Jack Black is heading to YouTube, and wants to be bigger than Ninja and PewDiePie.
The comedian-turned-actor announced his arrival on the platform earlier this week. His channel, Jablinski Games, will “have games, food, and life,” according to a description underneath the video. While Black is the focus of the video, it’s his son who’s taking on the role as director and editor — something the comedian makes abundantly clear in a comment.
“I just want to clarify that there is no production behind this,” Black wrote. “This is all my son. He’s holding me hostage and I can’t be Tracer. Help…”
Black’s son being involved may help explain certain aspects of the video, including references to multiple inside jokes PewDiePie fans would understand (such as the chair Black is sitting on).
It also might help explain why the aesthetic of Black’s channel seems ripped right out of 2014 — a peak of YouTube gaming culture. For example, Black’s banner on his channel is “Sakurai Kirby,” a meme within the gaming community that alludes to a Google search for “Who created Kirby?”
The current plan is to upload a new video every week, according to Black’s welcome message, which seems like it will be edited and produced by his son. Black is in no way the first celebrity to turn to YouTube as a creative outlet, either. Will Smith, Victoria Beckham and Reese Witherspoon all have successful YouTube channels that are separate from their Hollywood careers.
Still, celebrities on YouTube are a bit of a touchy subject within the creator community, with many seeing the arrival of A-listers as a sign of digital gentrification within YouTube’s culture. But people are willing to give Black a chance considering his apparent knowledge of the platform’s culture.
“I give him a pass,” one person on Reddit wrote. “Unlike other celebrities it already feels like he’s in the weird zone between mainstream and indie stuff.”
“Oh well, at least next YouTube Rewind, YT can use an actual gamer from their platform instead of poaching Ninja from Twitch,” another commenter said, alluding to YouTube Rewind, which has become the most disliked video on the platform.
If Black sticks to the schedule, his first official video will be uploaded on December 28th. His channel had just over 330,000 subscribers at the time of this writing.