laughter/enjoyment while watching the video, and is it re-watchable and I feel this video has or meets all three of those criteria. JonTron is well known for his energetic and sometimes extreme delivery and/or reactions and this one has some of the best in recent memory.
2. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Part 1 & 2)
So I really deliberated on whether this or the other Halloween Two-parter for Goosebumps (and check those out here and here) should make the list, I mean I liked both, and in broad strokes both were similar, featuring commentary on a Canadian/American horror anthology series aimed at the teen market, and being Halloween themed but in the end I decided to go with Are You Afraid of the Dark, because I liked the opening better, it featured the Continue? team and was just all around funnier and entertaining.
3. Food Games (Part 1 & 2)
This is another holdover from the previous version of this list, although it actually climbed a few places on this list, because watching it again after a considerable break, I enjoyed it so much more than I remembered. I do have to add that technically this is two videos, but since they are a two-parter and are meant to be watched together I decided it would be fine. Anyway, this video is truly JonTron at his best, I mean he’s basically just showing us a bunch of branded games from industry titans like Burger King and Captain Crunch while eating a lot of McDonalds but he still manages to make it entertaining across multiple viewings. A personal highlight of the video(s) is a scene with Jon and his…food slave? called Grimbo who bears a near copyright level of similarity to Gollum from Lord of the Rings, it’s just a surreal little bit which even Jon doesn’t remember once he wakes up from what I can only assume is a food coma.
4. The Weird World of PSAs
It might be number four on this list, but I love this episode, it blends the usual over the top reactions with something a little more honest and genuine. I mean in broad strokes it’s just him watching these clips and then talking about them to us, but it’s just so real ad so funny because of it. My personal favourite parts from the episode are the ‘Whose More Dead?’ and ‘Marijuana Does Not Make You Attractive’ clips which pushed a fun episode into a hilarious one.
5. Flex Tape II: The Flexening
This totally had to be on this list, it’s part of the latest batch of JonTron videos that are marked by higher production values and a shift in tone and style. It also happens to be a follow up to the highly successful original flex tape video. This episode features a fancy new intro and logo which are also part of the changes I mentioned up top. This one is a little different from the last flex tape video, it has basically a 7 minute section before the actual episode begins that build up a narrative that Jon has been swept away in success following the first video and is now tasked with making a follow up to it, but he gets caught up with creative differences and a run away budget. It’s entertaining and really demonstrates the new style that Jon’s videos have from that point on. It’s also a great episode because it has the real Phil Swift from the actual Flex Tape adverts it it as well.
6. BUYING DUMB THINGS ONLINE
So this is a really great video, I will admit that I am slightly envious of anyone with enough money, either personally or in the budget for their show that can make purchases like Jon made in this show but it doesn’t detract from how good the video actually is, and no one can ever say that Jon does things by half. I also have to say that this is an exceptionally well produced episode, it has a whole gallery segment, fancy Gnome art, dozens of cheap store bought gnome to compliment the giant $2,000 gnome that Jon bought online. The phone call between the gallery patron, her mother and Jon (as the giant gnome) was really sweet. Finally the Parody of ‘You are Not Alone’ was great, and apparently due to being flagged for copyright infringement, R. Kelly owns the rights to this video, which I suppose will help with finance due to his current legal issues.
7. 6 Scary Things in Video Games
This is an older video, and back when Jon’s content was radically different, I’m not sure what exactly it is I liked, perhaps it was just now genuine it seemed, for example the Clanker from Banjo Kazooie section seamed authentic. I like a lot of Jon’s older content, despite it’s mixed reviews but this one is by far, in my opinion at least, one of the best.
8. Disney Bootlegs
Another brilliant video, I struggled with whether to include this of the Pokemon Bootleg video, but in the end this video earned it’s place by just being that little bit better overall. Maybe it’s the puppets? Cause there sure was a lot of them in this video including the terrifying bootleg Zazu (from Lion King), bootleg Mufasa (also from Lion King), bootleg Jacques (a Bootleg of Jon’s green-cheeked conure parrot and constant companion) and of course The Great Bootleg (who we can assume is the source of all bootlegged products). The game with the graphic Lion King suicides is also funny, in a kind of macabre way as well, and of course Jon dressing up as a Disney Princess, Elsa of Arendelle (from the Frozen movies) was the cherry on the bootleg cake.
9. Soulja Boy Makes A Video Game Console
Okay there a several reasons why this could have made the list including letting me know that DeAndre Cortez Way (better known as Soulja Boy, an American rapper, actor and entrepreneur noted for amongst other things his 2007 debut single ‘Crank That’) made his own game console, or at least had the savvy to bulk purchase and then re-sell an existing console under his own brand. But, other than just being funny, with lots of the expected reactions to the actual scam itself, what got this episode on the list was the musical sequence at the end with was fantastic.
10. JT FITNESS: Sweatin’ it out with OJ
Last place on the the list, but by no means does this mean this isn’t a great video, it’s another of the videos following the noticeable jump in production values. This one also has a lot more structure than his usual sketch, it builds with the whole scenario of Jon wanting to lose weight, to lead us into him watching and commenting on O.J Simpsons actual work out video. It’s funny and shows that regardless of whether scripted or improvised, or some combination of the two, he can still create engaging and fun content that embraces his roots as a creator while expanding and exploring what he wants to do now.
So those were my Top 10 favourite JonTron Videos and if you want to check out his channel and find your own favourites then head on over this his YouTube, and while you’re at it make sure and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from JonTron.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org
Off the Record is and always will be a free platform, but if you like what we do and want to contribute to the production of future content then follow this link and leave a tip.