Culture is better than you think
YouTube’s surreal entertainment channel entertains millions, but it’s difficult to explain why. Low-poly animation models will zoom through the air and make creaking noises as they navigate through the environment. They can speak like automatons, and make comments on pop culture. Others videos, such as the Duolingo Owl killing users who skip days of the app or Moto Moto being destroyed by Big Chungus would be a perfect fit for the short-lived Adult Swim series Xavier Renegade Angel. YouTube has become a content desert in 2019, so it’s refreshing to see surrealistic digital art. This channel breaks all rules and thrives as a result.
Samuel S. (he requested his last name not be revealed for privacy) started the channel online while still in high school in Sweden. A classmate was playing with a T-Pose character, which is the default animated state for 3-D modeled characters. This glitch can be found in many video games. He told Newsweek that he found it really funny. I realized that I could create my own silly videos with T-posing characters and I knew exactly what I should do. He decided to contribute to YouTube’s scene by learning Blender, a 3-D animation program.
Samuel referred to surreal entertainment as “intentionally terrible with absurdist elements that makes them funny to watch,” and he was inspired by YouTubers such as pamtri and Timotainment. Tim was heavily inspiritated by the first videos of the surreal entertainment channel. He even copied the floating head main character.
Samuel created his meme-focused formula in his seventh video. “Burger King Foot lettuce” is a 12-second video of a pair feet rising into buckets full of lettuce. It’s a parody of Top15s’ popular meme. He said that he had done a lot of research on SEO and applied what he had learned to the video to increase the chance that it would be recommended to others. It worked, apparently. The video that followed added Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, and reached a wider audience. One commenter wrote, “I feel a new rising legend.”
Surreal entertainment became viral just a few weeks later. It spoofs the popular meme “Globgogabgalab”, and its untimely demise. Samuel’s SEO-focused meme attacks were viewed over one million times and he realized that YouTube could be a great place to showcase them. His channel’s growth was fueled by his ability to post short videos about popular search terms. He has amassed over 680,000 subscribers and 57 million views in the last year.
Surreal entertainment is not slowing down. Currently, he posts at least one video per week. Samuel began studying engineering and computer science, but he is still interested in it as a hobby.
YouTube creators face many challenges, especially when you use copyrighted characters such as Shaggy or Thanos. Samuel managed to avoid copyright issues by creating his custom models. One of his videos was demonetized. He can’t make any ad income from it. But he’s not happy about that.
He said that the part of the lyrics he used was generated by a text-to-speech service. “Getting demonetized for that felt a bit unfair.”
He must keep his memes current. According to him, a video takes anywhere from 10 to 40hrs depending on the length of the scene and how complex it is. Some of his fans believe that the low-poly style should be easy to produce, but the real work is in the research. Samuel uses Discord to find the best memes. He also checks in with his YouTuber friends who share new content all the time. It’s also helpful to follow channels such as Grandayy or Dolan Dark. Surreal entertainment can make the best content look terrible when it comes down to style.