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CGP Grey

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CGP Grey
Personal information
Born New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Residence London, United Kingdom
YouTube information
Pseudonym Grey
Years active 2010–present
Genre Educational entertainment
Subscribers 2.9 million+ (CGP Grey)
139,800+ (CGPGrey2)
17,500+ (CGP Play)
Total views 289.3 million+ (CGP Grey)
6.3 million+ (CGPGrey2)
206,700+ (CGP Play)
Associated acts Hello Internet, Brady Haran, Myke Hurley, Relay FM, Cortex
Subscriber and view counts updated as of 27 May 2017.

CGP Grey is a podcaster and educational YouTuber who posts on YouTube under the channel CGP Grey.[1] Grey also posts videos on his secondary channel, CGPGrey2, and livestreams gameplay on his other channel, CGP Play.[2][3]

His YouTube channel features short explanatory videos on varying subjects, including politics, geography, economics, history, and culture. The channel's most popular video is an explanation of the terminology of the British Isles, which became viral.[4] Since then, Grey's videos have received increasing attention, having been covered by several publications, including Business Insider, Forbes, and The Washington Post.[5][6][7]

In addition to video production, Grey is known for creating the audio podcast Hello Internet with fellow educational Youtuber, Brady Haran. In 2015 he started the audio podcast Cortex with Myke Hurley of Relay FM.[8]

Early life and career[edit]

Grey grew up in New York State, in the Long Island suburbs of New York City. He then went to college in upstate New York, where he earned two degrees, one in physics and another in sociology.[9] After college, he aspired to move to a big city; he says that New York was the obvious choice, but because he was raised in its shadow, it felt like a "step backward in life."[10]

His grandmother was born in Ireland, and when he was a child, his father had applied for Irish citizenship on his behalf; Grey thus has dual American and Irish citizenship, although he only discovered that much later in life.[11] This enabled him to look into opportunities in the European Union, especially its largest city, London. He felt that if he did not live abroad while "still free of life's anchors," he never would, which made it all the more reason for him to go. He attended an Economics Masters program in London, and stayed in the city for more than a decade.[10]

Grey decided to become a physics teacher in the United Kingdom; he went through a one-year course to earn a physics PGCE, and graduated being qualified to teach physics in England. He taught on and off until his new career as a podcaster and YouTube creator.[12]


The YouTube channel CGP Grey features, among other things, Grey Explains, a series of explanatory videos[13] on a range of subjects, including politics, geography, economics, and British culture. The videos feature Grey narrating over animations, stock footage and still photographs. While nearly all of Grey's videos feature his voice, his face has never been shown in his videos, and Grey almost always has his face obscured when appearing in other people's videos;[14] he generally uses a stick figure with glasses to represent himself.[15] His videos also often include hidden links,[16] often leading to Monty Python videos.[17] Grey has stated that the presentation style of his videos is influenced by that of Yahtzee Croshaw's Zero Punctuation series.[18][19]

Grey records his voice over the music playing in the background on Logic Pro X.[20] The backing music is usually credited to Kevin MacLeod. He used to use Inkscape to make the key frames of his videos and Final Cut Pro X to edit them together from 2010 to early 2016; but now he uses Adobe After Effects to do both. The switch is primarily because he now works with other animators on most of his videos, and they use After Effects.[21] Videos are released on the channel significantly less frequently than other YouTube channels; Grey has said that this is due to thorough research and script writing, with the majority of videos never being finished.[22]

Grey's video debunking popular misconceptions has been featured on CBS,[23] as has his video about the history of the British Royal Family.[24] Two videos differentiate London, England and the City of London, while explaining certain oddities that arise from the ancient customs of the latter.[25][26] Another two videos explaining copyright law and the Electoral College have been featured on Mashable.[13] The channel has also explained the economic disadvantages of U.S. one-cent coins, in another viral video, Death to Pennies.[27][28] The video How to Become Pope was also very popular.[7][29]

Several videos, under the collective name "Politics in the Animal Kingdom", explain some differences between various election procedures, and are critical of first-past-the-post voting (gerrymandering, minority rule, lack of Condorcet winner, two-party system, spoiler effect) and discuss the relative advantages of the alternative vote, mixed-member proportional representation, and the single transferable vote.

Grey's videos have been described as explanatory and sobering, especially Humans Need Not Apply, which Grey describes as his favourite video.[5] Humans Need Not Apply was positively covered by several publications, including Business Insider and Forbes.[5][6]


Hello Internet[edit]

Hello Internet Logo

In January 2014, Grey launched the podcast Hello Internet along with cohost Brady Haran, another YouTube educational content creator. The podcast peaked as the #1 iTunes podcast in United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Canada, and Australia.[49] It was selected as one of Apple's best new podcasts of 2014.[50] The Guardian included the podcast among its 50 best of 2016, naming episode 66 ("A Classic Episode") its episode of the year. The paper described the podcast as having "in-depth debates and banter that is actually amusing".[51] Grey reported a podcast listenership of approximately "a quarter million" downloads per episode as of September 2015.[52]

Nail & Gear – chosen by a listener's postal referendum as the official flag of the Hello Internet podcast.

The podcast features discussions pertaining to their lives as professional content creators for YouTube, as well as their interests and annoyances. Typical topics include technology etiquette; movie and TV show reviews; plane accidents; vexillology; futurology; and the differences between Grey's and Haran's personalities and lifestyles.[53] After each podcast, listeners can discuss the podcast in CGP Grey's personal subreddit.[54] Grey's and Haran's opinions and comments on such feedback usually starts the next episode of the podcast. As a result of their conversations, Haran has been credited as coining the term "freebooting," among other words, to refer to the unauthorized rehosting of online media.[55]

The podcast has an "official flag" called the "Nail & Gear". It was chosen from 5 candidates with a postal vote by the podcast's audience using a single transferable voting system.[56][57][58] It received 47.6% of the votes in the first round, and won in the third round with 53.6%[59]


On 3 June 2015, Grey launched his second podcast, Cortex, with cohost Myke Hurley of Relay FM. Each episode, they discuss the methods and tools they employ to be productive and creative, and how they improve their self-employed lifestyles.[60] Frequently revisited topics of discussion include time management; workflow automation; and Apple products.


  1. ^ "CGP Grey". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  2. ^ "CGPGrey2". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  3. ^ "CGPPlay". YouTube. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  4. ^ C. G. P. Grey (January 30, 2012). "One Year & 100,000 Subscribers Later (Thank You!)". CGP Grey. YouTube. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Kasanoff, Bruce (August 18, 2014). "If 'Humans Need Not Apply,' Will All Our Jobs Disappear?". Forbes. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Love, Dylan (August 13, 2014). "Not Even Doctors And Lawyers Are Safe From Machines Taking Their Jobs". Business Insider. Retrieved August 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b c Aaron Blake (February 25, 2013). "Why is the pope always so old? (Video)". Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  8. ^ Hackett, Stephen (June 2, 2015). "Introducing Relay FM's 2015 Summer Pilots". Relay FM. Retrieved August 13, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Q&A With Grey for 500,000 Subscribers". YouTube. Retrieved 3 April 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "Q&A With Grey #3: Millenia of Human Attention". YouTube. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "#26: Pick your Poison". Relay.FM. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "H.I. #10: Two Dudes Talking". Retrieved 7 April 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d Allegra Tepper (July 24, 2012). "These 10 Videos Turn Tough Topics Into Child's Play, 7. C.G.P. Grey: Copyright: Forever Less One Day". Mashable. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Veritasium (June 28, 2012). "Science YouTubers Unite! feat. ... CGP Grey". YouTube. Retrieved October 26, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Numbers confuse Americans - Numberphile". Numberphile (YouTube). 25 July 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d Godless Mom (August 18, 2014). "Every Atheist Needs: CGP Grey". Godless Mom. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "CGP Grey: Government of the City of London". Politics is Stupid. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (2014-05-28). "Nobody Owns the Facts". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 2014-06-17. 
  19. ^ Grey, C. G. P.; Hurley, Myke (August 14, 2015). "Cortex #10: Zero Artistic Skills". Cortex (Podcast). Relay FM. Retrieved August 16, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Twitter / cgpgrey: Finally getting the hang of...". April 6, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  21. ^ Grey, CGP; Hurley, Myke. "Cortex Episode #41: Spiralling". Relay FM. Relay FM. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  22. ^ "Q&A with Grey #2 (One Million Subscribers)". YouTube. CGP Grey. November 20, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b Bailey Johnson (January 24, 2012). "Eskimos do not have 100's of words for snow, and other myths debunked". CBS. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ Savage, Lesley (17 July 2013). "How to become a British monarch and why it won't be you". CBS. Retrieved 16 October 2016. 
  25. ^ a b Kieth Shaw (July 23, 2012). "Learn about the London inside London". IT World. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b Sam Gibbs (September 20, 2012). "How to Become the Lord Mayor of the (Secret) City of London". Gizmodo UK. Retrieved September 21, 2012. 
  27. ^ Mary Beth Quirk (January 13, 2012). "The Case Against Pennies Might Make You Want To Send Yours Back To Uncle Sam For Something Useful". Consumerist. Retrieved August 9, 2012. 
  28. ^ a b Bailey Johnson (November 30, 2011). "Death to Pennies". The Feed Blog. CBS. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  29. ^ Lindsay Jolivet (February 21, 2013). "How to become pope instructional video goes viral". Yahoo! Canada. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  30. ^ Paul Caridad (February 3, 2011). "The Difference Between Great Britain, England & the United Kingdom (and a whole lot more)". Visual News. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  31. ^ CGP Grey (March 9, 2011). "The Problems With First Past the Post Voting Explained". CGP Grey. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  32. ^ David Haglund (March 12, 2012). "Did You See This? Daylight Saving Time Explained". Slate. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  33. ^ Will Goodman (January 3, 2012). "2012 and the end of the world according to the Mayans". The Feed Blog. CBS. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  34. ^ Chris Higgins (February 2, 2013). "Groundhog Day Explained". mental_floss. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  35. ^ Geoff Herbert (February 29, 2012). "Viral Video of the Day: Leap year's extra day, Feb. 29, explained". Syracuse. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  36. ^ Krulwich, Robert (June 20, 2014). "Wrong! Deconstructing 5 Famous History Stories". NPR. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  37. ^ Benny Johnson (December 6, 2012). "Could Texas Really Secede From The Union? The Answer Is…". The Blaze. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  38. ^ Ed Carrasco (December 27, 2012). "What’s The Difference Between Holland and the Netherlands? YouTuber C.G.P. Grey Explains [VIDEO]". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  39. ^ Aaron Blake (January 22, 2013). "The debt ceiling, explained (VIDEO)". Washington Post. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  40. ^ Robert T. Gonzalez (14 June 2013). "This is the totally bonkers story of the US/Canada border". io9. Retrieved 29 June 2013. 
  41. ^ Casey Chan (December 23, 2013). "Whoa, this YouTube video will hurt you when you watch it". Sploid. Gizmodo. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Your Family Tree Finally Explained (Don't Expect to Understand)". College Humor. June 4, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  43. ^ Klein, Ezra (July 3, 2014). "What maps of America get wrong". Vox. Retrieved August 19, 2014. 
  44. ^ Cellania, Miss (December 18, 2014). "CGP Grey Explains The Lord of the Rings Mythology (Part 1)". Neatorama. Retrieved December 29, 2014. 
  45. ^ Rayner, Tristan (February 10, 2015). "The One Ring Explained: You've Seen Lord Of The Rings And The Hobbit, Now Understand It". Techly. Retrieved 12 February 2015. 
  46. ^ Farrier, John (March 10, 2015). "Despite the Title, This Video Will Actually Not Make You Angry". Neatorama. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  47. ^ Heater, Brian (March 25, 2015). "C.G.P. Grey Explains Which Countries Are Generally Considered Part of Scandinavia". Laughing Squid. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  48. ^ Dorn, Lori (May 1, 2015). "‘Las Vegas isn’t Las Vegas’, CGP Grey Explains That the Las Vegas Strip Actually Resides in Paradise, Nevada". Laughing Squid. Retrieved 27 June 2015. 
  49. ^ "CGP Grey & Brady Haran - 'Hello Internet' American iTunes Chart Performance". Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  50. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (2014-12-25). "Bumper Christmas Special". Hello Internet (Podcast). 46:30 minutes in. Retrieved 2015-05-15. 
  51. ^ "The 50 best podcasts of 2016". The Guardian. 2016-12-21. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  52. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, CGP (2015-09-29). "Grumpy About Art". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 2015-09-30. 
  53. ^ "Top 3 Podcasts You Must Listen To In 2016". Intention Deficit. 31 December 2015. Retrieved 17 April 2016. 
  54. ^ "CGP Grey • /r/CGPGrey". reddit. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  55. ^ Oremus, Will (17 July 2015). "Facebook’s Piracy Problem". Slate. The Slate Group LLC. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  56. ^ Haran, Brady; Grey, C.G.P. (2015-12-16). "Two Dudes Counting". Hello Internet (Podcast). Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  57. ^ "Hello, Hello Internet!". 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2015-12-31. 
  58. ^ "Flag Vote". Hello Internet. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  59. ^ Haran, Brady. "Hello Internet Flag Referendum". Retrieved 29 April 2017. 
  60. ^ "Cortex". Relay.FM. Retrieved 29 March 2017. 

External links[edit]