If you are already familiar with JonTron or just want to skip straight to the list then click here, otherwise read on and enjoy!
Jon Jafari, better known online by his pseudonym JonTron is an American comedian, reviewer and YouTuber. He started his channel ‘JonTronShow’ back on August 31st 2010, and uploaded his first videos, Daikatana Review Part 1 and Part 2 that same day. These original videos, while considerably rougher than what he would eventually go on to create, contained some of the elements which would be part of his future episodes, albeit more straightforward and relatively similar to content by other online reviewers. JonTron eventually retooled his show, going for a more original approach, while still retaining what was popular about his previous content, such as his energetic, random and over the top reactions and the JonTron we all know and love was truly born.
Also in 2010, concurrently with the creation of JonTronShow, and while making videos for screwattack.com (which is now called Rooster Teeth) Jon met Austin Hargrave (more commonly known as PeanutButterGamer or just PBG) and together the pair went on to form NormalBoots (formerly formerly Normal Boots, with a space) a creative community and content portal, where they could post their own original video content. After they established this platform, they invited other creators to join them, such as The Completionist and Continue?
NormalBoots continued in this format until 2012 when the platform closed down, due to Google’s AdSense program meaning that the creators would be earning more money using YouTube than posting exclusively to NormalBoots. As it turns out, this was just a temporary hiatus, because the site later reopened on January 25th 2014, with a major redesign, but just retaining all of its original members.
The reason for the creators returning to NormalBoots in lieu of or in addition to YouTube, was that during this time creators were having issues with YouTube such as their content being flagged for copyright infringement and also for many the desire to have a place to post content which they could not post on their YouTube channel. Following the return of NormalBoots, additional members joined such as Jared Knabenbauer (more commonly known as ProJared) and Satchell Drakes (also known as Satchbags).
JonTron continued to make content during this period, but it was after his video DinoCity BRO!!! (which features his first attempt to sing Firework by Katy Perry, which I eventually reviewed) and that videos subsequent posting to Reddit that he really started to become popular. It was during this period that he caught the attention of fellow internet personality Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) who was then quite popular due to content posted on Newgrounds and his YouTube Channel and who was fresh off his appearance on the third season of The Tester, a serialised reality program created by Sony Computer Entertainment, which aired between February 7th 2012 and April 3rd 2012.
On July 18th 2012, Arin and Jon formed a Let’s Play channel together called Game Grumps, with Arin playing the role of ‘Grump’ and Jon playing the role of ‘Not So Grump’, the title of the show and the roles they built are a reference to an incident where Jon and Arin were playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl and arguing over whether or not the character Wolf was too similar to the character Fox in terms of their fighting styles. After this their friend, animator and voice actor Ross O’Donovan (also known as RubberRoss, RubberNinja or CondomRoss) told them that they had a tendency to get a little ‘grumpy’ with one another while playing games. As a result of this Arin conceived of a podcast, the concept for which eventually evolved into the Game Grumps as we now know it.
Jon and Arin hosted the show together until Jon left the channel on June 25th 2013 (having posted approximately 619 videos during his tenure on the show) to focus on making content for his own channel, JonTronShow, which has fallen somewhat by the wayside while he was working on Game Grumps. Speaking of which and before we move on to the next stage of JonTron’s history, I’ve written Top 10s for his tenure on the show, and you can check those 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 the Twitch stream of Steven Kenneth Bonnell II (also known as Destiny) he received considerable backlash, including a drop in his overall subscribers, having his voice acting removed/replaced via a release date update from Yooka-Laylee (a crowdfunded video game, and spiritual successor to the Banjo-Kazooie series, which he has previous expressed a fondness for) and coming to a mutual understanding with the other members of NormalBoots, that although he would always be an honoured founder of the community, that he would leave NormalBoots, which officially happened on May 18th 2017.
He talked in greater detail about his remarks on Destiny’s Twitch stream while on the H3 Podcast (a YouTube channel produced by husband and wife team, Ethan and Hila Klein of h3h3Productions) but didn’t retract his previous statements. That pretty much brings us up to now, and I hope after having read all that you feel like you know a little bit more about JonTron. Now let’s move on to the Top 10 list which you can check out below.
The Actual List:
1. Surviving Edged Weapons
This one takes the top spot just because it’s hilarious, it manages to blend the critical elements of older videos where he watches and comments on things, with the sketch driven comedy that has exemplified his more recent content. It’s just so ridiculous though, and even after watching it for the hundredth time It’s still funny. A particular highlight being the end scene with Daniel Stompor and Tamara Chichian who played the teenage brother and sister respectively, where they are prepared for JonTron’s disturbing version of Santa Claus this time
2. BUYING DUMB THINGS ONLINE
This came so close to taking the top spot, because not only is it incredibly funny, but ever since I first watched it I’ve had that ‘You are Not a Gnome’ song stuck in my head. It’s fun watching videos like this of JonTron’s because he’s truly in his element when he’s incredulous and reacting to something. Also the anecdote about the yodeling pickle helping someone deal with dementia was really sweet, and added a touch of reality to an absurd video about buying a giant 2,000 dollar Gnome and a pair of instant underpants (just add water).
3. JonTron’s StarCade Series
Okay this series was just fantastic, it had high production values, cameos from other big name YouTubers such as Octopimp, Ross O’Donovan, Mark Fischbach, Markiplier, Ricepirate and Egoraptor just to name a few and it showed off a lot of the Star Wars franchise in a fun and interesting way. I think when he gets to perform, JonTron is at his best, and whether he stuck strictly to a script or had room to adlib, it didn’t come across as anything more than someone having a lot of fun. Also for fans of Game Grumps, the final episode featured Arin Hanson, his former co-host, this episode and the interactions between JonTron and Arin helped to ease rumours that the pair were no longer friends in the aftermath of Jon leaving Game Grumps to focus on JonTronShow.
4. Clock Tower
This is an older video, but one which I keep finding myself coming back to, it’s just chill and interesting to listen to, Jon makes a lot of good points about the game and the genre, and add to that it’s very fun and incorporates some live action comedy stuff in there as well. Plus Jacques was in this episode, a feature which has sadly been absent from more recent episodes.
5. Apples and Grapes
This is another of his older videos and it falls firmly into the absurd, starting with Jon playing MySims for the Wii, being so overwhelmed by the game that he travels from California to Texas to tell PBG (PeanutButterGamer) all about it. It’s just funny, and in particular I really liked the outtakes at the end, because it makes the whole thing feel more organic, like buddies just hanging out and goofing off.
6. Soulja Boy Makes A Video Game Console
This is a more recent video, and one that despite the static location, just feels like it has higher production values. That alone doesn’t merit a place on this list, but it’s just hilarious, and it shows a strange shift in the career of DeAndre Cortez Way (better known as Soulja Boy, the American rapper, actor and entrepreneur noted for amongst other things his 2007 debut single ‘Crank That’) who is now apparently making his own video console, but as the video will tell you, not everything is as it seems.
7. Takeshi’s Challenge
Has made it on and off this list various times as I’ve edited and updated since it was first posted, and the reason for that is that it’s just a very strong entry, very funny, very crazy and it shows the lengths Jon will go to make an interesting video. I particularly liked the ending, where betrayed by the lack of pomp he received upon completing this incredibly difficult and surely tedious game, he decided to write a letter to Takeshi Kitano asking him to explain himself.
8. The Weird World of PSAs
I really enjoy this video every time I watch it, it manages to blend the usual over the top, extreme reactions he has to things like this, with something a little more genuine, or at least less performative. The broad strokes of the video are literally just him watching the clips and then reacting to them but he still manages to make it engaging. Personal highlights from the video include the ‘Whose More Dead?’ and ‘Marijuana Does Not Make You Attractive’ which both in and of themselves, and because of Jon’s reaction to them pushed a fun episode into a hilarious one.
9. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Part 1 & Part 2)
So this is a holdover from the previous version of this list, and it hasn’t really moved up or down, a testament to its consistent quality and entertainment value. But much like last time, I really debated whether to include this or the similar video(s) regarding Goosebumps. I struggled, because largely both are similar, they feature Jon’s commentary on a Canadian/American horror anthology series, and both are Halloween themed, but I think in the end I picked Are You Afraid of the Dark? because it’s just a shade or so funnier overall, the intro to the video(s) is also better overall and this one also featured a cameo by the Continue? team which just pushed it over the edge and earned it its spot on this list. You can however check out the Goosebumps video(s) by clicking here and here, there we go, that’s me having my cake and eating it.
10. Waterproofing My Life With FLEX TAPE
This is another holdover from a previous version of this list, and while it’s last on the list don’t take that as an indication of it’s quality, because I’ve selected each entry on this list from the dozens of options available and so each entry is in my opinion the best JonTron has to offer. When making these lists I tend to consider a few variables including quotability, genuine laughter/enjoyment while watching the video, and rewatchability and I feel this video has or meets all three of those criteria.
So those were my picks for JonTron’s Top 10 episodes, why not check out his YouTube channel and find your own favourites. While you’re at it, make sure and follow him on Twitter and Instagram for the latest JonTron updates.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/