Change the Channel: A Retrospective of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses and Channel Awesome

Before we continue, this is a blog talking about my own personal experience as a fan of TGWTG. If you’ve come here looking for juicy gossip, you’ve come to the wrong place.

ThatGuyWithTheGlasses changed my life. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without TGWTG.

That sounds dramatic and extreme, but it’s true. I may not ever have been an official producer for them (though I could have been [more on that later], but, as a fan, my life changed forever the moment I started watching the Nostalgia Critic. If you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

I discovered TGWTG before a website ever existed. A group of guys in my high school were talking about these hilarious videos called “5 Second Movies,” Doug Walker’s (aka The Nostalgia Critic) first real smash hit series. That same day, I went home and watched every single 5 Second Movie I could find, and I couldn’t stop laughing at any of them. I became a fan of his. I eventually found the Nostalgia Critic. I followed Doug through his troubles with YouTube (if you don’t know, he kept getting his channels deleted because of copyright policies). When he announced that he was starting his own website, ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to see what he would do with no stupid copyright policies to bog him down. I watched everything Doug put out. Bum Reviews, Ask TGWTG, that crappy Melvin: Brother of the Joker video. I watched them all.

After a while, TGWTG started opening up to be about more than just the NC. They added a forum, a blog, a handful of outside contributors/video makers. I was one of the first people to start a blog series. Hell, it’s how I started my own personal career as a critic. I made some good stuff and some really bad stuff on those blogs. However, I guess I was good enough that I was actually part of the first (and to my knowledge only) Contributor Contest. I was up against other people to become a featured producer/writer on the site. I only lost by 5 votes to a guy who eventually called himself Rollo T. I could have been a part of that site. At this point in my life, I don’t really know if I dodged a bullet or missed out on a huge opportunity. I still definitely like analyzing movies/TV/games and such and I’m convinced that my love of analyzing couldn’t have fostered without TGWTG.

But I digress.

I kept up my blog on the site and, eventually, I heard from another blogger that someone was starting a TGWTG wiki and wanted some help putting it together. I was eager to help because I was a huge fan of the site. And thus, I was introduced to CrazyBuffyFan1, aka the founder of the Channel Awesome Wiki, aka Laura… aka my wife. We started talking, then we eventually started dating, and now we’re married. So, right there, I’ve already proven how much my life has changed thanks to watching a stupid “5 second” video.

I also met my best friend, Anthony, thanks to the wiki, and a lot of really good friends as well, like Chris and Lozzy and Dan. I’ve been really close to a lot of people thanks to ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.

We of the Wiki had our own Skype chat dedicated to just talking about the site and generally hanging out. At one point, that chat was HUGE. Over the years, it got smaller as people kind of stopped caring about anything to do with CA. Not to mention a lot of stupid drama, too.

Oh, yes, I could tell you stories. The Wiki actually had direct lines to people involved with CA. The good news is, a lot of the time, those people were very friendly and helpful with information. Heck, the main Wiki team even got free signed copies of a few TGWTG DVDs. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. We learned that some of the video contributors thought we were annoying and a few apparently just hated us. When we learned about that, it really hurt. We were just fans who wanted to show our appreciation for something we cared about. Mike Michaud allegedly thought we were just “obsessed fans.” If that’s true, well… Yes. We WERE obsessed fans. Isn’t that kind of the point of a wiki? We weren’t dangerous or crazy. We were just fans. Was that… wrong of us? I don’t know. I don’t want this blog to turn into a long ramble defending the actions of a Wiki I don’t even care about anymore.

There’s been a lot of crazy moments thanks to CA. I still remember the excitement over the first year anniversary “Brawl” that brought all the contributors of the site together. I remember the drama caused by ThatAussieGuy, the very first full blown MOVIE made by the site, a lot of wonderful and hilarious crossovers, extreme low moments, but such good high points. I remember so much. And I probably will continue to remember all of that for many years to come.

Unfortunately, times have changed. Channel Awesome isn’t the “online video maker utopia” it once was. Hell… Maybe it never was all that good behind the scenes. It seems the management of CA hasn’t been good to their contributors for a long while. It’s heartbreaking to watch a website that I followed for almost a decade fall apart at the seams. At the same time… It’s not surprising. I’ve been following the drama and it all looks very bad for those guys running the site. If it’s not back to just Doug Walker and everyone directly linked to him by the end of the year, I’m going to be very surprised.

I’m still going to follow the contributors I like. I still LOVE Suede’s videos, Atop the Fourth Wall, Some Jerk with a Camera, Lost in Adaptation, and so many other videos that TGWTG.com/ChannelAwesome.com introduced me to. I’ll probably be getting 90% of my entertainment from online content for the rest of my life…. However, as the title of the blog says, it’s time to Change the Channel. I’m not going to Channel Awesome anymore. I can’t even stand to see the Nostalgia Critic anymore, a video series without which I wouldn’t have my wife or my friends.

Look, I made this excessively long, incredibly rambling blog to get all of this stuff off my chest. If nobody reads it, I guess I just made it for me. Blogs can be therapeutic like that.

Anyway, if you’re still reading this, thanks. Maybe you found some entertainment in my words. If you’re still a CA fan, more power to you. I’m glad you can still get something of value from that site. Me, however. I’ll be sticking to YouTube.

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