So as a preface to the actual list I’ve gone ahead and compiled some information about the Game Grumps, specifically information relevant to Jon Jafari’s tenure on the show. I do, however, understand that you may already know all the information, or simply would prefer to skip it. So you can click here if you’d like to go straight to the list or just keep reading to find out more about the Game Grumps. Either way. Enjoy!
Game Grumps is an American Let’s Play channel which was established back on July 18th 2012 by co-hosts and co-founders Arin Hanson (also known as Egoraptor) and Jon Jafari (also known as JonTron). Arin had already built up a considerable fanbase prior to Game Grumps due to his animations which were posted to Newgrounds and his personal YouTube Channel and when Jon came to his attention following 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 they became friends and eventually decided to collaborate.
The actual concept for Game Grumps as well as the name of the show and the roles of ‘Grump’ and ‘Not So Grump’ they play on it were inspired by an incident where Jon and Arin were playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl and arguing over whether the character Wolf was a clone of Fox, because their fighting styles were too similar. A friend of theirs told them they have a tendency to get a little ‘grumpy’ with one another while playing games, and said that they should make a show where they should talk it out, Arin concieved of a podcast called Game Grumps, the idea for which eventually evolved into the show as we know it. As mentioned above Arin and Jon play specific roles on the show, with Arin playing the role of ‘Grump’ and Jon playing the role of ‘Not So Grump’. Together the pair hosted the channel, with vital behind the scenes support from their editor Barry Kramer (also known as razzadoop) until Jon left on June 25th 2013 to focus on his own personal channel.
Speaking of which, if you are a fan of JonTron, you can check out a Top 10 list I did for his best episodes by clicking here and here.
Following Jon’s departure from the show he was replaced by Dan Avidan (also known as Danny Sexbang) the lead vocalist of the comedy musical duo, Ninja Sex Party, who took over his role as ‘Not So Grump’.
Interestingly enough, Dan joining the channel had already been in the works prior to Jon leaving, as he was set to be the co-host of another series scheduled to appear on the Game Grumps channel called Steam Train, which would feature himself alongside Animator and voice actor Ross O’Donovan (also known as RubberRoss, RubberNinja or CondomRoss) where they would both play PC games (as opposed to console games, which were more common on Game Grumps at the time) many of which were available on Valve’s Steam platform (for which the show was named) in a similar format to the original Game Grumps set up. However due to the sudden nature of Jon’s withdrawal from the show, and also because Arin had apparently said previously that Dan would have always been his second choice for a co-host for Game Grumps if Jon were unavailable he ended up taking the co-host role on both shows.
Jon Era Series
So I think some of my favourite playthroughs are ones where I end up wanting to get the game for myself and that’s the case for this, which is particularly impressive since at the time I hadn’t heard any really positive reviews regarding the Wii U. Anyway, watching Arin and Jon playing Nintendo Land was great because it seemed really fun and you could tell they had a great time playing it. The Animal Crossing and Legend of Zelda segments specifically were great. It’s just one of those classic playthroughs where its two dudes having fun rather than actively trying to make content.
2. Sonic ’06
I think for a lot of fans, this is perhaps the most iconic series played during the Jon Era of Game Grumps. Firstly, it started the trend of them playing Sonic games on the channel, which has brought countless hours of fun for the Lovelies over the years. This series has everything that makes Game Grumps so great, from excessive glitches, to a totally bonkers ploy and of course a whole lot of ‘Real Talk’. Also can I just say that I am legitimately a fan of the music from Sonic ’06 which Arin famously called ‘Butt Rock’ during another Sonic playthrough. Speaking of the music though, one of the best things about this playthrough, was that songs such as ‘Escape from the City’ were sung by Jon and Arin, often with improved lyrics or with the music played at different speeds. Sadly Jon left the show before they completed the game, and they apparently have no intention of finishing it without him.
So I enjoyed this series because the game itself is the right blend of quirky and surreal which always makes for good content. One of the main objectives involves the character trying to kiss and therefore ingratiate themselves with random townsfolk, so that you can impress the girl of your dreams. In this regard it actually reminded me of their playthrough of Spider-Man many years later, where Arin keeps offering to/threatening to kiss the citizens of New York. Overall this was a fun episode, and one which answers a particular question about Barry that I’m sure no one was actually curious about.
So this is another series which I probably liked a little bit more just because I enjoyed playing the game as a kid, that being said it was a really fun playthrough that introduced people to a classic 90s platformer that I personally feel didn’t get as much love as it deserved. Apparently, due to the amount of copies that The Grumps were sent, fans either really disliked this game and wanted rid of them or they were really desperate for them to play it on the channel. The Grumps received at least 7 different copies of Glover from the fans, this led to an awesome advert back in August 2013, which you can check out here.
5. Universal Studios Theme Parks Adventure
So I distinctly remember playing this game as a kid, and in all honesty I do not remember liking it. I did, however, enjoy Arin and Jon’s playthrough which was surprisingly fun. I think the reason why I liked this one so much was that it was very human and honest, I mean the reason they stopped playing was because they got stuck on the quiz auction and just gave up. Now a lesser channel might have used editing tricks or maybe even have the hosts look up the answers off screen but not the Game Grumps. They tried, they failed and they moved onto greener pastures and other equally terrible games.
6. Joe & Mac
So I like this because there’s just a lot going on, it’s packed full of jokes, and stories. I particularly liked them discussing how hard it is to describe their job to people. Oh and them talking about the awesome musical Rent, with Jon even singing some choice samples from it as well.
So I fully acknowledge that sometimes when the Game Grumps make no progress during a playthrough that it can be frustrating but to be honest as long as they are being entertaining, I don’t mind that much, especially with Pokémon which is as much about exploring as it is progressing through the story. During this playthrough, they spend a considerable amount of time just backtracking and meandering across the map. They also come up with creative names for their Pokémon. So, yeah there are entire episodes where you can honestly claim they make no progress and yet you still enjoy it because you enjoy the dynamic between them.
So as much as there’s a lot of fun to be had when they play games that are bad or that they hate, sometimes it’s good to see a playthrough where one or both of them enthusiastically likes the game. Jon really likes Banjo Kazooie and it was nice to see him show it off to his friend. Also sometimes I randomly remember the argument they had early on in this playthrough about burping and whether or not it should remain in the show. For me it is just classic Game Grumps.
Despite coming from a household that really enjoys gaming and that had most of the popular Consoles of the 90s and early 2000s at one point or another we never really got into Donkey Kong, so I just missed this franchise entirely in my youth. So it was good to be able to experience this through the eyes of someone else, particularly since it’s a strong favourite of Jon’s. It helped me to appreciate it, and even Arin made a concerted effort not to speak too negatively about the game. I also liked that they traded off playing, which made it feel a little more balanced as a series.
So despite it being rough around the edges I honestly love this game, so it was great to see them play it and I really wish they had played it more prior to Jon leaving the show. I enjoyed the discussions about the game itself, and how it was Jon’s first time playing it, so we got a fresh perspective on it, as well as Arin who has played it before as well. It’s also in this playthrough they mention being sent Sonic ’06 which obviously leads to one of their most famous playthroughs.
Honourable Mentions go to Goof Troop, Animal Crossing: City Folk and Star Fox 64 which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the list.
So those were my Top 10 ‘Jon Era’ Game Grumps Series and if you want to maybe find some favourites of your own, you can head over to the main channel, Game Grumps.
Make sure and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from Game Grumps. Don’t Forget to show support for JonTron by subscribing to his YouTube channel, and by following him on Twitter and Instagram.
Also if you’re in the mood for Game Grumps but have no idea what to watch then use this neat little site, RandomGrump, which you can use to find a completely random episode or series from the backlog of Grumps content.