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The Reubnick Youtube Channel (2006-2012)



One of the goals I set for myself when I decided to rebuild my personal website from scratch was to take a deep dive into my entire body of work so I could catalog in one convenient place everything I have ever done that's of any value. This website is to be my comprehensive portfolio and archive, after all, of everything I plan on doing in the future as well as everything I ever have done. In order to effectively do this, however, I needed to start from the very beginning. All oeuvres have to begin somewhere, so for better or for worst this is where mine began.

The first real creative venture of my life was the Reubnick Youtube channel. I uploaded my first video over sixteen years ago on Nov 18, 2006, about a week after Google bought Youtube, which makes "Reubnick" approximately as old as Youtube as we know it is. I was 12 years old.

As I will repeatedly emphasize too many times for the remainder of this post, my earliest videos were awful. Just terrible. It boggles my mind to contemplate how I even managed to achieve the small level of success that I did. A lot of it was good old fashioned kindness, I am sure. Maybe pity, I dunno. I was a googly-eyed little doof kid who really looked up to the "big" Youtubers at the time who actually knew what they were doing. To be fair, a lot of the time they would tip their hats to me or do a digital equivalent of Mean Joe Green saying "HEY KID" and throwing his jersey at me.

This strong sense of community on Youtube at its beginnings is what kept me so engrossed.

I wonder how many of these people even remember me now. Most probably forgot, which is what should have happened and which is what I prefer because I'd rather that version of myself be mostly deleted from everyone's memory to make space for who I am now. I didn't forget, though.


The Youtube I knew and came to age on is long gone and unidentifiable compared to the one we know today, and the original sense of community has all but completely evaporated and has been replaced with clickbait and shameless promotion and advertisement, but that's been a slow burn. I am even more grateful for Youtube because I still have access to everything I ever put out there but in such a way were I can carefully curate what people can still see while omitting entirely anything that makes me physically ill with discomfiture. Which is quite a bit. And make no mistake, even the ones that make the cut and that I will choose to highlight are tough watches. I will forge onward anyway, however, as I believe they provide fitting testaments as to how far I have grown as a creative and as a person in general since I started.


But still. These just ain't good.


The only comfort I can get is that by showcasing my work in this order we will, by default, go from the absolute ground floor worst shit I ever shat out and then from there it's all uphill as we work our way towards the present day.


Originally I was going to break this post into segments, but I decided instead that it would be better to just post one comprehensive retrospective of all notable videos I did during that five year period. I also didn't originally plan on reflecting so deeply on this and writing such an exhaustive and lengthy post. But as I watched more and more, I recalled more and more as well, so I thought it would be a worthwhile exercise (for myself at least) to just wax nostalgic and document every one of my thoughts. And when I am done, here all these recollections will remain as continue to age further and further away from my Youtube days.


With that said, let's get on with my nadir.

The first video I ever made was called "Everybody Loves Chad Wick," and it was the first in a series of bad claymation videos about a flamboyant and overly enthusiastic lifestyle reporter named Chad Wick who gets killed in every episode.


The next video I made was another claymation called "Bigfood Punked."

Again, it was 2006.

Eventually I gave up my career ambitions of someday being an Aardman Studios style animator (just as I had with my ambitions of being a cartoonist in fifth grade) I finally made the leap from claymation to live action when I made my first video video. It was something called "Re: The YouTube Video Scavenger Hunt! WITH REUBNICK!" which I hardly even remembered and was hesitant about revisiting because I didn't think I could handle the cringe. The title is bad enough, and I filmed it with a camera that was meant for photographs and not video. I forced myself to watch it and, goddammit, fine, here it is.


Re: The YouTube Video Scavenger Hunt! WITH REUBNICK! (2007)

Good lord, why was I allowed to have that haircut?

From this point on it would only be live action videos, and I veered away from reply videos at around the same time they stopped being a phenomenon. I don't think I was smart or sophisticated enough at this turning point to have actual skit videos, and without challenge videos to cling to, the creative process of my little pea brain seemed to be to essentially will into existence an aimless, half-baked idea to then film without any further preparation or planning. I don't know why, but I suppose I thought the idea of pogo-sticking in the snow was a compelling and badass enough concept to carry an entire video, so "EXTREME Snow Pogo-ing!!!!" came next. Oh, yes, those four exclamation marks are so delightful and necessary, as is the CAPITALIZATION of the word "EXTREME."


EXTREME Snow Pogo-ing!!! (2007)

Wow, look at that little obnoxious girl go. Is that five...maybe SIX whole feel of shoveled driveway of which the audacious 90 pound stuntman gave himself to perform this courageous feat? Astonishing!

Thankfully you won't find many of these earlier videos (claymation, live action, reply videos, or otherwise) for all the same reasons. They were all toothless, indulgent, meandering (many of them were like 10 damn minutes) and horribly made. And I also had an eye-roll-inducing tendency to spend an absurdly long time introducing myself, as though "Reubnick" was some known celebrity people were eager to hear from whose every word they hung on.

It was merely the wishful thinking of the same deeply insecure child I introduced you to earlier in this post, who used over-the-top vanity as a veil to hide it, and the result of nobody ever sitting me down as a boy and telling me to get the hell over myself.

I do suppose that by the time I hit junior high school, though, I was just shy of being completely deluded, as I think I received a level of affirmation I didn't deserve that gave me an overinflated sense of self. Being the kid in junior high school with a regularly updated Youtube channel was at the time still a rather niche and exciting thing and with that slowly but surely came an echo chamber of my peers, all wanting to be in my videos, who told me I was very cool. As a reminder, I was not cool and I do not know how anybody could think I was. I was an overeager teen with an effeminate haircut and the gangly body of one of the those gray aliens. I was a deformed result of what would happen if you shoved Colin Mochrie and season 2 of Family Guy and a stack of MAD Magazines and some xeroxed examples of Stan Lee writing in the "Stan Lee voice" into a cloning machine you bought on Wish. I was the least cool and least funniest person of any group I was a part of. I guess I was just faking it until I made it. I still am, for what it's worth.

But by the time 8th grade rolled around, I changed schools once more and made new friends and people liked me again and girls started having crushes on me and I rapidly regained my confidence and suddenly hit my stride, and I sure felt cool for the first time.

Shortly after I was running with my own stunt group of sorts. I assumed a sort of Johnny Knoxville ringleader role, always wearing a Ramones sweatshirt and skate shoes, and we called ourselves "Reubnick's Moron Crew" as a monument to my unchecked vanity. Like everything else we did, this also sucked and was bad. We pumped out a handful of the lamest and tamest 'stunts' imaginable (rolling down hills, doing "heel-clicks" off of ravines, riding an inflatable couch on skateboards down the driveway, pretending to drop and break an acoustic guitar in front of strangers, etc.) and this carried for a while until I pivoted towards scripted content from then on, which, like the stunt videos and everything before them, also sucked and were bad.


I do feel obligated to post at least one of those stupid so-called stunt videos, so this is legitimately the only one I can stomach watching all the way through. The rest are so saturated with that puff-chested swagger of hormonal teens posturing to look the most badass that I just...I just can't. This one is bearable, but only because of Eric, not me.


Morons on Ice (2008)

Wow, we found a patch of ice and slipped around on it.

These stunt videos didn't last too long, thank God, but for what it's worth my love of Jackass remains. It left a profound mark on me, and I even mean that in a literal sense because I have a tattoo in honor of Ryan Dunn on my foot that reads "5+4=9." IYKYK.

Bad as they were, and still are, and will forever be, these videos are all important to me because they are some of the first handful of what would end up being nearly 300 or so videos I made on Youtube during a five year period between the years of 2006 and 2011. I don't know how accurate that figure is, but currently the number of videos (public, unlisted, and private) I still have on my Youtube channel is 251, and I know I have outright deleted many through the years.

By some time in 2008 I was trying to make a video every week and to my credit I rather successfully stuck to this regiment and managed to generate a very modest but regular fanbase by doing so. I even had an oft-repeated catchphrase, used in the same spirit as when people say "WORLDSTAR," except it didn't involve anybody fighting each other. A more apt description would be to describe it as a prehistoric predecessor to the modern nomenclature shorthand for begging for engagement that we are more familiar with - "smash that like button!" Mine was, simply, "Subscribe to Reubnick!" It was a callout I used to sign off of some of my videos, and eventually there were graphics and shirts and I think stickers at one point and videos of my peers saying the same thing. If you were in Menomonee Falls during the aughts and early naughts, then you may just have...well, who am I kidding. You still wouldn't have heard it, unless you were in high school at the time. Then you definitely would have heard it. But only then. Life was a lot smaller then.


This was during a period where, in my eyes, the "Partnership Program" was the elusive seal of legitimacy, and I reasoned, you see, that if I got enough subscribers through any means necessary then Youtube would have no choice but to accept me into the Partner's Program so I could start earning pennies per year for my shit videos. I was very narrowly focused on this to such an extent that you could say it was an obsession, and I treated this almost like I was campaigning for office or something. I would submit myself every few months and eagerly await what I hoped would be acceptance but was only ever rejection. My Machiavellian efforts were in vain, and it sucked...my overall attitude and approach sucked, that is. And none of this ever did get me into the Partner's Program, because I did not belong in it. But boy oh boy, I sure was desperate.


Yuck. How annoying. I still couldn't even capitalize correctly, nor could I edit a video to save my life even though I'd been at it for a few years already.

From this point on, the videos I will include are from the moment in which my output became much more frequent and consistent. I do wish I still had the work ethic I had back then when I was pumping these out. I pretty much leaned 100% into pre-written comedy skits in 2008 after I dropped the stunt videos, and that is what they would mostly remain. I made way more videos than you will see in this post, because I am highlighting only a hand-picked and carefully curated selection and omitting many of them that don't rise to the occasion.

A LOT of these videos had funny ideas but were way better on paper than in execution. Examples of those include the following:

This next one is the oldest one I could find that's actually still kinda amusing. It's about Bigfoot, of course, because for as long as I can remember I have considered Bigfoot to be a goldmine of comedy. Don't exactly know why, though...


New Bigfoot Sighting, 2008

That's probably the first "good" video I ever made.


Look At My Junk, 2008


I am still quite fond of this one, an Antiques Roadshow parody, which is a weird direction for a 16 year old to go in. In it I play Webster K. Arnold, the glib and elitist host with a double-breasted suit jacket, who was, I guess, one of my first recurring characters.


Championship Swinging, 2008


This one made the cut because I still find the concept of a NASCAR-style organization dedicated to the extreme sport of swinging in a swing in a tree to be funny.


Windswept in Missouri, 2008


In this one I take aim at pretentious auteurs and...Michael Moore, for some reason? The bit is that I want to be taken seriously as a filmmaker so I am reinventing myself as "Reubnick" with the R rolled and making the switch from comedy to independent dramatic cinema with a vintage camera I bought from Goodwill. The punchline is that I can't use any of the footage I filmed because I didn't know how to import it into a computer, which is actually what happened.


Those Darned 1880s Politicians (2009)


In this one I am visited by what I think is the ghost of Former President Chester A. Arthur who possesses the body of a toy elephant and then he makes me do embarrassing things only to reveal at the end that he had actually been the the spirit of former senator Roscoe Conkling the whole time, which upsets me. I don't know, man. This was the kind of weird shit I was always going on about back then.


Crash the Civil War (2009)


I used Windows Movie Maker exclusively for many years, which is to video editing what MS Paint is to graphic design. It was a revelation for me to discover how to save audio to my computer from off of my computer without having to use a handheld microphone to the speaker, and you don't even want to know how long that took me to figure out. So for a while there I was making garbage videos on Movie Maker but at least the external audio was clearer. Somewhere along the line I got a slightly better camera and acquired Sony Vegas, which is an unintuitive and prohibitively limited editing software that is favored by exactly zero industry professionals and that, much to my detriment, remained my editing software of choice up until 2022. It was still miles and miles ahead of Windows Movie Maker, though. I think this video was the first video in which I used high quality sound clips and music and stingers AND did some actual light editing in Sony Vegas.


The Big Day (2009)


This one was kind of a watershed moment because I can openly say that it was funny to us when we made it and it still is funny. First one with Baltimore and Dom, who remain two of my best friends and who I have worked with countless times since.


Time to Get a Watch! (2009)


More violence.


Baby Fight (2009)


Dom being so excited to be in possession of a box of babies that he nearly falls down a staircase and spills them all over the floor is a very solid video intro.


A Retro Reubnick Throwback (2010)


Interestingly enough, it seems that in my next video I arrived at the same conclusion about montages as the one in the last part I wrote. In this video, I begin by apologizing for posting another montage, at which point I am booed, and then I am physically attacked by the montage itself.


Romantic Peril (2010)


This video features an unseen assassin or an assailant of some kind who pursues me and almost shoots me to death because they have a crush on me.


Funny Noise My Dog Makes When He's Alone (2010)


Even though I am me, I am finding myself rooting for myself as I slowly get older in each video I watch. Of course - *spoiler alert* - I know how things turn out for me, but it's still encouraging to see me mature in these things.


There are Ill-Doers About! (2010)


Here we have another video that features my childhood bedroom. My bed was lofted so I had kind of a sub-room under the bed that kind of gave it that quirky, Hey! Arnold bedroom mystique. It's nice to see my bizarre interests immortalized.


Let's Do the Hokey Pokey with Wacky Caedo (2010)


My childhood dog Jojo starred in a video earlier and this was my other dog Caedo's time to shine.


The Night Belongs to Phantom! (2010)


I am very, very conflicted over this one.


John Boehner Exposed! (2010)


Hey look, I learned how to use a green screen. This is one of my lower brow videos, where I turn everybody at CPAC against John Boehner by calling attention to how similar his name is to "Boner." Sigh.


Camden's Snack and Grocery! (2010)


I love this one and I still quote it regularly - particularly "ha-cha-cha, fella!" Dom really went method as Randy Camden in this, and there was some good improv too.


Sucker! (2010)



I finally got a PRETTY GOOD camera and Dom wanted to make this video. I'd say this one is pretty evergreen. It's simple and effective.


A Japanese Tragedy! (2010)



Despite the progress I had made in my videos, I still had a while left of high school. For somebody who wanted to be taken seriously and for people to think he was older than he actually was, I sure talked about high school a lot. No wonder my following was stagnant. No adult wants to watch some teen talk about what he did in high school that day. I hadn't learned that yet.



From what I recall, Ikeno ruefully informed the class about a month later that we had lost to the Germans.


Blackberg (2010)



This is my contribution to the time honored comedic tradition of dunking on lawyers by making fun of their commercials.


911 Dispatch Call (2010)


We tried something new with this one. A new format. I enjoyed it and kinda wish we had made more of these but I think I was nervous it was too derivative.


Throw Me, Lieutenant! (2010)


This is my favorite Reubnick video. I really, really like this one and am still proud of it. This could be shown in a theater in front of an audience with me present and my body wouldn't implode in upon itself as my head and limbs retreated into myself in shame.


100th Video! (Where Are They Now?)


My 100th video celebration wasn't actually my 100th video. I can't remember if at the time it was before or after my 100th video, but I recall deliberately making sure it wasn't actually my 100th video because that was amusing to me.


ABZ (The Newest Gossip) (2010)


Just a bizarre parody of TMZ where instead of celebrity gossip we just discuss gossip gossip that is going on in the present moment, such as a pizza man delivering pizzas or whatever fishy stuff is going on in the room next to us. Why not, right?


Just a Bit Outside (2010)


Another odd one-off.


Dangerous for Wisconsin (2010)


At the height of some political season, I was inspired by the deluge of political ads peppering the airwaves so I made an attack ad against myself where a critical narrator played by Warren Enstrom goes after me because I love dairy so much that it gives me diarrhea.


Alternative Ways (2010)


I don't think the recurring character I play in this video ever got a name. He's just the sort of generic all-encompassing catch-all annoying guy.


Keep It Clean! (2011)


I'm trying to remember the full back story for this one but I can't quite. I just know we made this specifically so it could be played on the local cable access television network, and we had some constraints to work within.


Reuben Loves Rosie Jones (2011)


I am going to try to not reminisce too heavily about this one, as so much in the world has changed since I released this video that it feels like it's from a different life and to dwell on it would be eccentric and maybe a little pathetic. But I still want to acknowledge it simply because this whole saga was just really, really fun.


Let's Learn About Red Squirrels with Wacky Caedo! (2011)



This video, while very unfunny, was a significant one because it would unexpectedly become what is basically the last true "Reubnick" video, in my opinion. There were a few one-offs after this one, here and there, but they feel like they belong to something different.


So, that's pretty much what I did. Since I didn't exactly say a hard "GOODBYE!" to it all, it wasn't a particularly poignant thing, per se. It's just something I remember acknowledging. I remember the moment. I remember the song. I remember feeling, in a sense, that something had just happened and that the wheel had turned and I had abruptly transitioned into the next phase of growing up. I had spent the last five years of my life being "Reubnick," the guy who makes Youtube videos. And then just like that, I was no longer "Reubnick." I was Reuben Glaser.


Con te partirò.


__________________________________________________________________________


For years I contended with myself - in the end, what did "Reubnick" get for me?


Nothing, really. In terms of success, it got me no further towards where I really wanted to go than wherever I was before I had started as a bucktoothed weirdo kid in 6th grade. And though this is deeply personal for me, for anybody else this post is, at worst, just a washed up burnout reminiscing at a bar about some dumbass videos he made in high school. As much as I dressed and talked them up then and still do, I made some mediocre videos. Occasionally they were funny. Many times I touched on some good themes and had some bits that suggested something much further beneath the surface. They were all and all lousy, though. I think my biggest ambition at the time was that I really wanted somebody to find these and think "There's something there. These are bad, but the potential is there and I can work with that youngster and make something great." I'd wager this was my best case scenario when I compiled roughly the same handful of videos I did in this post into a "Best Of" DVD series. It's still on Amazon, but you can't buy it anymore. I don't even think I have a copy. Very few copies were ever made. The ones that did exist, I mailed off.


It never happened. And it never should have happened either. These videos simply weren't ready for primetime. So was it all for nothing? Nah. They helped make me who I am and they got me started making content.


And though "Reubnick" stopped, I never did.





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