Comedians Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden Talk Tour, Individuality and Why YouTube Is the Best Career

It's not difficult to predict exactly what your favorite YouTubers will do or say in a live show. Most take the stage with a goal to bring their videos to life, whether commentary or humor-based. Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden aren't your typical YouTubers, though.

Though YouTube success is largely measured by views—and in turn, repeated, proven topics and voice—Gonzalez and Gooden aren't tied to their past, their top releases or any sort of predictability.

The pair are known for their comedy and commentary, and they're often teased for being undeniably similar, both in video content and personal life. In their upcoming tour, fittingly titled the "We Are Two Different People Tour," Gonzalez and Gooden set out to create an entirely different kind of stage show that supports the wishes of their fans but allows them to grow.

Gonzalez and Gooden spoke to Newsweek about the tour, which launches in Naperville, Illinois, on Thursday and Friday, and explained how it's unlike anything their fans have seen from them. "The tour is a very theatrical 90-minute production," said Gooden. "Our goal is to make something that's unlike any other YouTuber live show we've seen before, and we're hoping we accomplished that."

Drew Gooden Danny Gonzalez
Danny Gonzalez (L) and Drew Gooden (R) are going on a comedy tour with Kurtis Conner starting September 5. Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden

While the pair sometimes film videos together and have an obvious overlap in fan bases, they're known for different things. While Gooden brings a sense of reality to commentary pieces, Gonzalez more often posts music videos in response to his own commentary. One of his most successful commentary series follows the controversial and eerie children's YouTube channel Billion Surprise Toys. His videos, which question everything about the children's songs, including a talking fridge and the unexplained redesign of an animated father figure, have become big enough to start national conversations.

When asked if Gonzalez has had any contact with Billion Surprise Toys, past a handful of his reaction videos being removed from YouTube, he responded. "Unfortunately I've never had any real communication with them aside from them taking my videos down, which they just recently did again," said Gonzalez. "It's been a very one-sided conversation. Billion Surprise Toys if you're reading this bring back Papa," he said of the father figure, whose disappearance was never explained.

Most recently, the pair created a mocking video of actor Jeremy Renner's app on EscapeX, and noted it wasn't much different from an Instagram account. In response, Renner fully deleted the app, which gave dedicated fans some exclusive access to his life, and conversation.

The stage show will be different, in terms of theatrical representation of the pair's comedy. But their own senses of humor will carry into the new territory, Gooden explained. "I think we both see this as a way to evolve ourselves as comedians and try to break out of the mold that people may have come to expect from us," he said. "But at the same time, our sense of humor hasn't changed, and the jokes are in line with what you'd see in one of our videos. It's just delivered in a different format."

In writing the show, the comedians found their typical content may not be relevant. In the commentary, particularly, Gooden and Gonzalez decided to leave out their timely opinions for fear they wouldn't be relevant by the end of the tour.

Gonzalez has 2.8 million YouTube subscribers, and Gooden has 1.6 million. As for why now is the right time to go on tour, the pair joked the confusion between them has pushed them to bring their friendship public. "We realized the only way we can finally prove that we're different people is by going on a nationwide comedy tour so everyone can see us standing in the same room together. It's kind of a last-ditch effort, since nothing else has seemed to work so far," Gooden said.

Gonzalez echoed the point. "Yeah, at this point, even my own parents think Drew is just a figment of my imagination," he joked. "In my eyes, this tour is mostly for them but it's cool other people are coming too."

The tour will take the pair, along with Canadian YouTuber Kurtis Conner, around America until October 1. Conner is the tour's opening act, but will play a bigger role in the full set, they teased.

Though taking their comedy to a stage show seemed like a fitting next step, fans shouldn't fear a giant career change from either of the comedians in the near future. Gonzalez explained the unmatchable benefits of a YouTube career. "In my opinion, being a YouTuber is the best job in the entertainment industry because it can mean so many different things," he said. "One day I can make a commentary video, the next I could make a comedy music video or a 30-minute long video where I recreate awful Instagram ads for iPhone games. I love being able to create things without having to worry about whether I can sell it to a network or get signed to a label."

Both see a future career in a different part of the entertainment industry, though Gooden has his sights on a particular path. "I've always wanted to eventually transition into a more traditional form of media, but I don't know if I'd ever stop making YouTube videos," Gooden explained. "It's a platform that gives you the ability to make whatever content you want to make, which is incredibly freeing. That being said, I would eventually like to write and direct a show."

With millions of followers between them and successful careers in the personalized setting of YouTube, fans often question what they can do to find success in their own comedy dreams. Gooden gave advice to those who want to follow a similar career: "Find your voice. Focus on what makes you unique. If you're doing what a thousand other people are doing, it's impossible to stand out from the crowd."

Gonzalez joked with his own piece of unique advice: "Find your voice. Focus on what makes you unique. If you're doing what a thousand other people are doing, it's impossible to stand out from the crowd."

This article has been updated to correct a misspelling of Danny Gonzalez's last name.

Comedians Danny Gonzalez and Drew Gooden Talk Tour, Individuality and Why YouTube Is the Best Career | Culture