“WHAT UP HILA KLEINER’S!” and “WHAT UP PIMPS!”
IT’S TIME TO STOP! In a world inundated with “It’s Everyday Bro!,” the Paul brothers and a Shane Dawson documentary series, a hero has risen. One man with “internalized oppression,” that jewish thicc boy and YouTube pioneer Ethan Klein has come to save the platform.
Ethan Klein, the founder of H3H3 Productions, began his YouTube career in 2013 alongside his then-girlfriend Hila. The first few reaction-style videos were made to help Hila with school projects but later became a career for the now married duo.
The couple’s love story and career path is unlike any other on YouTube. Ethan was born in California and attended the University of California, Santa Cruz to study English literature while Hila, born in Israel, served in the Israel Defense Force.
During a school trip to Israel, Ethan met Hila and it was awkward conversation at first sight. Ethan approached Hila at a Holocaust Museum and the rest is told in the “How we met at a Holocaust Museum” video on the H3H3 main channel.
Fast forward three years to 2016 and at the age of 31, Ethan became enshrined into the Hall of Living Memes.
A little video titled “Vape Nation” hit YouTube and immediately transcended H3H3 to one of the top channels on YouTube. Nobody would have thought a man wearing pajamas, socks with sandals, a marijuana du-rag and a “go green” shirt walking around vaping would be a success. Ethan’s exclamations of “VAPE NAYSH Y’ALL” led to 23 million views and “Vape Nation” being the highest viewed video on the H3H3 channel.
Posting a constant flow of videos through the rest of 2016 and 2017 opened many doors for Ethan and Hila. One of those videos was featured on the most subscribed channel of all time, PewDiePie.
Other collaborations with iDubbbz and Filthy Frank caught the eyes of many as the trio is arguably the biggest meme on YouTube. As the subscriber count climbed, the “Naysh” grew and H3H3 found themselves in the biggest battle of their lives.
A reaction video titled “the big, the BOLD, the beautiful” where Ethan and Hila made fun of Matt Hose got the duo into a lawsuit over the rights of fair use. A year and a half long process eventually ended in H3H3’s favor. They were allowed to keep the video online, which was a huge victory for all content creators.
Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to stand up for YouTubers all over the globe made Ethan and Hila heroes to the online community. Winning the lawsuit meant people could not sue creators and ruin people’s careers over something as simple as criticism.
After the lawsuit was finished, two more challenges arose. One of those was the “ad-pocalypse” or the demonetization of videos and once again, Ethan and Hila stood up for the online community. H3H3 made countless videos calling out YouTube for the changes and became one of the loudest voices against the system.
The most famous of these videos is called “Youtube’s rules don’t apply to everyone.” In this video, Ethan compares the way YouTube treats Jimmy Kimmel versus Casey Neistat. Both made videos on the Las Vegas shooting. Kimmel campaigned for stronger gun-control while Neistat’s asked people to give to charities. Neistast’s video was demonetized, Kimmel’s was not. Ethan questioned the decision and even went far enough to call out YouTube for “selective enforcement.”
Other than YouTube, the 2016 election was a prestigious time for H3H3 as they pushed back against political correctness and fought for free speech. During the unsettling political climate, Ethan reacted to a video by BBC asking if gifs and emojis that featured black people in them were a form of Blackface. Ethan responded in the form of his alter-ego “Whiteface man.”
That was not the only time “Whiteface man” has appeared on the H3H3 channel. A video by NowThis calling the word marijuana racist caught the eye of Ethan. The NowThis video tries to explains the origins of marijuana and how it was used to “knock on people of color and their devilish ways.” Ethan’s response was to make a video the only way he knows how, to unleash “Whiteface man” on his subscribers and exploit the absurdity of the claim.
The successful outlandish and satirical comedy produced by Ethan and Hila is a testament that anyone can make it. A 30-year-old Jewish man with a neck “FUPA” and dad bod can influence and be the voice of an entire community.
Ethan Klein may not be the hero we wanted but he is the hero we deserve.
The questions left to ask is, are you ready to join the “VAPE NAYSH” and embrace your “FUPA?”