Funny and informative
High signal-to-noise ratio, and insane dedication to research.
If you only watch one video from this whole list, I recommend this one:
Little-known facts, with jokes.
One of his earlier videos is also hilarious:
(Start it 42 seconds in; it’s not funny before that.)
Like Wait But Why’s descriptions of the trials of daily life, but with deadpan narration.
I’d call these excellent powerpoint presentations. Watch if you’re interested in the topics.
Most of their videos are about airplanes—not so interesting—but I love the geography ones.
If you were around for the things he talks about, you’ll appreciate his shrewd analysis.
(Age-restricted; this video is called “Planking: A Historical Footnote.”)
NOT recommended: Kurzgesagt
I have to mention this channel, because otherwise someone will say “Have you tried Kurzgesagt? It seems like something you’d like.”
Wrong. I strongly dislike this channel.
This video is well made, but soo pretentious and slow. I could die of boredom before it ends.
(Ironically, CGP Grey says this is his favorite YouTube channel, and that he fears he’ll never measure up to the high bar they set. You’re so much better than that, Grey!)
I will, however, note that their recent solar flares video is sweet vindication of my post on why you should probably fear the apocalypse.
Viral Video Film School
I don’t understand how this channel still has less than 50k subscribers. It deserves millions.
Another good one:
Hundreds of great videos. It was hard to narrow it down to just three.
He can play anyone, from middle schoolers to office workers to bridesmaids.
John B. Crist
I went to a church youth group and Christian summer camp, so I relate to the ones that poke fun at Christianity…
And on a secular note:
A voice like smooth dark chocolate. Again, hard to pick three.
Okay, just one more:
Originally a Vine star, she only has seven videos, but they are charming and unique.
The OG. I found him by (sincerely) searching for “how to be emo” back in 2007. Thirteen years later, he’s still my favorite YouTuber.
Look how much he packs into one 7-minute video (skip to 5:25 if you don’t like his ADHD-ness):
Another one of the greats. Sadly, he stopped posting regularly ~7 years ago, and only halfheartedly came back.
Anyway, here’s a catchy song about a then-newly named phenomenon:
So many good ones, from POVs and Adam Ruins Everything to If Google Was a Guy (see most popular for more), but here’s a personal fave.
Call me basic—I know he’s the French YouTuber—but he really is good.
Witness his perfect skewering of Instagram wannabes. (Turn on captions for English subtitles.)
He has a full stand-up show on YouTube, as well as regular vlogs. Especially great if you’re learning French.
Binging with Babish
Top-notch commitment to the craft (of hosting an online cooking show). I never make anything from his videos—too complicated—but I watch anyway for his commentary.
No fluff, just relentless respect for his audience.
I also love his series on how to prepare the same type of food three different ways.