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Jafari in 2017
Personal information
BornJonathan Aryan Jafari
(1990-03-24) March 24, 1990 (age 30)
  • Comedian
  • reviewer
  • Internet personality
Charlotte Claw
(m. 2019)
YouTube information
Years active2010–present
Subscribers6.48 million
Total views1.09 billion
Associated acts
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2012
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2014

Updated: January 4, 2021

Jonathan Aryan Jafari (/ɑːrˈjæn/; born March 24, 1990), better known by his Internet pseudonym JonTron, is an American comedian, reviewer, and YouTuber. He is best known for his eponymous YouTube web series JonTron, where he reviews and parodies video games, movies and other media. Jafari is also the co-creator and former co-host of the Let's Play webseries Game Grumps, and co-created the video game entertainment website Normal Boots. As of January 2021, his YouTube channel JonTronShow has 6.45 million subscribers and 1.07 billion views.[1]

Early life[edit]

Jonathan Aryan Jafari[2] was born in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on March 24, 1990.[3] He is of Hungarian descent on his mother's side and Iranian descent on his father's side.[4] He attended Palos Verdes Peninsula High School from 2004 to 2008,[5] where he met fellow youtubers Jirard "The Completionist" Khalil and Barry Kramer, who was also the first editor for "Game Grumps".


Early career[edit]

Jafari created a Newgrounds account under the name "BirdmanXZ6" in 2003, and uploaded five animations depicting anthropomorphic onions. In 2006, he made a YouTube account under the same name. Jafari uploaded videos on in 2010, reviewing games such as GoldenEye 007 and at ScrewAttack, he met creator Austin "PeanutButterGamer" Hargrave.


On August 31, 2010, Jafari created a YouTube channel called JonTronShow. He stated that he chose the name JonTron because it was "reminiscent of technology" à la Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, and that the show was originally going to be called JonTron 2.0.[6] He then uploaded a two-part review of the Nintendo 64 version of the game Daikatana, the first installment in his JonTron series. In each episode of JonTron, Jafari reviews singular games as well as games of a particular theme, franchise or genre. He is usually accompanied by his green-cheeked parakeet, Jacques, who speaks with a robotic voice. Jafari usually incorporates elements of sketch comedy into these episodes to display his reactions to the video game that he is reviewing. According to Jafari in an episode of the Internet gaming webseries Game Grumps, Jacques was originally to speak in a stereotypical jive voice, with Jafari's mouth being super-imposed onto the character's face rather than his eyes glowing red whenever he talked.[7] Jafari has reviewed numerous video game adaptations of popular franchises such as Hercules, Barbie, Home Alone and Conan the Barbarian.[8] He has also reviewed various unlicensed games, particularly based on the Pokémon franchise as well as Disney films.[9][10] In the latter, he observed China as being "farther away from U.S. jurisdiction and much better at Disney bootlegging" and also remarked on unofficial online games based on the company's movies.[11] Jafari also occasionally uploads skits as well as movie reviews.

According to Jafari in an episode of gaming webseries Game Grumps, JonTron began achieving notability after a post on Reddit featuring Jafari's review of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game DinoCity reached #1 on the website.[12] In 2011, Jafari created two now-defunct spin-off Let's Play channels. The first, "JonTronStarcraft", has two videos of Jafari playing Blizzard Entertainment's popular RTS game StarCraft. The second channel, "JonTronLoL", has four videos of Jafari playing the MOBA game League of Legends.[13] Both channels have fewer than 25,000 subscribers. JonTronShow reached 1 million subscribers in May 2014.[13]

In May 2015, Jafari released a spin-off web series on his YouTube channel titled JonTron's StarCade (often referred to simply as StarCade), in which he reviews games based on the Star Wars franchise.[14] The webseries included cameos from numerous other Internet personalities and actors, such as Egoraptor, Markiplier, Nathan Barnatt, Ross O'Donovan, and Kyle Hebert. The series was produced by Maker Studios, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, and concluded in December 2015 after nine episodes.

Jafari occasionally uploads videos in which he comments on matters that he finds important, which are usually related to gaming. This occurred most recently in 2016, with a video made in response to Blizzard Entertainment shutting down private servers of their popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Jafari mostly criticized the shutdown of one of the most popular private servers, Nostalrius, which was a copy of the 1.12 version of the game.[15] Jafari's video helped create notability on this subject, and lead to thousands of signatures on a petition.[16]

Throughout 2019 and 2020, Jafari has continued to broaden the range of media covered on his show, instead of solely traditional video games. Notable examples of topics are the SouljaGame, Goop and its web series The Goop Lab, Crystal Head Vodka, and Kid Nation.

Normal Boots[edit]

Normal Boots was created in late 2010 by Jafari and Austin "PeanutButterGamer" Hargrave to act as a hub where Jafari and Hargrave could post content and receive advertisement revenue. Soon after its creation, Normal Boots added Did You Know Gaming?, The Completionist, Indie Games Searchlight, and Continue? to its roster of shows. The site was closed down in 2012, as Google's AdSense program offered better revenue options for the content creators.[17] Normal Boots was relaunched on January 24, 2014, with the addition of other video game-focused channels ProJared and Satchbag's Goods and without "Indie Games Searchlight".[18] It was announced on May 18, 2017 that Jafari would no longer be an active part of the group, but still remains as a founding member.[19]

Game Grumps[edit]

Jafari met animator Arin "Egoraptor" Hanson, of whom he had been a fan since the early 2000s, when the latter messaged him on YouTube shortly after his review of DinoCity grew popular.[12] The two eventually became close friends, and in July 2012, Jafari and Hanson announced they would be starting a Let's Play series titled Game Grumps through videos on both their channels. On July 18 of the same year, Jafari and Hanson uploaded their first serials of Game Grumps: Kirby Super Star, Mega Man 7 and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.[20] On the Game Grumps channel, Jafari and Hanson played games together, typically ones that were retro or nostalgic in style, and commented over them with their own comedic inputs. On June 25, 2013 it was announced that Jafari had left Game Grumps in order to focus on JonTron, and was replaced by Ninja Sex Party singer Dan Avidan on the same day.[21] The announcement was met with backlash by certain fans for its sudden and unexpected announcement without any lead-up, as well as the channel announcing the debut of the spin-off series, Steam Train, on the same day that Jafari's departure was disclosed.[22]


Jafari has collaborated with multiple YouTube channels, including Ethan and Hila Klein's channel h3h3Productions. From October 2015 to August 2016, Hila Klein was a producer for JonTron. He has made an appearance on James Rolfe's Let's Play series James & Mike Mondays.[23] He also made a cameo appearance in Angry Video Game Adventures. Jafari was also a featured vocalist in an episode of The Gregory Brothers' viral webseries Songify the News. At the same time, The Gregory Brothers remixed Jafari's review of the bootlegged game, Titenic, and it was released on iTunes.[24]

Jafari has done voice-over work for Did You Know Gaming?, covering episodes on The Legend of Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, Pikmin, Animal Crossing, Dragon Quest, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and games of Disney franchises. He has also covered the development of Star Wars for their spin-off series Did You Know Movies? on fellow YouTube personality Matthew Patrick's channel, The Film Theorists.[25][26]

In 2013, before his departure from Game Grumps, Jafari and Hanson appeared in a promotional video produced by Polaris for the Warner Bros. movie Pacific Rim. Around the same time, Jafari appeared in Ninja Sex Party's music video for "Let's Get This Terrible Party Started," which was directed by Hanson.[22] To promote the 2013 World Series, Jafari appeared in an a cappella cover of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game", produced by PepsiCo and musician Mike Tompkins, and uploaded to Maker Studios' Maker Music channel.[27]

In November 2016, Jafari released an album called Love Is Like Drugs with The Gregory Brothers, which reached number two on the Billboard chart of comedy albums of the week of November 26.[28]

Other work[edit]

Jafari played Banjo-Kazooie in June 2014 on a Twitch stream to collect donations for Teach For America's GoFundMe campaign. Jafari stated that if the $25,000 proposed goal was hit, he would reprise a cover of Katy Perry's song "Firework" originally recorded for his 2011 review of DinoCity. The full version of the cover was uploaded to Jafari's YouTube channel on February 14, 2016.[29]

Jafari has provided voice-over work for A Hat in Time, a video game by Gears for Breakfast.[30] He also recorded voice work for Playtonic Games' 3D platforming video game Yooka-Laylee,[31][32] but the content was removed from the game in a day one patch in light of his controversial statements on race (see § Political views).[33]

Political views[edit]


In an interview with Breitbart News, Jafari stated that he voted for Barack Obama both times and that he supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries, but has said that he does not identify as conservative or liberal, preferring instead to decide on a case-by-case basis.[34]

Racial controversy[edit]

Jafari discussed politics on a livestream hosted by Sargon of Akkad on January 27, 2017; on March 12 of the same year, Jafari posted a tweet defending a quote from Iowa representative Steve King, who had tweeted in regards to the United States' policy on immigration: "We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies."[35][36] Jafari defended King's tweet and later appeared on Twitch streamer Destiny's channel to explain his views. During this appearance he said that, "nobody wants to become a minority in their own country", and stressed that he took issue with white people being labeled as racist for wanting to remain a majority. He said that he saw this reaction as hypocritical with how the majorities of other countries are regarded. Over the course of the one-and-a-quarter-hour appearance, he also commented that he had seen statistics that wealthy blacks commit more crimes than poor whites, as well as asking whether the colonization of Africa by European countries was a good thing.[37] Shortly afterwards, many outlets criticized his statements and specifically questioned his claim about crimes committed by wealthy blacks.[38][39][40]

His comments were followed by a small backlash within his fanbase, with partners noting a minor loss of subscribers.[35][41] Kotaku reported that many of Jafari's longtime fans felt uncomfortable with these views, but still watch his content.[42] Jafari posted a statement on YouTube on March 19, attempting to address some of his own controversial arguments from the stream.[34] On May 18, 2017, it was announced by NormalBoots that after Jafari's comments, he would still play as an honored founder of the group, however he would not play as an active member anymore and that this was a "mutual understanding", although that he had not been kicked out.[19] In the wake of controversies surrounding NormalBoots member Jared "ProJared" Knabenbauer in May 2019, fellow member Jirard "The Completionist" Khalil claimed in a YouTube comment that Jafari's departure had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding his statements, stating that Jafari felt that he could no longer contribute to the group due to the extended time it took for him to make videos, and that he had been planning to leave for several months. Khalil also stated that the group made the announcement a few weeks after the controversy, and that they nonetheless chose to make a statement regarding Jafari since certain members, including Khalil and Jon themselves, were born to immigrant parents.[43]

Jafari recorded voice parts for a minor character in the game Yooka-Laylee. In response to the controversy, an update was issued the same day as the game's April 2017 release to remove and replace Jafari's voice.[44][45][46][47][48] Jafari was kept as a voice talent in A Hat in Time, another game which he had been involved in, despite the controversy, which resulted in mixed reaction, with some people refusing to purchase the game if he was included in the game.[49] In November 2017, Jafari appeared on a podcast with h3h3productions; here, he spoke further about his statements, stating that he should not have gone into the subjects he went into without any prior preparation, and claiming that he did not hold any racist views, while he also stated that he wished people could "[talk] about these things without witch hunting each other".[50]


Jafari was referred to in the 2011 indie game DLC Quest on a gravestone along with the Game Grumps hosts' catchphrase, "real talk". The gravestone also read "???–2013," referring to Jafari's departure from the show in 2013.[51]

In 2016, Jafari was featured as a character alongside other NormalBoots collaborators in the dating sim and visual novel Asagao Academy.[52][53]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2013, Jafari was among CraveOnline's "7 Awesome YouTube Gamers You Should Watch". Writer Paul Tamburro stated, "Mixing a large dollop of offbeat humour with a light sprinkle of insightful commentary, JonTron's reviews of games of old have inspired many imitators, but none have proven to be more hilarious."[54] Time magazine listed JonTron as 2015's seventh most searched Internet meme on Google.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Jafari spent most of his life in California where he met Arin Hanson to form the Game Grumps, but would move to New York with his then girlfriend in 2013.

He married Charlotte Claw on October 23, 2019.[56]


Video games[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2016 Asagao Academy: Normal Boots Club Jon
2017 Yooka-Laylee Toilet Replaced with another voice in day 1 patch.[57]
2017 A Hat in Time Receptionist Bird

Web series[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2012–13 Game Grumps Himself 636 episodes; co-host; also creator and theme music composer
2012–13 TOME: Terrain of Magical Expertise Sniperwheel 3 episodes
2014 Nostalgia Critic Himself 4 episodes; Nostalgiaween intro
2015 James and Mike Mondays Himself 2 episodes
2016 Smart Guys Guy Episode 3: "Recruitment"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jafari, Jon. "JonTronShow - About". YouTube. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  2. ^ "The Beautiful Destruction of the Mainstream Media #PewDieGate". YouTube. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  3. ^ JonTron (March 24, 2018). "Thanks for all the birthday wishes, turns out I don't get to join the 27 club after all. :(". @jontronshow. Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (March 23, 2017). "Playtonic to ditch JonTron from Yooka-Laylee following anti-immigrant comments". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 20, 2018. Jafari, who is half Iranian, half Hungarian himself, later backtracked on some of these views, saying "I wasn't prepared for a debate of this sort with these sort of sensitive topics at hand."
  5. ^ PVPHS (PVPHS) Class of 2008 Alumni List
  6. ^ J1Studios (February 26, 2015), JonTron Interview 2015, retrieved May 10, 2016
  7. ^ Jafari, Jon; Hanson, Arin (November 2, 2012). "Kirby's Return to Dream Land: JonTron Trivia Time". Game Grumps. YouTube. Game Grumps. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Ponce, Tony (September 25, 2013). "JonTron died and on the third day rose again". Destructoid. Destructoid. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Amini, Tina. "A Journey Through Bootleg Pokémon Games". Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  10. ^ Blevins, Joe (June 14, 2016). "There's a whole new world of crazy bootleg Disney video games". A.V. Club. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  11. ^ Allen, Kerry (June 23, 2016). "Disney sues over Chinese cartoon 'strikingly similar' to Cars hit". BBC. BBC Monitoring. Retrieved June 23, 2016.
  12. ^ a b Jafari, Jon; Hanson, Arin (November 3, 2012). "How Jon and Ego Met". Super Mario Land 2. Episode 2. Event occurs at 10:14. YouTube. Game Grumps. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  13. ^ a b Cohen, Joshua (May 15, 2014). "YouTube Millionaires: JonTron Makes Terrible Video Games Great". Youtube Millionares. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  14. ^ Chambers, Evan (May 10, 2015). "JonTron's StarCade: Episode 1 - Atari Games". Talk Amongst Yourselves. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Foxx, Chris (April 14, 2016). "Warcraft fans' fury at Blizzard over server closure". BBC. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ex-WoW Team Lead To Take Vanilla WoW Petition To Blizzard". WCCFtech. April 18, 2016. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  17. ^ LARROS_TWPS. "JonTron Finally Starts New Season. Finally. (@JonTronShow)". Mishka NYC.
  18. ^ "A Legendary Pair of Boots Resurrect!". Talk Amongst Yourselves.
  19. ^ a b @NormalBoots (May 18, 2017). "Hey everyone - Here's an announcement regarding the future of NormalBoots" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  20. ^ Ponce, Tony (July 18, 2012). "Egoraptor & JonTron twiddle their sticks, play some games". Destructoid. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Is JonTron and Egoraptor's Breakup The End of 'Game Grumps'? Fans Sound Off on Social Media - New Media Rockstars". New Media Rockstars. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Amini, Tina (June 26, 2013). "Fans Are Upset Over YouTube Duo 'Game Grumps' Break-Up". Kotaku. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  23. ^ "Wondering Where JonTron Was All These Months?". Talk Amongst Yourselves.
  24. ^ Nichols, C. "Titenic: the Song". Talk Amongst Yourselves.
  25. ^ Hernandez, Patricia. "A Few Surprising Ways That Pokémon and Science Influenced Each Other". Kotaku. Retrieved April 6, 2016.
  26. ^ Ponce, Tony (August 4, 2013). "Nintendo bred a new flower to market Pikmin on GameCube!?". Destructoid. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  27. ^ "Mike Tompkins, Pepsi Step Up To The Plate For The World Series". Tubefilter. October 24, 2013. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  28. ^ "Chart history of JonTron", Billboard, retrieved April 30, 2017
  29. ^ "Brilliant web animators team on Katy Perry charity cover vid". Monsters and Critics. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  30. ^ Zarnyx. "Interview with Art Director of 3D Collect-a-Thon Platformer, A Hat in Time". Talk Amongst Yourselves. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "Playtonic on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  32. ^ "Playtonic on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  33. ^ Christopher Dring (March 23, 2017). "Playtonic removes controversial YouTuber JonTron from Yooka-Laylee".
  34. ^ a b Gach, Ethan (April 26, 2017). "YouTuber JonTron Tries To Clarify His Controversial Views On Race". Kotaku. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  35. ^ a b Gajanan, Mahita (March 14, 2017). "YouTube Star JonTron Under Fire for Controversial Comments on Race and Immigration". TIME. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  36. ^ McCormick, Rich (March 16, 2017). "When your child's favorite YouTube celebrity is a secret racist". The Verge. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  37. ^ "Debating JonTron". 36:36
  38. ^ Good, Owen (March 14, 2017). "YouTuber JonTron reveals anti-immigrant views, loses subscribers". Polygon. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  39. ^ Tamburro, Paul (March 14, 2017). "The JonTron Controversy and Why Parents Should Be Wary of YouTube - CraveOnline". CraveOnline. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  40. ^ Khosravi, Ryan (March 15, 2017). "JonTron's Racist Tweets: Everything you need to know about the YouTube gaming scandal". Mic. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  41. ^ "JonTron's Losing YouTube Subscribers After Destiny Debate". Cultured Vultures. March 13, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  42. ^ Jackson, Gita (March 17, 2017). "Longtime Fans Of YouTuber JonTron Say They Can't Watch Him Anymore". Kotaku. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  43. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  44. ^ Sarkar, Samit (March 23, 2017). "JonTron being cut from Yooka-Laylee after spouting racist views". Polygon. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  45. ^ Tucker, Jake (March 24, 2017). "Playtonic remove controversial YouTuber JonTron from Yooka-Laylee". Develop. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  46. ^ Grubb, Jeff (March 23, 2017). "Yooka-Laylee developer removes voice of YouTube personality JonTron after racist statements". Venture Beat. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  47. ^ Amato, Peter (March 23, 2017). "Yooka-Laylee Dev Removes JonTron's Voice Acting After Racism Controversy". Paste Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  48. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (March 27, 2017). "This Week In The Business: Lengthy Switch Shortages". Kotaku. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  49. ^ Frank, Allegra (October 5, 2017). "JonTron is still in A Hat in Time, but not without controversy". Polygon. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  50. ^ Alexander, Julia (December 5, 2017). "JonTron addresses anti-immigration remarks and fallout in new interview". Polygon. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  51. ^ "DLC Quest - VGFacts".
  52. ^ "Date and Dump YouTube Personalities in This New Romantic Visual Novel". Motherboard. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  53. ^ Alex Carlson (November 2, 2014). "Asagao Academy: Normal Boots Club Lets You Date Youtubers | Hardcore Gamer". Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  54. ^ "7 Awesome YouTube Gamers You Should Watch - CraveOnline". CraveOnline. August 30, 2013.
  55. ^ Waxman, Olivia B. "These Are the Most 'Googled' Memes of 2015". Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  56. ^ "I got to marry the love of my life this weekend. Thanks @Chazoo92 for making me an eternally lucky man!! 💍💖✨". Retrieved October 23, 2019 – via Twitter.
  57. ^ Tamburro, Paul (April 12, 2017). "JonTron's Removed Yooka-Laylee Voice Over Revealed". CraveOnline. Retrieved October 3, 2017.

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