For the most part, comedy is subjective, which is probably why many would argue that it’s the most difficult art form in existence to master. There’s no formula or foolproof way to synthesize someone’s sense of humor and make it palatable for every human being on the planet. By its very nature, comedy’s intention is to question, push boundaries, and subvert stodgy expectations, and as a byproduct of those actions, it often offends. That being said, there are a lot of people in the world who aren’t too keen on laughing whenever they’re the butt of the joke.
Earlier this week, Jimmy Kimmel – host of ABC’s popular late-night variety show entitled Jimmy Kimmel Live! – shared his opinion on the idea of Let’s Play videos that coincided somewhere around the time YouTube Gaming launched, saying that the practice was “a waste of time”. He also compared it to a person going to a restaurant and having someone else eat their food. Since Kimmel’s job is to basically lambaste culture on a nightly basis, the statements he made were rather innocuous.
However, the quips didn’t sit well with a pretty sizable portion of the gaming community (the huge chunk of folks who helped fund PewDiePie’s $7 million from YouTube earnings in 2014), as many fans of Let’s Play streams overreacted, taking to message boards to spout senseless vitriol and death threats at Kimmel. For example, one person went as far as to write, “Bungie jump off a cliff with the rope around your neck [you] chipmunk degen f***”, while another user posted the disgusting statement, “Get cancer you f***ing cabbage” in the YouTube comments. Despite the abhorrent and unnecessary heckling thrown Kimmel’s way, the talk-show host recently sat down with the well-known YouTubers Mark “Markiplier” Fischbach and Jonna “MissesMae” Mae to get a better feel of what Let’s Play videos are all about.
The outcome of the whole ordeal is equal parts awkward, boring, and tedious. After Kimmel shows up armed with a Power Glove and Nintendo Zapper, the group views a clip of MissesMae’s mother and father using an Oculus Rift to experience riding a virtual roller coaster in Minecraft. Later, the on-air personalities take turns playing Rocket League to varying degrees of success.
Eventually, the segment ends with Kimmel making a light-hearted crack about Markiplier and MissesMae needing to physically interact with people more often since they didn’t know how to hug. Quite honestly, Kimmel proves his point about how stupid Let’s Play content is. Ultimately, watching people watch clips of anything is a mind-numbing level of video inception that absolutely no one should subject themselves to.
While the informal fun and diplomacy on the comedian’s and YouTubers’ parts is all well and good, the obvious intention behind the video at the top of the article is for Kimmel to push the Let’s Play community’s buttons once more, rekindle the quarrel, and reap more viewership from the rivalry. Also, since the feud is practically fabricated – the matter wouldn’t be news if the talk-show host didn’t keep dedicating a portion of his show to it – hopefully Kimmel will let the fracas die completely.