Barely Political

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Barely Political
Web address Barely Political YouTube Channel
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Online video
Registration Optional
Available in English
Owner Google
(YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development Group)
Launched June 13, 2007
Alexa rank
negative increase 15,069,679 (February 2013)[1]
Current status Active

Barely Political is a large YouTube channel that produces comedy videos starring writer/performers Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, Bryan Olsen, and director Tom Small. The most popular series on the channel is called "The Key of Awesome," which makes music viral videos and parodies, which was created by Mark Douglas and Ben Relles. Barely Political was created in June 2007 by founder Ben Relles and debuted its presence on the internet in the music video "I Got a Crush...on Obama", starring Amber Lee "Obama Girl" Ettinger and created by Ben Relles and Jake Chudnow.[2] Videos on the YouTube channel have been seen over 2 billion times online. "The Key of Awesome" has become the central identity of the channel.

Barely Political has created numerous videos featuring many political aspects, including the military, news media, and also inviting some of the 2008 presidential candidates to be featured in a video, including former Senator Mike Gravel.

In October 2007 Barely Political was bought by Next New Networks, for an unknown amount, which in turn was acquired by YouTube in spring 2011. Herb Scannell, co-founder and CEO of Next New Networks, stated, "With BarelyPolitical, we've added a team that can grow our reach to a very important audience — one that likes their politics with a healthy serving of humor — timed perfectly with the upcoming 2008 election season."[3]

Currently Barely Political features the show The Key of Awesome which has been viewed over 700 million times and featured in Entertainment Weekly, on 20/20, and on CNN.

Barely Political videos are mainly directed by Tom Small and feature writing and performances by Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, Doug Larsen, Anastasia Douglas and Bryan Olsen and occasionally appearances by Andrea Fezkco, Lauren Francesca and Michael Stevens.


In addition to its popular Barely Political sketches, the comedy group has multiple web series they post on their YouTube channel.

  • The Key of Awesome
  • Barely Guys
  • Rated: Awesome
  • The Anti-List
  • Barely Ads
  • Super Therapy
  • Frank Ruins Movie Trailers
  • K-Stew Explains
  • Barely Air
  • Obama Girl
  • YouTube Complaints (annual)
  • D*ck Maintenance [4]

Response to Obama Girl[edit]

When asked about the video by the Des Moines Register on June 18, 2007, Obama said, "It's just one more example of the fertile imagination of the Internet. More stuff like this will be popping up all the time."[5] Obama told the Associated Press that the Obama Girl video had upset his daughters and said, "You do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families."[6]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Awards and nominations for Smosh
Year Award Category Recipient Result
2014 Screenchart! Channel Awards Best Male Personality (Solo or Duo) [7] Todd Womack and Mark Douglas Nominated
Best Musical Performance [8] "Official Lyric Video: Key of Awesome #81" Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hefflinger, Mark (2007-10-17). "Next New Networks Buys "Obama Girl" Creator BarelyPolitical". Digital Media Wire. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Clayworth, Jason (2007-06-19). "Obama responds to 'crush'". Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. 
  6. ^ "'Obama girl' may become Clinton's girl". CNN. 2007-08-23. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  7. ^ 1st Annual Screenchart! Channel Awards
  8. ^ 1st Annual Screenchart! Channel Awards

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Most Subscribed Director on YouTube
Ranked 7th as of 2010
Succeeded by