Dan Howell – Popular and Smart

OK – so who is Dan Howell?

Dan Howell is currently one of the UK’s most popular vloggers.  If you are not exactly sure what a vlogger is then this article may help).  When Dan releases a nes video it always goes into our Daily UK Vloggers Chart.

His main YouTube channel in entitled danisnotonfire His second channel is called danisnotinteresting. His third channel is a gaming channel (which he produces along with Phil Lester) called DanandPhilGames.

So what does he vlog about?

Himself mainly.

Despite being very good looking, whip smart, very popular and very funny Dan presents himself as a maladjusted young man riddled with faults and foibles and who has an awkward relationship with the normal world.

Typical titles to his films include “I Talk To Myself”, “I’m a Mess” and “Human Interaction”.  This awkwardness and his oddness makes him about as English as Morrissey or Monty Python.

Morrissey or Monty Python? Really?

Kind of – in that he is intelligent, funny and weird. However the audience for the most popular vloggers are tween and teenage girls and whilst that demographic may enjoy a film where a young man eviscerates himself with self loathing over his habit of talking to himself they are probably just as happy watching a young man dressed as a dinosaur jumping about on a bouncy castle.

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In other words whilst Dan can be funny and clever he can also be funny and daft.

The dinosaur on a bouncy castle doesn’t sound much like Morrissey.

Indeed. The important thing here is that most of the popular vloggers make films whose appeal to tweens and teens. Dan does that but his films can appeal to a broader demographic because he is not shy about being smart – he is smart about his self absorption and he is smart about being funny.


The film – Existential Crisis – is probably our favourite. There are very few vloggers that talk about the “rock ‘n’roll awesomeness of how blunt the universe is” in its indifference to our lives and loves.

In a vlogging world where vloggers make films about how smelly their feet are Dan’s films really do stand out.

Is his stuff all like this – what about the dinosaurs thing?

No. Dan usually makes about 3 or 4 films a month and quite a few are like this – but he also does slapstick stuff (like the dinosaur thing which was a sponsored video for Krave cereal) and he makes a lot of stuff to do with what young people get up to online – stuff such as fan fiction and Internet acronyms. If you’re over 30 this stuff can feel like you’re wandering lost in a giant fetid maze made of teenager’s bedrooms.

Not sure I like fetid mazes. Anything else I should know?

Yes. Dan works a lot with his flatmate and fellow vlogger Phil Lester (AmazingPhil). As a double act their vlogging has proven very successful – it led them to getting a job DJ-ing on Radio 1 making them amongst the first vloggers to cross over into main stream media.