Game Grumps is a Let's Play web series hosted by Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan. Created in 2012 by co-hosts Hanson and Jon Jafari, the series centers around its hosts playing video games while adding comedic commentary. After Jafari left the show in 2013 to focus on his own YouTube webseries, JonTron, he was succeeded by Avidan. The YouTube channel for Game Grumps currently operates under JETPAK, a network created by Adam Montoya.
Since Jafari's departure, the channel has expanded to include other hosts, besides the main two, who have floated in and out of the channel over time as a part of spin-off shows. Those include Ross O'Donovan, Barry Kramer, Suzy Berhow, and Brian Wecht, as well as various guest hosts. As of March 2020[update], Game Grumps has over 5.23 million subscribers and over 5 billion total video views. Game Grumps have also developed and published two of their own video games, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator and Soviet Jump Game, as well as writing the young adult novel Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and the Secret of the Grande Chateau.
Episodes usually consist of two hosts or more, playing a video game, featuring their commentary, experience with (and opinions of) the chosen game, as well as related and unrelated discussions, along with stories from their lives. Many of the games played on the show are sent in by fans, who mail in games to the Grumps’ PO box in Glendale, California. The channel previously uploaded two or three 10-minute episodes on average each day, but changed to having one longer 30-minute episode each day. Lengthier games often result in ongoing series, which continue airing until completion, unless ending early in favor of beginning a new series. Occasionally, the hosts will participate and compete in multiplayer games, as part of their Game Grumps VS series. Though the episodes usually consist of two or more people, there are some special episodes with Hanson or Avidan alone.
Game Grumps was created by Jon "JonTron" Jafari and Arin "Egoraptor" Hanson, and began with a video of the two playing Kirby Super Star uploaded on July 18, 2012 to video streaming site YouTube. According to Jafari and Hanson, the idea for the show came about when the two were arguing over whether or not the character Wolf from the fighting game Super Smash Bros. Brawl was too similar to the character Fox in terms of their fighting styles. After animator Ross O’Donovan told the duo about their tendency to be “grumpy” with each other over video games, Hanson came up with the idea of a podcast revolving around this concept, though the show ultimately became a video series on YouTube rather than a podcast. In September 2012, Barry Kramer was brought onto the show as an editor. Hanson and Jafari worked on the show together until June 25, 2013, when Jafari announced he would be leaving the show due to desires to focus on his own show. Many fans were upset by Jafari's departure from Game Grumps, with many expressing disappointment in the decision's last-minute announcement, as well as the channel's decision to announce the beginning of Steam Train on the same day. After Jafari's departure, Ninja Sex Party vocalist Dan Avidan succeeded him as co-host of the main show. Avidan also joined animator Ross O'Donovan as co-host of the show Steam Train where both play PC games. This expanded the channel's output to three videos a day: two standard Game Grumps episodes and a single Steam Train episode. Steam Train later expanded to include Hanson as a co-host at times, as well as featuring one of the group's editors, Barry Kramer, and Hanson's wife Suzy Berhow. The expansion also introduced a new Steam Rolled series, where four-player games (not necessarily PC games) are played by the group.
In October 2013, the group began a gameplay series featuring Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Polaris YouTube channel, titled Hunting Monsters. A second installment, featuring Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, began in February 2015.
In December 2013, Kramer and Berhow began hosting Table Flip, where they dress in Victorian/19th century American period clothing and play tabletop games, such as card games, board games, and tile-based games with other YouTube personalities. The series was professionally produced by Polaris, with seven cameras and extensive editing in post-production to fit the content to the show's 45 to 60 minute format on Polaris's website rather than the Game Grumps YouTube channel. The final episode of Table Flip aired on October 14, 2016. In November 2014, Kevin Abernathy was hired to assist Kramer with video editing and production. Although Abernathy took on editing for most of the series, Kramer continued to edit Steam Train. Since Abernathy's departure from the show in mid-2016, Kramer, Ryan Magee, and Matt Watson have taken on editing duties.
In January 2015, to celebrate reaching two million subscribers, a new show called Grumpcade was launched, featuring any combination of co-hosts playing console games. The show also features guest YouTube personalities, including game critics ProJared, The Completionist and Markiplier. Shortly after, in February 2015, GrumpOut, a channel dedicated to recreational and live-action video projects, was created. In November 2015, Avidan's Ninja Sex Party bandmate Brian Wecht officially joined the team, leaving behind his career as a theoretical physicist.
The channel also airs special holiday-themed series, featuring holiday-themed games, including Jingle Grumps and Steam Sleigh for Christmas, Ghoul Grumps and Scream Train for Halloween, Date Grumps, Single Train and Love Train for Valentine's Day, and Stout Train for St. Patrick's Day.
In February 2016, it was announced that Avidan and Hanson would appear at Hollywood Improv for a special performance of Game Grumps Live on March 30 and 31. Later, in April 2016, it was announced that Avidan and Hanson would appear at Levity Live in Nyack, New York for more performances of Game Grumps Live on April 29 and 30. Game Grumps Live has since gone on to become a regularly-touring entity, performing across the United States and Canada in brief regional stints at a time.
On January 6, 2017, it was announced that the show's middle slot would no longer upload on a consistent schedule. While Steam Train and Grumpcade were not canceled, the format was changed so that they would be released only upon the creators' discretion on an occasional basis. A few substitute shows were created to fill the empty slot on certain days. These include Doodle Doods, an artistic show hosted by O'Donovan and Chris O'Neil, The G Club, a media-centric podcast show, and Dragons in Places, an audio-only podcast detailing a Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
In December 2017, Kramer announced that he would be departing from the show to focus on his own pursuits. He was replaced by Ryan Magee and Matt Watson.
April 3, 2018 was the start of the Game Grumps' new series "10 Minute Power Hour", which consists of face-cam live footage of the duo Hanson and Avidan being thrown specific tasks or challenges that they have to complete. This series brought in a new editor, Tucker Prescott, whose main focus is recording and editing this series. On April 18, 2018, the show's opening animation was updated.
In May 2019, all episodes guest starring the YouTuber Jared “ProJared” Knabenbauer were first made private then deleted entirely, presumably in an effort by the Game Grumps to distance themselves from Knabenbaurer following allegations that he abused his fame to solicit nude photos from underage fans.
Since 2015, Game Grumps has also been developing an animated series titled Gameoverse, created by O'Donovan. By June 21, 2017, the development team had expanded to include writer Chad Quandt, concept artist Ashley Swaby, and story artist Krooked_Glasses.
On May 3, 2019, Matt Watson and Ryan Magee announced they would be retiring as the editors of Game Grumps content to pursue their own channel, SuperMega. Game Grumps' new editor, Benjamin "Ben" Anderson, replaced them shortly after.
Later in 2019, Game Grumps launched a spin-off channel titled The Grumps to focus on Hanson and Avidan's live-action comedy. The channel's current programming consists of 10 Minute Power Hour and a show where Hanson and Avidan answer questions, react to Internet content, and try various activities, called Good Content.
Game Grumps has added a variety of hosts and editors since Jafari's departure in 2013. All members have appeared in various roles outside their main position.
Hosts of the main Game Grumps series.
- Arin Hanson - Main host (2012–present); Steam Rolled host (2013–present); 10 Minute Power Hour host (2018–present)
- Daniel Avidan - Main host (2013–present); Steam Train host (2013-2014); Steam Rolled host (2013–present); 10 Minute Power Hour host (2018–present)
- Jon Jafari - Main host (2012-2013); primary editor (2012)
Official members according to the Game Grumps in various videos. These members have hosted various shows of their own or have made appearances in Grumpcade and other series.
- Ross O'Donovan - Steam Train host (2013-2018); Steam Rolled host (2013–present); various roles (2013–present)
- Suzy Berhow - Steam Rolled host (2013–present); Table Flip host (2013-2016); various roles (2013-present)
- Brian Wecht - Various roles (2015–present)
- Barry Kramer - Primary editor (2012-2015); Steam Rolled host (2013–2016); Table Flip host (2013-2016); The G Club host (2017); various roles (2012–2017)
Aside from Jon Jafari and Barry Kramer, Game Grumps has had a few editors who, aside from various appearances, were not dubbed official members.
- Ben Anderson - Primary editor (2019–present) various roles (2019–present)
- Kevin Abernathy - Primary editor (2015-2016); various roles (2015-2016)
- Ryan Magee - Primary editor (2016-2019); various roles (2016-2019)
- Matt Watson - Primary editor (2016-2019); various roles (2016-2019)
In late 2013, the Game Grumps had put various games, which they'd received multiple copies of, on eBay for auction, with all the proceeds going to the children's charity Child's Play. After the auctions ended, they had raised a total of over $7,000.
In June 2015, a 5-episode miniseries was released called Guild Grumps. O'Donovan mentored Hanson, Avidan, Kramer and Berhow in a 5-day race to advance from Level 90 to Level 100 in World of Warcraft. Each participant had $1,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, if they reached the goal. If they did not, their donation would be split between those who won. In the end, O'Donovan was the sole winner, and, combined with the participants' distributed funds, donated $5,000 to cancer research.
In 2016, Game Grumps raised approximately $155,000 by hosting another charity livestream on Twitch, as well as redirecting all proceeds from an exclusive shirt to the cause. The livestream was for the Crisis Text Line; a free text service available for people experiencing moments of crisis.
On February 17, 2018, Game Grumps held a 6-hour livestream on Twitch in which they played several games, including Mad Max, Half-Life 2, Fallout, and Overwatch, raising around $77,000 for the Crisis Text Line. Later in the same year, Game Grumps did another 6-hour livestream to raise money for Camp Kesem, raising over $37,000.
On June 4, 2020, in wake of the George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter movement, Game Grumps announced that they had donated a total of $20,000 to: charities that support Black-owned Businesses, Black LGBTQ+ support groups and various bail funds to assist arrested protesters.
In recent years, Game Grumps have expanded to content that is either only tangentially related to, or not at all related to video games. These include live-action comedy shows 10 Minute Power Hour and Good Content, Good Game, a YouTube Premium exclusive show, and the Game Grumps-published book, Ghost Hunters Adventure Club and the Secret of the Grande Chateau, supposedly written by Hanson in character as his estranged uncle Dr. Cecil H.H. Mills. The book was released on March 22, 2020, and published by Permuted Press. Reviews welcomed the book with overall positive reviews.
In 2013, before Jafari's departure to work on his own JonTron series, Jafari and Hanson appeared in a promotional video for the Warner Bros. Pictures movie Pacific Rim produced by Polaris. The video also featured other internet personalities Jesse Cox, Brooke "Dodger" Lawson, Mike Lamond and John Bain. In the video they played new recruits under training by "The Lieutenant Commander" played by Robert Kazinsky.
Popularity and influence
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Olympic swimmer Tom Shields said that Game Grumps was one of his favorite shows and that he watched it "almost daily." He mentioned that the show's hosts "helped [him] normalize a lot of things. It's kind of a new phenomenon in [his] life."
Guest Grumps is a spin-off series in which each episode features a special guest star. The following list is in order from their first appearance on the show.
- Grant Kirkhope
- Jacob Anderson
- Claudio Sanchez
- Rob & Patricia Schneider
- Brent Weinbach
- Finn Wolfhard
- Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani
- Michael Ian Black
- Paul F. Tompkins and Tim Baltz
- Dan Harmon
- Michael Ornstein
- Rhett & Link
- "Weird Al" Yankovic
- Jamie Lee Curtis
- Brian Regan
- Ben Schwartz
- Michelle Visage
- Super Guitar Bros
On June 13, 2017, Game Grumps announced on their official Twitter account that they were developing a video game of their own. A teaser trailer for the game was released on June 18, 2017, titled Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator. After some delays, Dream Daddy was released on Steam on July 20. The game was released for Microsoft Windows and MacOS on July 20, 2017, and later ported to Linux, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. On the day of its release, Hanson stated that Game Grumps was now a video game development studio.
In November 2019, the channel posted two videos covering games for the Dendy video game console. It was followed by a video on December 3, 2019, where Arin Hanson "discovered" a multiplayer battle royale game for the console. The following day it was revealed to be an elaborate promotion for Soviet Jump Game, the second video game to be published by Game Grumps, with a trailer released that same day. The game was released for free on Steam on January 9, 2020.
Awards and nominations
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