Whelt has made a name for himself in the YouTube Poop community over the years, collecting over 1,500 subscribers and being an influence for many others. In this interview, Whelt answers a variety of questions regarding his status as a pooper.
How were you first introduced to the world of YouTube Poop?
Well, sometime in July 2007 a friend of mine had just got me to join YouTube. To test it out, I shot a quick video of myself with a potato and uploaded it. I wanted to test out the search and see if I could find my own video, and of course, it didn't come up. What came up instead was a video called "youtube poop: Reduce your brains to mashed potatoes, part 2" by mariopro.
(The video is long gone, but I think this was the original URL.)
It started out with a long stutter of Baby Yoshi crying. I thought it was some weird, annoying shit and turned it off. That was it for my first YouTube Poop experience, the first day I had ever used the website. Some months later, in October specifically, I stumbled upon some of WalrusGuy's videos, though I don't remember exactly when or how. I think the first one I watched was "Link Gets Cancer."
This was the kind of humor I could get behind, at the time.
I watched through his videos and it was some of the funniest shit I had ever seen. Looked pretty easy to make, too. I was especially drawn in by the Dr. Rabbit videos, because the source was just so ridiculous, and it was something I vaguely remembered seeing in school in my childhood. Looking around to where I could get Dr. Rabbit's World Tour, I saw others saying that the folks on the YouTube Poop forums might have it. I joined immediately without lurking, made my intro thread, and asked where I could get the video.
I was treated very nicely, and our own Miss10 gave me the link I was looking for. I imagine if somebody made that same thread today a lot of you would bash the hell out of them. We were a really nice, small community back then who seemed crazy and aggressive at a glance, but were really kind people, especially to each other. We've grown a lot and naturally brought in all kinds of people, and needless to say not everyone gets along anymore. But I digress.
My first poop was actually not using Dr. Rabbit, but some really poorly recorded episode of Pinky and the Brain, because I didn't know how to download streaming videos yet. Spliced in there were some clips of CD-i, Super Mario World, Robot Chicken, and I don't know what else. I tried to give it some kind of storyline, like a WalrusGuy video. Needless to say, it was bad. So bad in fact, that I was so ashamed of it later on that I removed the video and it doesn't exist anymore.
But anyway, that's how I started, and also how I joined the forum. I should probably move on to the next question...
What are your feelings on the way YTP has evolved throughout the years? Do you believe anything exceptional is in store for the future?
I started out in the era where all you had to do to make a good YTP was repeat funny moments in a video clip and rearrange them. Manipulating the speech or visuals to make original jokes that were never in the show to begin with, that was the big league stuff. Putting together a storyline out of it was just incredible.
Then we came to the War on AIDS, which I'm sure everyone has heard of. Conrad decided he was tired of seeing the same sources used all the time, and somehow that snowballed into the entire YouChew community "outlawing" certain sources and editing styles. CD-i and "flash poops" (adding in custom visual effects/drawings or making storyline poops is what that usually referred to) were pretty much off-limits at that point, or else you would be ridiculed. It was pretty stupid and everybody took it way too seriously.
At that time, the cool thing was to be like Stegblob - making videos without storyline that specialize in repeats, stutters, and video effects, but still managed to be funny. For a long time, everyone hated WalrusGuy. He wasn't always on the forum, I'm pretty sure he only joined after he had already quit YTP and people didn't blindly hate him anymore. Sorry about that, Mr. Walstrom.
That whole incident I believe came down to childish jealousy. So called "flash poops" were actually really hard to make, so everyone who couldn't do it decided that they sucked.
Anyway, from that came a new wave of ear rape and blinding colors. There had been some pioneers in that field before any of it had even started, like JazzDance and TangerineImpz, but "AIDSless AIDS" is the first I and many other people had seen this kind of video.
It was basically taking the sources that we had "banned," and manipulating them so hard that it was barely recognizable.
I never liked that style. But it was popular for a while, so I tried my hand at it a few times, just to see how it went. Honestly, it wasn't very fun. It wasn't long before I went back to my normal style.
Before then, YTPMVs were very popular, with poopers like Igiulamam and Nuthacker on the scene. They made awesome beats with characters' speech synced up to it to make songs. Eventually, something changed, and the new idea of a YTPMV was taking a video game song and replacing all the notes with one repeated clip.
This was the one that pretty much changed YTPMVs forever. It's certainly funny, but in its wake were thousands of copycats that all failed to have any entertainment value whatsoever. I imagine this style got so popular because it was easier to make than trying to make an original song that actually sounds good.
At that point I kind of stopped following what was currently popular, and kept to my own established style. From what I can tell now, YTPs are still incredibly fast paced, loud, and almost incoherent. There are certainly many great, new poops, but in general it has become more twitchy and spasm-y than I could ever have imagined. I don't know what the future holds, and since I've kind of fallen out of the current trends, it doesn't really bother me what people do anymore.
Who have been your largest influences regarding YTP?
Like I've mentioned already, WalrusGuy was my first big influence. I loved how funny his videos were and how he made original storylines out of manipulating these weird clips.
After I joined YouChew, the userbase began to further influence my style. Stegblob was very popular, and I liked what I saw. He was the biggest influence to what my core style would become, and what it pretty much still is today when I bother to make a "full length" YTP. One thing I always liked about my own editing style is when I pick one little joke to recycle constantly through the video. People love that, and so do I. Believe it or not, I think that may have been inspired by The Fairly OddParents, because they do the exact same thing in every episode, and I've always liked that show. I think it made a big contribution to developing my sense of humor, erratic and nonsensical.
I think this is possibly the best thing I've ever done.
What motivates you to make a video? Is it solely for personal entertainment, or are other factors involved as well?
I don't care what Conrad or anyone says, the purpose of YTP to me has always been to be funny. If a video is nothing but blinding smears of color and audio spikes, I'm not going to watch it. If that's what you like then fine, but don't ask me to like it too. The goal behind every one of my videos was to make people laugh, except maybe a few times when I was doing something experimental like with that AIDSless AIDS business. I don't believe in the philosophy that you should make YTP just for yourself. If I make something I think is funny, that's great, but if nobody else likes it, I won't be satisfied with that. I've always tried to make things that I think are funny, but that other people will like, too. I believe there's no shame in that.
I've gradually slowed down on my video making, to the point where I now hardly make anything at all. Back in the day, I loved making shit and showing it to the community, who were then still very into YTP. Everyone knew each other and we all watched each others' videos. Now that all of the people I knew back then are either gone or also don't make shit anymore, I've kind of lost my motivation. I don't feel as connected to the newcomers of YTP who all have their own friends, their own inside jokes, and their own styles. I don't fit in with them, I'm an old veteran who has different views on everything. Most of my old YTP buddies are no longer in the art, so I simply don't feel as motivated to do anything these days. I still have some loyal YouTube subscribers, and I'm grateful toward them, and I do put things out occasionally, but I don't see myself ever going back to my amazing output of 07-09.
How much would you say your taste in media is an influence on how your poops are made?
There have always been a few very distinct types of media I would consider editing:
1. Shows/movies that I genuinely enjoy, or are a popular source in the community
2. Something I want to make fun of, or obscure sources that I think nobody else has done
I always have fun using a clip of something that I truly enjoy, or that everyone in the community is using. The other two are more difficult, editing something I don't like and want to make fun of, or something obscure and stale. It becomes incredibly difficult to work with because I have no personal investment in the source.
And like I mentioned earlier, my sense of humor in general was shaped by shows like The Fairly OddParents, Invader Zim, SpongeBob, and whatever else was on Nickelodeon when I was a kid. Crazy and full of nonsense and stupid shit. I think that's why I was drawn to YTP to begin with.
You currently are a forum moderator and you have the highest amount of posts to boot. What qualities in YouChew do you see that have made you stay, even to this day?
I've done some reminiscing in this post already, but it's the community. We hardly talk about YTP anymore other than in its one section, but I love all the people who come here. From the ones who were there before me, like Matt and Steg, to all the great people who have come and gone along the way.
We're generally a lot grumpier than we need to be these days, but I have to say this is probably one of the most fun places to waste time on the internet. I have the most posts because I never shut up, and I contribute to every discussion I can just for the fun of it. We think we're the best community on the internet, and whether it's true or not, it makes it fun to be a part of. Some outsiders still have lingering apprehensions of us for how we tend to be harsh on anyone who doesn't fit in, and, yeah, that's kind of true. It's something I'd like to stop, but it can be difficult to mend an entire community's behavior. At the same time, I think a lot of people need to grow some thicker skin and learn to take a joke. News Flash! Not everything is a personal insult! You have no idea how annoying it is when people on this forum get offended over the dumbest shit that they should just be laughing off.
I was originally asked by RabbitSnore to join the mods back in '08, I think, but I refused at the time because I didn't want people to treat me differently. Eventually, I became dissatisfied with how the mods were running the place (particularly after that incident where they tried to close down the Off Topic section), so I finally volunteered, hoping to throw in my own ideas (and stop them from being a bunch of stupid heads). That's right, I joined the mods because I didn't like them at the time. To this day I still constantly argue with them over how we should handle things, so I guess I'm doing my job! I like to put the community's enjoyment first, rather than enforcing rules for the sake of rules. But anyway all the mods are great guys, and there's actually a lot more arguing and deliberation going on behind the scenes than you probably think. We're not a giant homogeneous blob of consensus, you know.
Lastly, do you have any words of advice for poopers everywhere?
Have fun with your online friends, because they might not be there forever.