Jon Jafari has been producing content as JonTron on YouTube since 2010. Currently, the channel has 127 videos, which would have been more but for various reasons JonTron has privated or removed videos over the years.
Due to producing content for over 10 years he has grown and changed considerably as a creator so to better differentiate this I will be breaking up the JonTron Top 10 into two lists covering two distinct periods in his career. So Classic JonTron will covers from 2010 until December 2015, and New JonTron covers from January 2016 until Now.
Classic JonTron is the period when is content is focused entirely or at least mostly on games and gaming. As we get closer to 2015 we see that Jon begins to experiment with his content, producing several videos which are non-gaming related. However after 2015 we transition into New JonTron, which is marked by a shift towards videos focusing more on general pop culture. Additionally while ‘Classic’ JonTron involves and heavily features Jacques, Jon’s green-cheeked conure parrot, New JonTron does not feature him in any significant role, with the exception of a single video.
So now that we’ve more clearly defined what I mean by Classic JonTron and New JonTron, It’s time to move on, if you would like to skip straight to the list then click here. Alternatively if you’d like to find out a little bit more about Jon, and his channel then keep reading.
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.
This is an awesome episode, it blends the commentary vibe of his older content with fantastic sketch elements. It’s one of those videos where the subject matter is so ridiculous that it’s funny even upon repeated watching. A particular highlight of this video was the end scene with Daniel Stompor and Tamara Chichian who played the teenager brother and sister respectively.
Not only was this really fun to watch, it was also legitimately interesting. Seeing how, in the broad strokes, a game is developed. It was really cool to see what they came up with. Also the fact that Jon wasn’t supposed to be the host was hilarious.
3. Waterproofing My Life With FLEX TAPE
The original Flex Tape episode, and it’s such a classic, you can feel Jon’s excitement and incredulity at the products and Phil Swift’s presentation style. Much like the first entry on this list, this is not only good the first time you watch it but it’s well worth watching it again.
Another very strong episode. In fact It easily could be higher on this list if I’m being honest. The only problem I have is that I’ve not been able to get that ‘You are not a Gnome’ song out of my head. I love episodes like this because Jon’s really in his element when he is just reacting to something crazy or random. Also can I just add that the anecdote about the yodelling pickle helping someone deal with dementia was really sweet, and added a touch of hard reality to a frankly absurd video about buying a giant 2,000 dollar Gnome and a pair of instant underpants (just add water).
So other than the alarming concept that this might be all you need to be certified to command a boat this episode was a lot of fun. It’s just a shame that we didn’t see him helm a boat held together by Flex Tape. It was really funny and it didn’t seem like something that any other YouTubers were doing.
6. Soulja Boy Makes A Video Game Console
So this whole Soulja Boy Console scam in and of itself is hilarious but Jon’s genuine disbelief in Soulja Boy’s boldness makes it even better. The performance at the end really tied the whole thing together though.
7. Dan Aykroyd’s Crystal Skull Vodka
So I actually have my eye on a bottle of this Crystal Skull Vodka that’s in a local off-licence. I will report back when I’ve tried it. For now though I’ll have to live vicariously through Jon. Anyway, this video is great, not just because of the advert, which is crazy enough to be worth a watch but also because Jon always manages to heighten the comedy with his own special brand of energy.
So I admire a person that can find comedy in anything and Jon has a talent for finding the obscure, Wacky and weird and presenting it to us. I also like that he doesn’t rely just on those videos for his content. He provides actual commentary beyond just his incredulous reactions. Also, a brief side note but I cannot get the song from ‘Think About This’ out of my head.
9. Kid Nation
So despite the fact that objectively this show seems like an interesting concept I cannot believe it actually got made. I mean it seems like it’s doomed to failure. Apparently kids ended up drinking bleach? Super crazy, so obviously Jon is in his element. Also super cool but he managed to talk to Jimmy Flynn, one of the kids on the show, and you can check that out here.
10. TURDUCKEN CHEF
This might be last on this list but it is just perfect. It’s more sketch based than the past couple of entries and has Jon invite us into his kitchen as he prepares what he hopes to become the iconic meal of Halloween, the equivalent to the Thanksgiving Turkey or Christmas Ham.
Honourable Mentions go to The Skateboard Kid, Dark Dungeons and Flex Tape II: The Flexening which I also really enjoyed but didn’t quite make the list.
Don’t Forget to show support for JonTron by subscribing to his YouTube channel, and by following him on Twitter and Instagram.