Jack Black's Jablinski Games YouTube Channel Isn't Just a Gimmick

In late December, internet denizens were shocked to see that comedy icon Jack Black was starting a YouTube gaming channel. The star of Kung Fu Panda and that Gulliver Travels movie sat in his Pewdiepie branded chair and announced the creation of his channel Jablinski games.

Many online were sceptical about Jablinski, even though traditional celebrities have made their way into the realm of influencers. The Rock, Will Smith and Kevin Hart have each created their own huge YouTube shows using high production values. These epic adventures wouldn't have looked out of place on Netflix or cable television, but instead their home is on YouTube.

In the four videos Jablinski Games has posted, none of them have Hollywood polish or shine. The first two are Black announcing the channel and his surprise at hitting a million subscribers in a few days, but the latter are a touching look at a father son relationship. Jack Black and his son Sam Jason visit a pinball museum and arcade to play games together. Sam sometimes holds the camera, capturing his famous fathers antics for millions to see and sometimes Jack does the same for Sam Jason.

Jack and his 12-year-old son have a genuine chemistry that feels perfect for YouTube, free of all the glitz and glamor traditional celebrities try to bring. In their recent video, the pair go to the Round One arcade, located in Puente Hills California. "Before we start gaming, I have to drop a deuce," the star of Goosebumps says directly into the camera before it cuts to a poop emoji. The father and son then play rhythm games and arcade cabinets based off of Kung Fu Panda. The two-minute video isn't necessarily the most polished thing on YouTube, but it's raw energy makes up for it.

The father and son pair eventually plan on making longer YouTube Let's Play videos together.

YouTube is going through a huge change right now. The higher-ups at Google want the platform to rival television, with high-end production quality that makes American Horror Story look like a Troma Entertainment VHS tape. YouTubers, the rank-and-file content creators that fill the site with make-up tutorials, game reviews and vlogs, want the site to be raw and relatable to viewers. This conflict has caused the site to change, with copyright claims from corporate powerhouses like Universal Music Group taking down smaller YouTubers as Will Smith stars in YouTube Rewind.

Sam Jason edits Jablinski Games videos, along with Jack Black's friend and video producer Taylor Stephens. Jablinski seems like it's using YouTube as an excuse to do a fun family project.

Black understands the power of YouTube and it's performance as a storytelling tool. Jack Black and his musical partner Kyle Gass started performing together as the band Tenacious D at places like Al's Bar in Los Angeles, where the pair unleashed odd songs like "Tribute" that appealed to the niche comedy scene. They were known for their meta-breaking humor and attracted comedy oddballs like David Cross, who eventually invited them to work on HBO's Mr. Show.

The pair are still breaking boundaries on YouTube. They recently released the hour-long animated video Post Apocalypto. It features Ku Klux Klan members marching on the White House, a graphic sex scene and Donald Trump's penis. The video was (obviously) demonetized.

"At first we were creating our rough version of a television show, our Rick and Mortty ,"Jack Black said on the YouTube only H3 Podcast." Nobody wanted it on any of the networks, so then we said we were going to do it our way, which was just the cheapest way to do it."

Jablinski Games is a hybrid product stuck between worlds and a tribute to the unfiltered, creative energy that can bring a father and son together.