Fess Up About Your Favorite YouTube Channels December 3, 2020 8:37 PM   Subscribe

I've found lots of good channels over the years from posts on the Blue...but that surely is only the icing on a delicious, curated cake. Share your favorite youtube channels!

Many of us block the dubious youtube recommendations, which keeps us sane but also means we must rely on word-of-mouth and hints our current channels may give about other YouTube "creators". Perhaps the following could be a loose format for the gems revealed in this thread?

Channel Name (linked)
What: A sentence about the type of content
When: Roughly how often does new content appear?
Why: A sentence about its appeal to you

(Inspired by this question on the green.)
posted by maxwelton to MetaFilter-Related at 8:37 PM (67 comments total) 86 users marked this as a favorite

In no order, here are some channels I watch a lot:

Baumgartner Restorations, professional fine art restoration
Drawfee, it's like a podcast but with goofy art
HMS2, tiny miniatures
Annika Victoria, DIY clothing and upcycles
Ace of Clay, polymer clay sculpture
D'Angelo Wallace, meta youtube drama commentary, but clever
Dollightful, doll repaints
Chocolate Cacao, a chocolate based cooking channel with a great sense of humor
Jenny Nicholson, one of the best people on youtube
Kasey Golden, mostly watercolor but also mixed media art
lilsimsie, Sims gameplay, mostly building
Luke Towan, extremely detailed and realistic miniature dioramas
Lucky Penny Shop, nostalgic toys; haven't watched this channel in years but content looks about the same
Royalty Soaps, soap making and relentless positivity
Simply Nailogical, nail artist turned generally hilarious youtuber turned nail polish entrepreneur, uses her powers for good (donates to cat charities and does pay-your-college-tuition giveaways)
Jenna Marbles, perhaps someday will return, we hope. If you watched Jenna Marbles a long time ago and think you know Jenna Marbles, her content since about 2017 has been 😗👌 so good.
posted by phunniemee at 9:10 PM on December 3, 2020 [4 favorites]

Classics of Game shows short snippets of mostly obscure games, with a comedic sense that makes even the familiar seem bizarre (see the take on Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2.)
posted by solarion at 9:16 PM on December 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

Watercolors by Shibasaki is basically a Japanese Bob Ross doing watercolor. Sometimes he posts cute videos about his life or cats and stuff. All videos are subtitled in English. It is my watch YouTube to forget the choas of the world station. He is just a wholesome man all around.
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:31 PM on December 3, 2020 [3 favorites]

hi i'm dani! is a trans woman LPer with very fun and wholesome content and commentary
posted by one for the books at 11:11 PM on December 3, 2020

Very fond of (just off the top of my head, and in no particular order)

Engels Coach Shop
Colin Furze
Marius Hornberger

because I like watching people make things, and

Anthony Clarke

because he was getting the Melbourne live music scene down on videotape before almost anybody else could be bothered.
posted by flabdablet at 3:21 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Shut Up & Sit Down - great (and funny) board game reviews. Weekly videos, roughly.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:29 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thanks for making this thread! Here are a handful of folks I'm subscribed to:

Antonella Inserra — Antonella explains Things (often history, interesting stories, etc. it's very good)
This Old Tony — machining and deadpan dad jokes
Fran Blanche — vintage electronics, space flight history, etc
Stuff Made Here — extremely impressive gadgets and things, very high production value
Innuendo Studios — video games, leftist analysis, etc
J. Kenji López-Alt — cooking and chatting about things
Steve Mould — science explanations and questions
NileRed — chemistry experiments
Big Joel — leftist media analysis
brian david gilbert — funny, often surreal skits and things
Johnny Harris — maps, history, travel, etc
posted by wesleyac at 4:27 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I came here to recommed my mechanics, and TysyTube, they're fantastic. In that same vein, Odd Tinkering and The Small Workshop.

Also: Augustv123. If you want a time capsule of one city and its commercials from the 80's through 2000's, this is the place. Albeit very local for me since I live near Louisville, it's got a lot of things transferred off VHS that someone taped, and it's just a great picture of what TV used to be.

LockPickingLawyer (Click out of one, nothing on two, three is binding and there's a click)

Drain Addict (warning, can be gross)

Jelle's Marble Runs (who knew someone racing marbles on a track could make lore and excitement)

TronicsFix (I like the way he explains things)
posted by deezil at 6:06 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

Three channels that I find mesmerizing, even if the stated topic is not one that would normally draw me in.

Technology Connections, explanations of how all kinds of things work, ranging from Betamax VCRs to EV chargers. Also includes discussions of old interesting (sometimes forgotten) products like RCA SelectaVision (video on vinyl) and percolators. A good dose of humor mixed in.

Project Farm, which I already mentioned in a comment the other day, reviews a bunch of tools and related things in a rigorous way. Duct tape, types of drill bits, different oils, batteries. He also does some silly things like trying bacon grease as an engine oil replacement. Like I said, a lot of these are not topics I'd normally seek out, but his style of testing them is so interesting that I can't stop watching.

Homemade Home, in which an anonymous guy buys really cheap and really run-down houses, and renovates/restores them almost single-handedly.
posted by primethyme at 6:08 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Techmoan Low key Brit demonstrates, repairs and explains older technology and obsolete recording formats you've probably never heard of. He also sometimes closes his videos with puppet shows.

Rick Beato A little about music theory, "what makes this song great" (mostly rock) and a whole lot of genuine enthusiasm for everything music. Titles are a little clickbaity. Reminds me of Anthony Bourdain.

Robot Cantina I'm not interested in robotics, but maybe other people are. I am interested in his current project, which is swapping a lawnmower engine in to a stripped out Honda Insight, with the goal of achieving a 50mph top speed. (The design goes through multiple tuning iterations and upgrades, there's data, it's cool and goofy.)
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 6:18 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Claire Saffitz x Dessert Person

Claire is back with her own YouTube channel, cooking things from her new cookbook in her home kitchen. New content every Thursday.
posted by jazon at 6:43 AM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Crusing the Cut "a video blog by a man who sold up, quit his job and bought a narrowboat then went cruising around the UK canal network. It features life on board, beautiful scenery and places to visit plus tips and tricks." Updates weekly. Beautiful scenery, soothing narration, simple travelogue. Makes me want to move to England and get a boat when I retire
posted by jazon at 6:49 AM on December 4, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'll also eschew your suggested format (if someone is going to scrape this and create a list, they can do the work themselves) and suggest...

From a post on the Blue: A Simple Swedish Life - A no-talking vlog from a Korean man living in Sweden with his wife and their son. Always features a homecooked meal.

Also from a post on the Blue: Home Grown Veg - An English pensioner and his frugal garden exploits. (Molly, the dog mentioned in the MeFi post, sadly passed last year)

Bernadette Banner for historical sewing adventures.

Postmodern Jukebox for modern songs covered in older styles. Also, if you have a chance to see them tour, do so.

Chandoo for those of us considered Excel gurus simply because we look for tips and tricks online.

Meredith Laurence is The Blue Jean Chef and offers calm and rational cooking videos - the opposite of ChefClub.
posted by kimberussell at 7:02 AM on December 4, 2020

Bird videos:
Paul Dinning - videos for cats
Cornell Lab Bird Cams - livestreams and short videos of birds

Food videos:
Tasting History with Max Miller - historical recipes with history
Mythical Kitchen - the dude fast does all the weird food for Good Mythical Morning does other weird food. This one is not everyone's thing but I like the strangeness.

Good Mythical Morning - mentioned above. The guys who did the ads for Chuck Testa and Bucks First Federal Credit Union. Sort of the original YouTubers, now they have a morning show. Of sorts.
No Pun Included - Board game reviews similar in approach to Shut up and Sit down. They do different games or longer reviews than SUSD, but just as silly.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:13 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

First, a sampling of things I've subscribed to in various categories.


Sadly, these channels only show clips as opposed to the full episodes. Pity us Americans.

The Graham Norton Show is like one of the most witty cocktail parties ever.

QI is what game shows should be.

The Last Leg is something I discovered early on in the Trump era, and GOD did it help. It's a live weekly news panel comedy show, but originally was a daily "the day in review" show covering London's Paralympics in 2012, so two of the three hosts have limb differences and they sometimes address disability issues. But they are remarkably irreverent (it's not the kind of "heartwarming" thing American TV would do with such a show) and the three hosts tease each other and poke fun at their own selves a lot; they themselves describe the show as "three guys with four legs talk about the week's news."


In which I get a peek into how other people live their wholesomely simple DIY slow lifestyles, and they somehow manage not to get overly "Influencer-y" on me.

Dainty Diaries - a perky, chatty Dubliner tackling various homemaking, DIY sewing and DIY home projects. Frequent guest appearances from her cats Blondie and Pepsi.

The Cottage Fairy - an artist in Idaho (I think?) quietly offering slices of life and musings from her quiet little cabin nestled in a gorgeous valley.

Liziqi - young woman in Shanghai living in the country on a farm with her grandma. She uses older farming techniques, and most episodes start with her sowing a particular crop, tending to it, and then harvesting it - followed by about 5-10 minutes of AMAZING FOOD PORN that make me gnash my teeth and wish for English captioning because IT LOOKS SO GOOD. Episodes always end with her sitting down to dinner with grandma.

Moriah Elizabeth - quirky graphic artist takes on various art or craft projects. Most of them involve giving foam squishy/stress toys makeovers, or art pieces involving some characters she invents (Pickle the Dinosaur, Georgie-the-Duck-in-a-pineapple-costume). IRRETRIEVABLY goofy, but that is part of the charm.


How To Cook That - started as a cooking channel. Has expanded to now also debunking other questionable cooking videos from viral video content farms.

Alex, A French Guy Cooking - Imagine if Jaimie Oliver and Adam Savage had a baby and adopted him out to a Parisian couple. ...Quirky foodie with an engineering background does deep multi-episode dives into various food topics, figuring out how to perfect each dish for himself by any means necessary. This often results in him traveling for research or inventing a machine of some kind (his "meatball" series saw him travel to New York, Sweden, and then Turkey, and culminated with him creating a meatball-rolling device to perfect the spheroid shaping). He is in the middle of a series on sauces at the moment.

Decocookie - Older episodes involve reviews of Japanese candy kits. Current episodes feature molding and shaping of various traditional Japanese wagashi sweets.

Lofty Pursuits - old-fashioned boiled candy making at a shop in Tallahasse.

TASTING HISTORY - guy with a borderline Dad-joke habit tackles recreating a different historic recipe each week, pausing to discuss the historic era from whence it comes. Episodes end with his tasting it and offering a review.


Useful Charts - mostly deep dives into family trees of different nations' leaders. Have also traced origins of writing systems. You can buy the related charts if you so desire.

ZeFrank - mostly-factual natural history videos discussing a different animal each time. That is how the ZeFrank do.

The Try Channel - a rotating roster of Irish actors and comedians taste-test various things. Watch for any episode where a guy named Dermot is forced to eat peanut-flavored things.

Finally: I haven't subscribed YET, but I've found myself looking for the latest episode here:

Foo the Flowerhorn - aquarium hobbyist sets up and maintains his various tanks, set to soothing classical music.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 AM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

RetroOntario - Very nostalgic Old TV from Southern Ontario, mostly Toronto, and a little from Buffalo.

Glen and Friends - Very low key Canadian cooking show. While he cooks a variety of things my favourites are recipes from old cookbooks.

Townsends - Gentle historical en-enactor exploring various topics, though the food related ones are my favourites. Previously.

Grandpa Kitchen - Indian cooking show featuring a grandpa (later, after his death, other family members) making large quantities of some times very elaborate food, al fresco over a fire, for orphans. Previously.

Nthng Techmoan & Alex French Cooking Guy.

My kid really likes the British and Australian video game youtubers (he prefers the less aggro / non-edge lord types playing Nintendo games & Minecraft) so I almost always end up watching those as they tend to be light and funny. Particularly the Hermitcraft crew, which is a shared collaborative Minecraft server made up of a variety of very talented builders from Europe and North America with mostly goofy personalities. The kid also loves pet videos, particularly MilkyBokiTan.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:40 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Nthng Techmoan & Alex French Cooking Guy.

(I forgot to mention that I've found myself cheering my own kitchen triumphs with his own cry of "Wehhhhhhhhhhhh!" now and then.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:44 AM on December 4, 2020

I use YouTube for most of my music needs, so the channels I follow are often about music.

Two very cool ambient/doom/drone/space/sleep ones:
Cryo Chamber
Iron Cthulhu Apocalypse
posted by doctornemo at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

LGR reviews vintage PC software and hardware (especially check out his Oddware series for a look at some of the stranger corners of computing history).
Meanwhile, The 8-Bit Guy is much more of a hardware hacker, but he gets into everything from restoring old computers to developing games that run on a wide range of very old systems.
And I'd be remiss if I left out Defunctland, which started out as a series of videos on old and now-gone theme park attractions and has become a fascinating documentary channel about amusement parks in its own right.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:54 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Bad Obsession Motorsport, and more specifically the Project Binky playlist, which is two British guys going through a complete rebuild/customization of the rusted husk of an old tiny Austin Mini. They say shoehorning a much larger engine and drive train from another car into it, to end up with an un-rusty beefed up nice looking 200HP funmobile, can't be done...they might be right.

32 episodes plus a few extras have been released between June 2013 and June 2020, but COVID has done a number on their plans so there have been no updates since then. They've promised to resume as soon as they're able and I'd guess they're likely to get in at least another half dozen episodes before the job is complete.

It's fascinating to watch the work of experienced professionals who (more or less) know what they're doing, even if one has no plans to ever take on such a task oneself. The icing on the entertainment cake is the sense of humor they infuse the process with - including a Police Squad parody intro and sprinklings of Monty Python and Airplane! references.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:59 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sailing Learning By Doing: an unassuming kiwi dude who happens to be a world class adventure photographer, sails all over the place, sometimes solo, sometimes with friends.

twoodfrd: an unassuming canuck dude repairs guitars and other stringed instruments of various quality and kind, and sometimes builds them.
posted by ericost at 10:05 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

DJ Rap: Charissa Saverio, Queen of the turntables, serves up roughly hour-long drum n' bass and jungle sets. Updates roughly monthly. Found out about this from mltshp: it's not my usual style of listening but DJ Rap's mixes are joyful.
posted by scruss at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2020

As posted earlier this year on Metafilter, Kana Chan TV is the YouTube channel of Kanako Urai (who performs as Asuka in the WWE) in which she plays video games, buys things, works out, and eats (a lot) and laughs (a lot).

In a completely different direction, Out of the Woods is a channel by Nathan Elliott chronicling his one person sawmill operation in Tennessee. It's very quiet and low-key, you get to see logs being turned into timber, and there are many cats.

Reina del Cid is a Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who, often accompanied by guitarist Toni Lindgren, uploads an original or cover song nearly every Sunday.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:15 AM on December 4, 2020

Meanwhile, The 8-Bit Guy …

He's released some probbo stuff recently, going off on open-carry tangents. Consume with care.
posted by scruss at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

My favorite math channels:

Numberphile: a lot of delightful british physicists and mathematicians discussing number theory and fun math(s) stuff
3Blue1Brown: a little more rigorous, but with great visualisations of all sorts of topics in math
Mathologer: even more rigorous, great german mathematician presenting
posted by stinkfoot at 10:32 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I watch a lot of food channels, my favorites that haven't already been mentioned:

My Name Is Andong - a Russian former advertising exec who grew up in Berlin minus several years studying and working in China, cooking in probably the best/smartest fake kitchen of the genre. Most episodes drill down into the context, history or technique of the dish, though sometimes he just turns takeout food into crackers. The homemade nutella episode is a good introduction.

Middle Eats - apparently Obi has been very active in /r/Cooking for some time, and finally started a youtube channel at the beginning of the pandemic. Amazing Middle Eastern dishes for home kitchens, well-presented.

Alvin Zhou of Tasty's giant food genre has his own channel with incredibly chill often VO-free (just occasional captions, including some crouton-petting) episodes.

A subset of the Babish Culinary Universe is Stump Sohla, in case you were missing Sohla El-Waylly from bon appetit. I am pretty sure it is not actually possible to stump Sohla but it is very enjoyable to watch anyway.

Not specifically food:

Art By Annamarie - soothing, upbeat, positive paint-along lessons on a narrowboat with cats. See also her main channel, The Narrowboat Experience.

More narrowboats: Foxes Afloat - Shaun and Colin Fox splashed a new custom-built narrowboat a year ago, quit their jobs, and took to the canals. They just got a new puppy a few months ago (and also just got covid, which will probably be in one of the next couple of episodes if that's too worrisome a topic for you; Shaun got really sick but is on the mend).

Vancity Vanlife: I watched a lot of vanlifers Before but most of them have bought cabins in the woods or are still traveling in ways that are so irresponsible I can't watch anymore, but Chrome Valdez (and Cruz the Bulldog) lives in his van in Vancouver and spends most of his time out in nature and with a small bubble of other fulltimers. He's super positive and chill, and if you're interested in van build stuff his old videos on his build are really good.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:38 AM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Frogleap Studios - his covers are always awesome
TwinsthenewTrend - I love their reactions to bands and genres they've never heard before
Yoyoka - 10 year old Japanese drummer with amazing chops
Professor of Rock - delves into the history of a lot of music that's in my 53-year-old white guy wheelhouse

Babish Culinary Universe - I've learned a lot of simple cooking techniques watching this, and his voice is SO soothing
Tasting History with Max Miller - mentioned above. The intersection of historical stuff and stuff you can eat is a good place for me.

Lazy Game Reviews - I mostly watch this to see what kind of stuff he finds when he goes thrifting
Odd Tinkering - almost ASMR-like videos of a guy restoring all kinds of old things, from worn-out Game Boys to WWII-era lighters.
Real Engineering - engineering nerditry at its finest with great visualizations

The TRY Channel - mentioned above. I love all of the personalities on this channel.
Arianne Scharfi - probably the most 'niche' channel I watch, Arianne is an INCREDIBLY good PVP flight-sim pilot.
posted by hanov3r at 10:46 AM on December 4, 2020

Going through my subscriptions, I realize just how many haven't posted anything in ages (oh clickspring, where did you go?). The following are ones that seem to have semi-regular posts:

Boat Building

Sampson Boat Company - Leo bought a historic yacht (the Tally Ho) for $1, and is restoring it with help from volunteers. (Essentially, nothing was salvageable except the lead keel, which becomes more and more apparent in the early episodes.) The workmanship is amazing. SBC is up to episode 86, just getting going on the planking of the hull. A new video every two weeks.
Acorn to Arabella - Alix and Stephen are building a boat from scratch, literally felling the trees and going from there. Unlike Leo, who was a boat builder before starting his project, these guys are learning as they go. Episodes about once per week.


Blondihacks - Quinn is a hobby machinist, an excellent narrator of her progress and projects. (Inspiring because she doesn't have the $100,000+ in machines many (most?) other youtube machinists have, so very relatable.) She's currently machining a model steam engine kit. Typically an episode per week.
Stefan Gotteswinter - German machinist (narration in english) whose specialty is very precise machining on typically very small parts. Very technical and detailed. An episode or two per month.
Clough42 - James is another hobby machinist with an electronics background but ambitious projects to turn modest-cost machine tools into precision instruments, often designing electronic controls and boards which he offers for sale. Videos about once per week.
Emma's Spare Room Machine Shop - Emma is a hobby machinist in Australia who has a livestream on Wednesdays and tackles steam and toy projects. One or two videos a week.
Keith Rucker - Vintage Machinery - Keith has an impressive home shop where he restores old machine and woodworking tools, and also does projects for others. He's current restoring a metal planer from the 1890s. Typically he publishes a couple of videos per week.
Ox Tools - Tom is a professional machinist who, in his off time, explores interesting machining projects in his home shop. He typically does a lot of very precise work--for example, his most current project was building a Kingsbury Michelle Aerodynamic Bearing for Steve Mould (another youtuber). Videos a couple of times per month.

Woodworking, Handcrafts, and Restoration

Thomas Johnson Antique Furniture Restoration - Tom has a shop in Maine, and shares his furniture restoration projects. Very soothing and he does amazing work. Videos about once per week.
Project Kitfox - Brian is building a Kitfox airplane in his garage, to a very high standard. One or two videos per month.
Frank Howarth - Frank does amazing woodworking projects, including wood turning, but his video editing is equally skilled. A gentle, relaxing channel to watch. Videos about once per week.
Tod's Workshop - Tod Cutler makes medieval weapons in his workshop, and spends a lot of time exploring how they would have been used historically, how they were worn, who would have had them, etc. He made the weapons for the TV series The Witcher, to give you an idea. Videos about once per week.
Bedo's Leatherworks - Steve does amazing repairs on shoes, bags, jackets and the like, all the while with personable and informative narration.

Musical Instruments

Burls Art - Oddball guitar builds...like guitars made from rock salt and guitars made from pencils. Lovely to look at, and he's a talented player, as well. A video every couple of months?
Crimson Custom Guitars - Ben owns the company and shares video on a current build or what's happening in his lutheir school or at the factory. His enthusiasm is infectious. One or more videos per week.

To be continued...
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 AM on December 4, 2020 [3 favorites]

In addition to the Babish Culinary Universe, I also enjoy Chef John's Food Wishes and have gotten hooked on Souped Up Recipes for Chinese recipes. I also occasionally watch Marion's Kitchen.

As a space nerd, I really like The Vintage Space.

My secret shame is that I like to watch pimple popping videos, so for a while I followed Dr. Pimple Popper

I spent about a year and a half watching all 17 years' worth of "What's My Line". The channel has an astonishing number of episodes from the entire original run, including the very first program from 1950. It is like a time capsule of mainstream American pop culture of the 1950s and '60s, and fascinating to watch.
posted by briank at 11:55 AM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Uri Tuchman. Engraving guy does pointless things out of wood and brass because why not. Currently screwing around trying to build his own lathe, and making plenty of mistakes in a charming accent.
posted by aramaic at 12:22 PM on December 4, 2020

You suck at cooking, yes you totally suck

Boneheaded Boaters of The Week

Best Cube

and yes, Chef John at Food Wishes is awesome. Good call, briank.
posted by valkane at 12:43 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

I’m not very into arts and crafts, but I am very into mellow voices and relaxing well produced videos, so I quite like The Crafsman SteadyCraftin channel and watching him make things or just talk about enjoying honey.

Do you want a POV experience of someone walking around Japan? if so, Rambalac has you covered.

Do you want to see a guy open up odd products and knick knacks, and maybe do some stop-motion filming of said products (depending) and then eventually cook and eat some food? In that case I would endorse Isee Bitaru.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:49 PM on December 4, 2020

N'thing: Adding
  • James Hoffmann because coffee (serious & silly - also sweaters and heavily product-ed hair apparently) are life. Also? Would enjoy finding him as a narrator option on my next audible purchase.
  • TwoSetViolin because a painful childhood full of unwanted music lessons has to lead to an appreciation of something. And they're generally pretty silly and wow do I need more of that
  • Screen Rant's "Pitch Meeting" playlist because, yes, I also need snark to live in addition to the mouse bites
posted by mce at 12:51 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh! How could I forget DancingBacons? They're a Singaporean couple who wander around trying street food, vending machine food, restaurant food... lots of food. Almost no talking, but lots of "watch the street vendor cook" porn.
posted by hanov3r at 12:59 PM on December 4, 2020

Claire Saffitz x Dessert Person

posted by Going To Maine at 1:13 PM on December 4, 2020

Ocean Conservation Namibia

A crew patrols a few beaches in Namibia where fur seals hang out and rest, rescuing seals who have gotten entangled in fishing line, nets, and other human detritus and castoffs. They stand off at some distance from groups of a hundred or so typically, and scan the group with binoculars to identify their often multiple targets, and then sneak up as best they can until the seals are alarmed and start humping for the safety of the surf, then they sprint for the entangled seals who are babies more often than not, netting some and capturing others by hand, and then cut them free and release them.

I must've watched at least 75 of these and not one has failed to be thrilling and uplifting. The effect of the emotional arc of the seals, as they flee in panic, then growl and snap at the crew as they realize they've been singled out, then writhe and struggle futilely and with diminishing hope after they're captured, then seem almost to accept their fate as they're held down, followed by evident surprise and relief in many cases as the strangling, constricting line which has often already worked deeply into their skin is cut, and finally the release and freedom, has to be experienced to be believed.

It's the only channel I've looked at where the dislikes are routinely less than 1% of the likes; my personal current favorite is a young seal with fishing line wound all around its body and which had to be netted, who when released mysteriously failed to work its way out of the net and sprint for the ocean like all most all of them do, and when they rechecked it turned out had a loop around its snout the crew had overlooked. And then when they cut that last loop, growled, flipped its head around and gnashed its teeth more threateningly at all and sundry as it made its way into the surf than any other seal I've seen.

Just recently they rescued their 600th seal of 2020.
posted by jamjam at 1:33 PM on December 4, 2020 [4 favorites]

Grab bag:

Curious Droid - Space, military and other tech explored in depth by Paul. Excellent research and engaging narration. Loud shirts, as well! Once per week or so.

CuriousMarc - Vintage electronics restoration and exploration, including a lot of genuine vintage space electronics. Sometimes the magic smoke escapes! Once per week.

Stand Up Maths - Matt Parker explores math and science topics with humor and insight. Once per week.

Calum - Calum explores topics of interest to him, including his own drawings, historic sites, weird technical artifacts and invasive rhodies. Every month, roughly.

Alt Shift X - "Videos about stories", largely dealing with sci-fi and fantasy series, both visual and written. Videos all follow a similar "mosaic" format as he builds his topic up, ending in a large connected diagram (for lack of a better description). Videos about once per month unless one of his favorite series in producing new episodes, in which case his recap follows their schedule.

arielbrindissketch - Ariel sketches modern architecture in a loose style, using markers. A video every week or two.

Lunumbra's Awesome Painted Cards - Lunumbra paints pokemon cards, enlarging the small scenes on the cards to cover the entire surface. A video once every couple of months.

AlexModeling - Plastic models built while you watch. Perhaps not quite to the level of the next channel, but still fun. A video every couple of weeks.

Plasmo - Plastic models - Astonishingly talented modeler builds various plastic kits and dioramas for them to live in. A video once per month or so.

Adam Savage's Tested - Adam Savage. One day builds, podcasts, reviews, discussions. Some hosted by Adam, some by his crew. Three or more videos per week, some short, some long.

The Skid Factory - A couple of Australian guys, Al and Woody, who plunk hugely powerful turbo engines into a variety of (typically sedate) cars. A video per week.

Crime Pays But Botany Doesn't - Best to quote his own description: "A Low-Brow, Crass Approach to Plant Ecology & Evolution as muttered by a Misanthropic Chicago Italian." A video per week.

JS Magic - A street magician shares his craft. Sometimes recordings of his gigs, sometimes how-tos. Several short videos per week.

Marquese Scott - Dubstep dancing by the master himself. Videos about once per week.

McClintock Mashups - Incredible music mashups. A video per month, or thereabouts.
posted by maxwelton at 1:50 PM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

One more from me: Kimono Mom. MOE, a former Geisha, teaches you how to make tasty looking Japanese food with the help her little daughter, SUTAN. There are also slice-of-family-life videos included in the channel.
posted by hanov3r at 2:35 PM on December 4, 2020

Valery Volkov does math competition type problems. It's in Russian, but if you know Math, you can totally follow what he's doing.

Harold Nolte has a sudoku channel that I have learned a lot from.

Todd in the Shadows reviews music. I particularly like his one hit wonder series and his Trainwreckords series.

Invigoration is a channel that posts old records from all over the world. Worth sampling.
posted by wittgenstein at 2:37 PM on December 4, 2020

There is only one:

JSH Pedals

See a grown man who owns all the guitar pedals (and makes more) nerd out about guitar pedals. And make fun of people who nerd out about guitar pedals. Then nerd out some more. Did I mention he owns all the guitar pedals?
posted by signal at 3:52 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gaming Historian
I'm just a sucker for this kid dude, who does a pretty great job at doing videos about the history of video games and other video game things. It started out very earnest and maybe a little amateurish, but over time got more and more professional. The kid is just so nice and, again, earnest.

New videos used to come out fairly regularly, but slowed down over the past year or two (as I assume they take way more time to make).

Story of Tetris
The Life of Satoru Iwata
History of Mega Man (11 years ago!)
posted by General Malaise at 4:42 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Can I say how much I love this thread? I was just thinking I needed new youtube channels and was about to post an ask!

I tend to leave heavily into the "edutainment" or "explainers" category, where videos are a mildly entertaining deep dive into a random subject. Personal favourites are:

- CGP Grey
- Wendover Productions and Half as Interesting (same guy, just shorter episodes)
- Real Life Lore
- Today I Found Out

Except for CGP Grey (who has a completely random unpredictable release schedule) these all release new videos at least once a week.
posted by cgg at 4:45 PM on December 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some of my favorites:

Steve Shives Mostly Star Trek crit
Matt Baume History of LGBTQ representation in pop culture
Ask a Mortician Mostly does what it says on the tin. Lots of interesting death-related stuff.
mugumogu Maru the Weirdo Japanese Cat and his cat sisters
Karolina Zebrowska Fashion and costume history in a very witty mood
Hammer The official channel of the legendary Hammer Studios. Some full movies, some clips and related videos.
Maymo the Dog Funny videos about a beagle and his beagle siblings
Foxxy Hooves Deep dives into Walt Disney World history
Jamel AKA Jamal Joyful song reactions
Offhand Disney Disney theme park history and reviews from the perspective of a young person
Helpful Vancouver Vet SQUISH THAT CAT
glumshoe An interesting weirdo.
Viv Hair Therapy A Black woman tries hair tutorials, mostly ones designed for White hair
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:10 PM on December 4, 2020

PSM - PES Story Mode He plays Pro Evo Soccer quite well but as you can tell by the title, the story is the point: on Become a Legend he chooses a player of some obscurity or renown and sees how far he can go, and on Master League he chooses a coach and does the same with him or her. Updates come around twice weekly, though this has varied over the years with the pressures of work, holidays and newborn babies.

He narrates while he plays and his voice is a joy (forgive him his pronunciations), he makes fairly rigid rules to keep the career simulations from getting out of hand ("Six Degrees of Sherwood" is brilliant), and if you start in the archives -- which I recommend, hence the Playlists link -- there are plenty of great stories in both BAL and ML modes. The Corrine Diacre, Egy Maulana Vikri and Zico stories are wonderful.

Bood FM He plays Football Manager in a variety of ways, often simulating a career or rebuilding a club. Updates come once or twice a week.

Once again I've narrowed my link to my favorite part of his channel, Story Time with Bood FM, where he creates elaborate backgrounds, edits player attributes, and unleashes them into the leagues. If you watch from the first one, you'll see that he keeps adding them to the player database, ending up with a new universe with former creations competing for Ballons d'Or, etc.

Loki Doki He also plays Football Manager, often as a journeyman with a generalized aim to wander through the leagues in some region of the world before ending up in one of the big European leagues. Sometimes he plays other games. He updates pretty frequently, about once a week.

Loki Doki is wacky and charming and above all, enthusiastic. He goes as gleefully into disaster as success. His research into local real estate is always a hoot. He does little press conference dress-up skits and green-screen nonsense. It's good fun.

Though my suggestion is to watch a lot of stuff in these creators' archives, I have another important suggestion. Of course you'll smash the like button on the upload you're watching, which may be a few years old.

If you can see your way to opening up the newest upload and liking it, even if you don't plan to watch it yet, it will help the uploader quite a bit, as I understand it. You may also receive a Tim Sherwood Passion Token, which can be saved up and redeemed for positive life experiences whenever you like.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 5:16 PM on December 4, 2020


Jimmy Rees, former kids tv host and his Australian coronavirus videos

Nigel Ng / Uncle Roger Famous for his egg-fried rice reviews.

Jarvis Johnson Humourous takes on terrible YouTube companies

The Kiffness - South African musician doing lockdown parody songs (yes, I know they're very common, but he's one of the best). Also check out his hit from a few years ago, White Privilege.


Jammi Dodger, trans commentator who mixes humor and more serious stuff.

Shonalika Music and politics


How to Cook That Debunking cooking hacks


Cydnee Black social commentary mixed with makeup application

Mindful and Multicultural Counselling Emotional support through a racial justice lens
posted by daybeforetheday at 6:40 PM on December 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

Inky.Rocks talks about pens and inks and likes to show drops of ink dispersing in water or splashing onto paper. Very relaxing.

Josefin Waltin spins and does other fibery things, usually outdoors.

Zee Bashew makes short animations about D&D.

TierZoo covers biology as a video game. Species are builds. Mass extinctions are balance patches.

Chinese Cooking Demystified teaches Chinese cooking, often with interesting background or history. They also have a cute dog.

Future Neighbor teaches Korean cooking, mostly very simple recipes.

+1 to Odd Tinkering, Bernadette Banner, ZeFrank, Foo the Flowerhorn, Townsends, mugumogu, and Karolina Żebrowska.
posted by Akhu at 8:04 PM on December 4, 2020

HowToBasic and How To Dad are both very helpful in their own unique ways.
posted by flabdablet at 10:28 PM on December 4, 2020

The most glaring omission in this list so far is The History Guy. Not everything he does is of great interest to me, but there are a lot of really interesting topics in his catalog.
posted by wierdo at 12:23 AM on December 5, 2020

Hot and Flashy - 50-something lady with a LOT of info about anti-aging skincare
Kelly-Ann Maddox - a wise 30-something witch who rambles about tarot, witchcraft & self-love
Abby the Spoon Lady - incredibly talented bluegrass spoons-player


The Holderness Family - wholesome, funny sketches about marriage and family life
Dude Dad - ditto
Charlie Berens - parodies of midwestern culture (Wisconsin in particular, but being from Ohio and Illinois I can relate)
Jaime French - does makeup tutorials/weird makeup experiments while telling funny anecdotes, movie reviews, etc.
Benito Skinner - dresses up and parodies various characters (Kardashians in particular, and many others.) Recommend Zodiac Signs in Quarantine
Miss Coco Peru - variety of comedic content plus storytelling about her life. Recommend Let's Play Grand Theft Auto 5 with Coco Peru
The Chonga Girls - Latina best friends parody ASMR videos while trying to one-up each other. Recommend ASMR Fortune Teller Reading
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 1:35 AM on December 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

FailRace's GTA5 Survive the Hunt FailRace has a ton of content but this in particular is amazing. He basically tries to blend in with traffic or otherwise escape notice while being hunted by fifteen or twenty other players on the GTA5 map. Uploads are once a month.

Who would have thought watching someone try to putz around like an AI driver while hunters go flying around the map intent on murdering him would be so entertaining? His ongoing narration is as high velocity as the chases, and the tension can get pretty thick. He doesn't always lose and he doesn't always win. I look forward to it around the first of each month.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:24 AM on December 5, 2020

Heidi and Franny’s Garage Heidi and Franny have half a dozen vintage/exotic cars in their garage at home. Unlike typical owners, they maintain and repair the cars at home. There’s a review or a howto about once a month, clocking in around 30 minutes. I like the videos as an antidote to the typical bro-y car videos. And occasionally there’s local interest (Colorado).

Movies Explained For... Jeb (ediah) summarizes/snarks popular movies, purportedly for a particular viewer (e.g. “people in a hurry” or “optimists”). The five to ten minute videos come roughly once a week. Jeb’s sense of humor and Southern slang are a quick pick-me-up.

Unnecessary Inventions Matt conceives of odd, amusing things that absolutely nobody needs. Kind of like the As Seen On TV junk, but more useless or bizarre. Then he actually builds them, with 3D printing or woodworking or sewing etc. Roughly five to ten minute videos are posted weekly. Matt always has a lot of enthusiasm for his crazy gadgets. He doesn’t go into a lot of detail about the DIY process but gives you an overview.
posted by Monochrome at 6:16 AM on December 5, 2020

Ones that I'll second (or third): LGR, CGP Grey, History Guy, Ask a Mortician, Franlab (did a FPP on her recently), The Vintage Space, LockPickingLawyer, and Townsends.

Others I enjoy who I haven't seen mentioned:
Sailing Uma: Sailing a $3,000 sailboat around the Caribbean and across the Atlantic.
Jill Bearup (stage combat and general nerd culture).
Tom Scott: Science, linguistics, computers, history, weird facts, etc. Responsible for my favorite YouTube video.
All Things Iceland: American living in Iceland talks about Icelandic culture and language.
Me and My Flying Machine: Relaxing plane flights, exploring remote airports in the upper midwest.
Simone Giertz: Queen of crappy robots, now a more general maker, maker of Truckla.
Mojogrip: General aviation, and most recently building an airplane. (Sling TSI)
Emelie Waldken: Traditional Scandanavian folk music on the fiddle and nyckelharpa.
Clever Dick Films: Doctor Who documentaries.
Brotherhood Workshop: Animating with Lego.
posted by lharmon at 9:27 AM on December 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Not a YouTube channel but a TikTok one, but Your Korean Dad is the one of the most enjoyable and wholesome things on the entire internet, like a Mister Rogers for 2020.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:16 AM on December 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

OMG thanks to this thread I learned that zefrank is still publishing! I loved him before he went to Buzzfeed and stopped making videos under his own name. Didn't realize he was back, but of course he is!!
posted by cgg at 11:35 AM on December 5, 2020

I don't really watch Youtube (though I might pick it up after all these links!) but I walk in on my partner watching Outside Xbox all the time. I've watched a few episodes myself and thoroughly enjoyed them.
posted by brook horse at 12:34 PM on December 5, 2020

Some of my favorites:

Fountain Pens

SBREBrown is probably the best known fountain pen vlogger/reviewer and for good reason. He also has an interesting series on stoicism.

Pens and Tea has some nice content on fountain pens and... waaaaait for it... tea

Figboot on Pens is also a highly regarded fountain pen channel

Grandmia Pens posts videos about historical pens and pen restoration presented in very distinctive fashion

American Football Analysis

The QB School is presented by former NFL journeyman quarterback J. T. O'Sullivan, who explains pro football plays and concepts from the perspective of the QB

Jackson Krueger Sports Productions breaks down game footage to explain what happened and why with in-depth analysis of teams, players, schemes and strategies

Brett Kollmann also breaks down game footage and goes into technical details about teams, players, schemes and strategies


JuliaPlaysGroove features videos of a phenomenally talented 19 year old Polish bassist playing "bass covers" of groove music

Classic Men's Style

Sartorial Talks is the channel of highly-regarded men's style icon Hugo Jacomet

Gentleman's Gazette features information about classic men's style and now to look and act your best by Sven Raphael Schneider


Tune in to Essential Craftsman to learn about building houses, pouring concrete, contracting, blacksmithing and more, all with a dose of life philosophy
posted by slkinsey at 1:01 PM on December 5, 2020

Plainly Difficult makes morbidly fun short documentaries about manmade disasters, mostly nuclear but lately has branched out into chemical ones as well.
Puppet History is also a good source of short documentaries, utterly demented songs, and Ryan Bergara grousing at Shane Madej.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 3:09 PM on December 5, 2020

Ben Eater - builds computer bits on breadboards. Sporadic, well-produced, a bit ASMR-ish.

Dr. Becky - everyone's favorite Oxford astrophysicist. She really likes galactic black holes and Harry Potter. Weekly pretty much, sometimes more.

Your Dinosaurs Are Wrong - he does dinosaurs. Sporadic.

PBS Space Time - more physics.

Spacedock - these people like spaceships from all the movies and all the games. Did I mention they like spaceships?

Practical Engineering - feels like an old film you would have watched in high school? It's sorta straight laced presentation of mostly civil engineering things like roads and flood plains and dams etc. Monthly-ish.

Voices of the Past - Take some old (like really old) letter, diary, inscription, etc. Somebody reads it for you. The log of a pyramid worker, The most ancient Chinese text describing Japan. There are some pretty interesting ones.

NativLang - linguistics, cool animations, tends to go all around the world into tiny little corners.

The Royal Institution - usually somebody giving an hour long presentation about bits of their new book (on sale in the lobby of course). Topics vary, more of a general audience thing.

Projects — Brady Haran - pretty much all of the things he's invoved in are pretty good. They're all a bit STEM-y, he's the interviewer and does it pretty well. I like most those, the most recent couple in my feed were:
- Periodic Videos - chemistry.
- Objectivity - browse random objects from the Royal Institution's centuries old collection of books, papers, devices, letters. A lot of odd stuff pops up.
posted by zengargoyle at 4:54 PM on December 5, 2020

I watch probably too much YouTube for my own good.


AtomicShrimp: I believe this channel started primarily with videos wasting the time of email / advanced fee scammers. However, it also has other longrunning series like "Weird Stuff in a Can" where the host respectfully and open-mindedly tries canned goods. A lot of commenters point out that his channel is very "early YouTube" in the best way possible, and I agree that it's a gentle, fun watch.

ProZD: Korean / American voice actor and all-around good person who mostly uploads things about video games, but I only watch the videos like "Let's try 16 different Cheetos".

Supertaster Daily: This channel has been defunct for 7 years since it got cancelled by Chow.com, but I think it's how I got started watching people review food. There's just too much food to try to eat all on your own and it's nice to hear someone who knows how to talk about food describe it! I especially like the videos where he reviews some common item at various price points, e.g. Chicken Noodle Soup.

Amusement Parks / Aviation:

I don't like amusement parks or flying that much, but I like watching these channels.

Disney Food Blog: To use phunniemee's phrase, Disney News and relentless positivity.

Quick Trip Travel Tips: This is by a kid from my high school; I think he works in one of the Orlando theme parks' engineering / design departments, but this is a pretty good channel too.

Vicarious Voyager: Well-edited non-awkward videos about flying and aviation from a Canadian Chinese man who grew up in the Middle East. His work (and therefore travel) is considered essential.
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2020


agadmator's Chess Channel - one game analyzed with insightful commentary every day
Eric Rosen - daily clips from International Master Eric Rosen's Twitch stream
GMBenjaminFinegold - similar format from Grandmaster Benjamin Finegold, generally much longer
GingerGM - similar from Grandmaster Simon Williams
Saint Louis Chess Club - just a firehose of streams and educational videos
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 PM on December 5, 2020

Collide-O-Scope is my favorite thing about my hometown Seattle! This has been a 10 year running biweekly video mash-up show at the Re-Bar (now RIP thanks covid), a blend of found footage, VHS era wackiness of all kinds, broadcast TV ads, B- and C-movies cut down to the bone, news bloopers, and moments of sheer genius in the form of dance scenes from older films set to modern pop music. They will also do things like pick an actor whose birthday is near the live event, and show all the random cameos and TV ads they've ever done.

donoteat01 is Justin Roczniak, an engineer who talks leftism and economics while building a generic East Coast US city from precolonization through to the modern day.

He also makes Well There's Your Problem, a podcast with slides about engineering disasters, with fellow leftist nerds Alice Caldwell-Kelly, and Liam Anderson. This one is quite good and addictive, though yes it is about terrible events so be warned.

Video games:

Many A True Nerd plays lots of things but I most enjoy his Fallout: You Only Live Once series. He has completed Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas, and all of their DLCs, one only one health bar. It's really something to behold. He's currently attempting Fallout 4 the same way. He has also completed Fallout New Vegas, nearly every quest in the base game, without his player or a follower killing anything. The lengths of planning and trickery required to do these things are impressive.

CarcinogenSDA is a speedrunner who specializes in survival horror games. I like his calm demeanor and detailed narration. Check out his Resident Evil 7 at AGDQ 2018.

Potato McWhiskey is a very talented Civilization 6 player and I like his accent. Watching his stuff made me a better player. That's all.
posted by panhopticon at 6:57 PM on December 6, 2020

Wow! It is a little spooky, but I guess not surprising, to see so many of my favorite channels listed above.

I think you guys will love:
Heron Bonsai: Watch Peter Chan (from Britain's Premier Bonsai Nursery) aggressively "trim just a little" and find the beauty in trees of all shapes and sizes. I love his rescues and restorations.

Bard's Craft: A Finnish table-top gaming enthusiast makes miniature castles and scenery using mostly oatmeal boxes and heaps of dill (for flocking). Soothing and inspiring!

Jessica Kellgren-Fozard
: Everyone's favorite disabled, chronically-ill, deaf, Quaker lesbian! Chats about lesbian history, disabled rights, cooking and other fabulous topics with vintage style. Aims to "make fun, uplifting and educational content that should help you get through tough times and not feel alone." You lovely people will love her.
posted by Sauter Vaguely at 8:22 PM on December 9, 2020

maxwelton, did you summon Clickspring?! The Antikythera Mechanism Episode 10 - Evidence Of A Lunar Calendar
posted by ellieBOA at 1:45 AM on December 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Some already mentioned. I don't think these have been:

Claudio Constantini music: Bandoneon, piano
Paola Hermosín : Guitar, voice
Fabio Furia : Bandoneon tango
Dwayne El Holandés : Norteño accordion
自得琴社 Zi De Guqin Studio : Traditional modern Chinese ensemble
Nick Futch : Modern American roots
Jirkakrbe2 : Americana via Czechia
Melodie Around the World : Music from around the globe
sina-drums : Young rocking drummer
Elif'in Hecesi : Music from Turkey

Dan Gelbart: Manufacturing technology
Rare Earth : Unique stories, places and ideas from around the world.
Wonderhussy Adventures: Southwest exploring
Applied Science : Applied science and technology
Oddity Odysseys : Exploring CA
Garage 54 : Stupid car tricks from Russia
NightHawkInLight : Science and tech demonstrations
engineerguy : Science and tech demonstrations
ElectroBOOM : science and tech zap
PeriscopeFilm : Archive film
Machine Thinking : Machine tech and history
The National Library of Medicine : Medicine archive footage
David Hoffman : Old doc film maker shares his archive
Joe Pieczynski : Machine tool tips
posted by 2N2222 at 8:53 PM on December 30, 2020

For the past couple of weeks I've been thoroughly enjoying Solarsido, the personal channel of Kim Yong-sun who performs as Solar in the Korean girl group MAMAMOO.

Most of the videos are "challenges" where she challenges herself to try something new or tries something that a fan has requested. The challenges are as varied as levitating Maltesters, guessing the brand of various tteokbokki, or getting a truck driver's license. There are also behind the scenes videos of the group and her solo work, singing cover songs, interviews, etc. Solar's enthusiasm, positivity, and possibly the most infectious laugh I've ever heard, make for very entertaining viewing.
posted by plastic_animals at 11:04 AM on January 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

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