The Key Of Awesome

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The Key of Awesome
Todd Womack Mark Douglas VidCon 2014.jpg
Todd Womack (left) and Mark Douglas (right), principal writers and stars of Barely Productions, at VidCon 2014 in the Anaheim Convention Center
YouTube information
Created by
Years active2007–2018
Subscribers5.4 million
Total views3.2 billion
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2008
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2010
Updated January 16, 2019[1]

The Key of Awesome (formerly Barely Productions and Barely Political) was a YouTube channel that produced comedy videos starring writer/performer Mark Douglas. "The Key of Awesome" was created by Mark Douglas and Ben Relles and is the channel's most popular series, mainly producing viral music videos and parodies.[citation needed] Barely Political was created in June 2007 by Ben Relles and subsequently debuted its first music video, "Crush on Obama", starring Amber Lee "Obama Girl" Ettinger, created by Ben Relles and Jake Chudnow.[2] Videos on the channel have been seen over 3.2 billion times online. "The Key of Awesome" has become the central identity of the channel.

The Key of Awesome has created numerous videos covering political topics, the military, and news media. During the 2008 presidential primaries, the channel invited some of the 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]

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

In 2014, the channel was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #29.[4]

On February 4, 2018, in form of a song, Mark Douglas announced that he would be taking an indefinite break from YouTube, thanking his fans for their support over the years.[5]


In addition to its popular Barely Productions 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)

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."[6] 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."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hefflinger, Mark (2007-10-17). "Next New Networks Buys "Obama Girl" Creator BarelyPolitical". Digital Media Wire. Archived from the original on 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-11-16.
  4. ^ "The NMR Top 100 YouTube Channels: 50-26!". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  5. ^ The Key of Awesome (2018-02-04), THE LAST KEY OF AWESOME, retrieved 2018-02-04
  6. ^ Clayworth, Jason (2007-06-19). "Obama responds to 'crush'". Archived from the original on 2008-02-11.
  7. ^ "'Obama girl' may become Clinton's girl". CNN. 2007-08-23. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-05.

External links[edit]

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