I’ve only ever purchased one Cameo. It was 2018, I was a senior in high school and I wanted to get my best friend something really special for Christmas. The solution: a personalized video from our favorite YouTuber, Kurtis Conner. (Not to be confused with Spider-Man villain Dr. Curtis Connors.)
In the video, Conner congratulates my friend on her acceptance to Yee Yee University, a made-up college he jokes about in his videos. Since filming it, Conner has grown his now-signature mullet and mustache, but his hair isn’t the only thing that’s changed. While he’s still my favorite YouTuber and definitely still hilarious, the content of his videos has shifted a lot in the past few years.
I discovered Conner during what I call the “That’s Cringe” era of YouTube (titled after Cody Ko and Noel Miller’s popular series). During this time – about 2017 to 2019 – the commentary genre was dominated by videos poking fun at “cringe” content like Jake Paul and Lele Pons videos. While it was definitely a golden age for the platform, the large quantities of content about low-hanging fruit got old very quickly.
Today, instead of talking about people or things he deems “cringe,” Conner covers people whose content is harmful in some way, like dark humor-obsessed TikTokers and misogynistic dating coaches. This shift in Conner’s commentary content is perfectly summed up by a disclaimer he gives at the beginning of his video about Disney Adults.
“... A few years ago, I for sure would have made a video just roasting these people, goofing on them,” said Conner. “Instead of just making fun of something I don’t understand, it’s better for me to try to understand it … and then make fun of it.”
When he isn’t talking about real people, Conner pokes fun at obscure movies and TV shows. As a “good bad movie” enthusiast, these are my personal favorite kind of videos he makes. From the disturbing Czech animated film Goat Story to the advertisement-turned-romcom Christian Mingle, his ability to find hidden gem movies and make me laugh out loud at them never fails.
Conner combines puns, potty humor and excessive swearing – the Holy Trinity of comedy – with thoughtful analysis, expertly balancing mindless humor with insightful commentary. Like Drew Gooden and Danny Gonzalez, two of my other favorite YouTubers, Conner often creates short skits within his larger videos that are characterized by heavy greenscreen use and bits that go on for almost too long. He also single handedly introduced me to “I hardly know her!” jokes, which are just the right amount of stupid; I am now physically unable to resist making them when I hear a word ending in “-er.”
This brings me to yet another thing that sets Conner’s content apart: his unwavering commitment to bits. A case in point is when his parody song “Blood Related” broke into the iTunes country top ten charts. He also got a world-record speedrun last year for shits and giggles and let his subscribers design and pick a tattoo to add to his already sick patchwork sleeve. I could write an entire TIMJ on his tattoos alone, but highlights include his punny “tri bull” and “fourarm” tattoos and his “Fireproof” by One Direction-inspired dice.
It’s probably abundantly clear by now, but if you often find yourself groaning at puns and poo jokes, Conner’s content probably isn’t for you. However, if you are a pun enthusiast and crack up at things like people saying “balls,” you have all of the makings of a Con-head (yes, that is a Succession reference). The only thing you’re missing is the Con, but that’s a quick fix.
Instead of starting with his newest or most popular videos, I highly recommend Barbie vs. Bratz (my personal favorite), his recent analysis of low-budget horror movie Goblin, or his Goat Story video, an absolute classic – and dare I say the G.O.A.T.? Whatever video you start with, it’s not too late to become a resident of Kurtistown.