Youtube Review: OlanRogers – Meet Laboosh, the Cat Emperor
WHEN you’ve sat in the pub, twitching with laughter from some incomparable in-joke, I bet you’ve all agreed that a recording of your interactions would make great comedy. We’ve all been there. Checking out the OlanRogers channel on Youtube might finally give you an answer. OlanRogers provides friendly humour in a variety of formats with a casual delivery, and has the ‘you had to be there’ vibe that you might expect from a group of friends with a common sense of fun. With around 650,000 subscribers Rogers is a fairly successful Youtuber, but isn’t quite a big name in the business, yet. With this in mind, I aim to help you decide whether you desperately need to be part of Rogers’ future success, or whether he is still shy of that million strong viewership with good reason.
Perhaps Rogers primary feature is a storytelling vlog, during which he dramatically exaggerates his past experiences, often broiling with comic hysteria. In wildly undulating tones, Rogers turns imagined slights and minor annoyances into enormous
disasters. Vlogs without scientific content, news or an insight into the minds of viewers’ favourite artists must appeal to Youtube audiences with directionless chatter, and Rogers provides this effortlessly and charismatically. Rogers’ tales tend to revolve around relatable mundane experiences, examples including signing for a package, but usually feature a bizarre twist, maybe including a vicious duck and an English muffin. Vlogging has its most perfect outlet on Youtube, and competition for popularity can be stiff. Nevertheless, Rogers current success is easy to understand; he is witty, charming and prolific.
The humour on the vlogs is fast, and can range from as subtle as a shaving razor made of cake, to as heavy handed as a King Kong with nerve damage. Whichever end of this range, the humour is often wacky and relies heavily on Rodgers’ expressive features.
For this style of entertainment, his delivery style and timing is everything. Indeed, many jokes that are entirely unfunny can have viewers rolling on their backs like rolled tortoises. Although Rogers strikes me as erudite, his productions have a fatuity that seldom reflects this, and his more insightful jokes can become lost in an avalanche of clownishness. I fully expect an avalanche of clowns to feature prominently in one of his next videos.
The OlanRogers channel is home to a number of shorts, with a similar comedic style to the vlog posts, often revolving around a dialogue between two characters and, in true Youtube style, Rogers’ cat is a regular feature. The characters often begin in
familiar scenarios, which could be a videogame style fantasy duel or a camping trip, but they often escalate into baffling and seemingly unscripted mania, without much sense beyond the humour.
When I say that Rogers and friends are prolific, I am exaggerating nothing: in addition to the shorts and the vlogs, the OlanRogers channel hosts a regular feature for Fandango Movies named Admit One, and has also churned out three mini series that represent a more focused investment in time, sets and CGI. Admit One is a series of videos that show two friends preparing to sneak into the cinema using one ticket, in order to see a film that is in cinemas during video release. These videos use a central conceit to generate humour, and thereby deviate mildly from the comic wilderness of the vlogs and the shorts, but can sometimes retain little relevance to the film in question. It seems as though the film titles are to satisfy Fandango by advertising the latest movie, but having a topical movie name in the video title is also a cunning example of clickbaiting and SEO.
The channel’s mini series are more ambitious ventures, and I would be inclined to dissuade most sensible readers from subscribing to OlanRogers, were it not for the latest mini series: Pop Rocket. The mini series’ appear to be experiments by Rogers and company, with a variety of artistic styles and an omnipresent deliberateness about the writing. Pop Rocket in particular recommends the channel alone, and it is a delightful merger of Rogers’ traditional smoked-ham-acting and zany humour, and a self control and continuous narrative that is otherwise scarce. For discerning viewers with limited time to spare, I can’t quite bring myself to recommend the OlanRogers subscription. I would, however, encourage anyone to flick through the shorts, and viewers absolutely must watch the mini series. I must admit, whilst Rogers may bewilder and confuse, there is nothing on the channel that is not created with fun in mind, and what Rogers might lack in finesse he provides in wit and artistic vision. If you find yourself in any moment without a thing to do, you could spend your time in worse ways than watching a silly video on OlanRogers.