On November 28, 2005, Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox – two 19-year-old college students from Carmichael, California – lip-synching their determined yet goofy version of the Pokemon theme became the creators one of the most watched videos on YouTube…ever (at least before it was taken down).

While that vid was busy racking up 24 million views, the two created more quirky sketches and music videos while maintaining their low-fi approach and effervescent brand of humor. The duo also has the esteemed honor of consistently being the most subscribed YouTube channel of all time, beating out top talent like Lonely Girl 15 (Tilzy.TV page), Happy Slip (Tilzy.TV page ), and Lisa Nova (Tilzy.TV page).

Smosh features the entirety of Padilla and Hecox’s comedy output, sketches from their YouTube channel, as well as a surprisingly active discussion forum and merchandise store.  The videos are broken into three sections: music, shorts and theme songs.

The music videos, from which one can also download the mp3 and song lyrics, are made with the aid of a cheesy synthesizer, funky drum tracks and usually rap or spoken verse.  In Boxman, a disfigured pedestrian is transformed into a depressed half-cardboard box creature that walks the streets, outcast. The Transformers Rap is a hip-hop ode to the classic robots-in-disguise with budget special effects that include Ian’s house exploding and yet more elaborate cardboard box costumes.

The shorts section features sketches, including the duo’s mock-sitcom, Three Guys In a Hotel. With a prominent laughtrack, Anthony and Ian are kicked out of their parent’s homes and forced to live in a hotel with their wacky, incredibly awkward friend, Dax Flame – yes, that Dax Flame.  When Lisa Nova and Canadian comedian Tony Huynh show up, after school sitcom hilarity ensues.  In another sketch, the duo produces an educational video on How Not to Act on a First Date, which encourages typical blunders such as non-showering, choosing restaurants with a dollar menu, and making an excuse not to pay for dinner. More disturbing than the advice is the sight of Anthony in a women’s wig and dress.
The theme song section has the duo lip-synching in their inimitable style to the intros of Transformers, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The Power Rangers theme keeps the two confined to a bedroom, thwacking each other with plastic swords and playing to the webcam. Transformers takes the pair out of the bedroom and out into the world, or at least, the backyard. Midway, the theme shifts into a gangsta-rap video, where Anthony and Ian’s hardcore doppelgangers dimiss the original pair as “wizzack.”

Smosh merchandise includes hooded sweatshirts and t-shirts with logos and sketch characters like Boxman and Evil Shredder. And for the most hardcore Smosh fans, there are behind the scenes, bloopers and commentary.

Anthony and Ian are at their best when possessed by an 80’s cartoon theme song and a desire to goof around. This is exemplified by the duo’s treatment of the Mortal Kombat Theme, which finds the two acting out martial arts in their bedroom with a webcam and the hearfelt mockery only true fans can muster.

 

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