When Jack Black launched a YouTube channel Jablinski Games late last year, the response was an overwhelmingly positive one.
The Tenacious D man has long been one of the most likable personalities in Hollywood, and the idea of getting to watch him play video games every Friday was too good to pass up.
The numbers – the all consuming king of internet land – speak for themselves, after all. Black was bringing in subscribers and views in their millions before he’d even posted a proper video.
Hell, in his first upload all he really did was spin around in a chair and take shots at Ninja and PewDiePie, but that didn’t stop him smashing the 2 million subs mark in under a fortnight. At the time of writing he’s fast approaching 4 million.
Black initially promised that his channel would be about “games, food, and life.” Many took this to mean that we’d be getting a dedicated Jack Black gaming channel, and he himself did little to quash this speculation. I mean, the channel does have “games” in the title.
Of course, anyone who’s kept up with the output of Jablinski Games will be aware that the actual lack of gaming has become something of a running joke. Each week Black starts his videos with a quick apology to camera and the reveal that there are “no gaming videos this week.”
This might have rubbed some people up the wrong way, but I think those of us who have stuck with the channel (and there are millions of us) are more than happy to tune in each week, because we have absolutely no idea what Black is going to be doing.
One week he might be taking his kids to the dentist. The next, he’ll be flying kites in a park and going for burgers. One memorable episode, he played a thrilling game of chess with Tenacious D band mate Kyle Gass. Whatever it is he gets up to, the entire channel is anchored by the fact that Jack Black is just so damn lovable.
I’ve always been a big fan of his work, but I had no idea I’d willingly sit and watch the guy drive around while he decides where to eat for lunch. It’s ridiculous, and I love it.
Even those of us who would rather have had a dedicated gaming channel from Jack Black can’t be that annoyed by the channel’s output, because despite his constant jokes that there are no gaming videos, he always sneaks something gaming related into his videos.
Whether he’s taking his kids to the arcade to nerd out over old pinball machines or interviewing his Jumanji co-star Karen Gillan while she tries to remember how to play Crash Bandicoot, there’s no denying that almost every single one of his videos have upload the promise to be about “games, food, and life.”
Let’s be honest, do you really want just another gaming channel where Jack Black streams the latest releases? There are hundreds of those out there already, and I for one would much rather watch a 15 minute video in which Black embarrasses his sons at Disneyland before kicking back with some old school hits like Donkey Kong and Ghosts ‘N Goblins.
I’ve seen far too many YouTubers that come off as a little… insincere in their sincerity. Not all of them, by any stretch, but a good chunk. With Jack Black, we get a look at one of the biggest stars on the planet as he goes about his daily business.
He spends time with his kids, makes corny jokes, loves food, and has a genuine love for the games he plays. Jablinski Games really is one of the purest things on the internet right now, and I’m fully here for it.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.