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Shane Dawson

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Shane Dawson
Shane Dawson (14558760423) (2) (cropped).jpg
Dawson in 2014
BornShane Lee Yaw
(1988-07-19) July 19, 1988 (age 30)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
ResidenceStudio City, California, U.S.[1]
EducationLakewood High School
  • YouTuber
  • author
  • sketch comedian
  • actor
  • film director
  • musician
Years active2008–present
Partner(s)Lisa Schwartz (2011–2015)
Ryland Adams (2016–present)[2]
YouTube information
  • 19 million (shane)
  • 8.4 million (Shane Dawson TV)
Total views
  • 4.5 billion (shane)
  • 1.1 billion (Shane Dawson TV)
Associated acts

Shane Lee Yaw (born July 19, 1988), known professionally as Shane Dawson, is an American YouTuber, author, sketch comedian, actor, film director, and musician. He was one of the first people to rise to fame on video-sharing website YouTube, and has since maintained an online presence.[3]

In 2008, when Dawson was nineteen years old, he signed up for YouTube and began making videos. He rose to fame on the site, garnering over half a billion views by 2010.[4] Most of his early work consisted of sketch comedy videos, where Dawson would play original characters, impersonate celebrities and make light of popular culture. During this time, Dawson also had a short-lived music career, releasing 6 original songs such as "Superluv!" and numerous parodies of popular music videos. In 2013—inspired by Howard Stern—Dawson launched his podcast, Shane and Friends, which ran for four years and produced 140 episodes. The following year, Dawson released his first and only feature film, Not Cool, and appeared on an accompanying 10-episode docu-series The Chair.[10]

In 2015, Dawson began his conspiracy show on YouTube, a video series where he discusses a variety of conspiracy theories. They have become some of his most-viewed videos.[13] In late 2017, Dawson released his first docu-series on YouTube, in which he reconciled with his abusive father. He began using the format regularly in 2018, with Polygon describing it as a "new era of entertainment." His most-viewed docu-series are about Jake Paul, Jeffree Star and Tanacon.[16]

As of 2018, Dawson has released two New York Times best-selling books, I Hate Myselfie and It Gets Worse, and his three YouTube channels have accumulated over 5 billion views.[20] Since 2017, he maintains one active channel, shane, which is one of the 100 most-subscribed YouTube channels with 19 million subscribers and over 4 billion views. He now mostly releases docu-series and conspiracy videos.[23]

Early Life

Dawson grew up in Long Beach, California, where he attended Lakewood High School. As a teenager, he was overweight and was mentally and physically abused by his alcoholic father, who eventually abandoned his family. He has two older brothers, Jacob Yaw (born 1980) and Jerid Yaw (born 1985). The siblings had a close relationship, and helped Dawson during these times. Additionally, his family was poor and he was often bullied for this. He has since lost 150 pounds (68 kg). He first became interested in making videos when he would turn in videos as school projects with his friends in high school.[24][25]


2008-2010: YouTube

On March 10, 2008, Dawson made his YouTube channel, called "ShaneDawsonTV". The earliest video that remains on the channel, "Hodini's Street Magic" was uploaded three months later. When he first began making videos, he worked at Jenny Craig along with his mother and brother, but was fired in August 2008 after he uploaded a video of himself pole dancing in the building he worked in. His mother, brother and about six other coworkers who appeared in the video also got fired after the company saw the video.[26] In September, he uploaded a video called "Fred is Dead!", which has since received over 24 million views. Dawson occasionally posts new videos on his channel "ShaneDawsonTV" (mainly short web films, music video parodies, film trailer parodies, and original music) and formerly posted other videos on his second channel "ShaneDawsonTV2", now called "Human Emoji" however the use of this channel has mostly been discontinued as of 2012. His third YouTube channel, Shane, is where he previously posted vlogs, and now posts original content Mondays through Fridays. He began using this channel in May 2010. Shane often collaborates with other YouTubers or appears in their videos, such as Joey Graceffa, BrittaniLouiseTaylor, TheFineBros, Trisha Paytas, iJustine (real name Justine Ezarik), Tyler Oakley, Miranda Sings (a character created by YouTuber, comedian, singer and actress Colleen Ballinger), Sawyer Hartman, Drew Monson and others. In November 2009, Dawson was featured on Attack of the Show!.[27] In 2010, Forbes magazine named him their 25th most famous web celebrity.[28]

2010–13: Television pilots and music career

On August 11, 2010, Dawson announced that he was in the making of a 30-minute pilot which he will call SD High. Previously, the funding he needed for the pilot was provided by digital media group Take180 after he helped them out with acting in their own videos.[29] The pilot is based on two previous videos which Dawson uploaded to his main channel in Summer 2010. In his previous videos, the story centers around a teenage boy in school, and his interactions with the other characters. The pilot was due to be released towards the end of September 2010 on his main YouTube Channel, however Dawson later announced that he had been contacted by a television studio to produce the pilot for their TV channel(s).[30] According to Dawson, there is some uncertainty involving the pilot, however it may be a TV show in the future.[31] On March 26, 2011, Dawson uploaded a video to YouTube explaining to his audience that he's working with Happy Madison Productions, Sony Pictures, and some other YouTubers including TheFineBros and BrittaniLouiseTaylor to create the television show.[32]

In January 2012, Dawson stated in a video that he was now working on a new television show, which would be semi-based on his life working at a Weight Loss center. He stated that he would be pitching the show soon, and that he was "really excited" for it, and stated the show was "kind of like Arrested Development, but – not."[33] On May 16, 2012, Dawson revealed in a vlog that he was working on a comedy-horror film, explaining that he wanted to write "something like a teen comedy", however that the film would be "scary and fun". Dawson revealed in November 2012 that he was in negotiations to direct a feature-length film.[34] In 2012, Dawson revealed in a vlog that he was working on a music project. In March 2012, Dawson revealed that his debut mainstream single, "SUPERLUV!" would be released that month. The song was released on March 31, 2012 on iTunes, with an accompanying music video debuting on his YouTube channel on the same day. The song managed to chart at 87 in Ireland, 16 on the UK Indie Chart, 163 on the UK Singles Chart and reached the 28th spot on the US iTunes Pop Chart.

On May 8, 2012, Dawson revealed in a video that he has begun working on his next original song, which is tentatively titled "The Vacation Song". He previewed about 10 seconds of the "rough edit" of the song, and stated that he was going to change the mood of the song, saying, "Right now, it's a little too happy, because it's a break up song. I want it to be more like Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone'." He stated that the song would "hopefully" be released by the beginning of June 2012.[35] The song was released on June 23, 2012, with the music video being released a week later. In October 2012, a film called Smiley was released to theaters starring Dawson. In December, Dawson released a new single entitled "Maybe This Christmas". On February 5, 2013, Dawson recorded a single titled "F**K Up".[36] The song was released on YouTube and iTunes on March 30, 2013.[37] On October 18, 2013, Dawson released a song entitled "Wanna Make Love To You", with Liam Horne.[38] Dawson doesn't actually provide vocals to the song, but iTunes credits him as one of the artists.

2013–2016: Shane and Friends, The Chair, and books

In June 2013, Dawson started a podcast entitled Shane and Friends. As of 2013, Dawson revealed that he is pitching a talk show and is continuing to pitch the series about him working at a weight loss center. On November 12, 2013, Dawson announced that he was developing the weight loss center project with Sony Pictures Television for NBC. The project has been titled Losin' It and, if picked up, will be a half-hour single camera comedy series focusing on a successful former-client at a weight loss center who decides to share his inspiration by becoming a consultant at the center, and subsequently becomes the manager by the end of his first day. Darlene Hunt, Will Gluck, Richie Schwartz, Lauren Schnipper, and Dawson will serve as executive producers for the project.[39]

On April 4, 2014, Dawson announced that he had directed and starred in a comedy film in Pittsburgh earlier that year. The film, which was made on a budget of approximately $1 million, is expected to be released in September 2014.[40][41] On June 26, he announced that the film would be titled Not Cool.[42] It was part of a Starz original series called The Chair, in which two novice directors are given the same script and must each make their own film from it. People who watched both films then voted online to vote for the films. Not Cool competed against Anna Martemucci's Holidaysburg. Zachary Quinto, producer of The Chair, called Dawson's film "deeply offensive" and "tasteless", and that Dawson should not be making films at all, removing his name from the film in disgust. Dawson defended his film by saying that "I like the movie. The producers that I trust like the movie. The test audience liked the movie. I know I deserve to make a movie because I've been working my fucking ass off these last eight years on YouTube."[43] Dawson won the competition, winning the $250,000 prize to work on another film project.[44]

In December 2014, Dawson released a parody of Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" on YouTube. This video was found to be in poor taste by her labels, Big Machine Records and Sony, who removed it,[45] citing "copyright infringement". Dawson subsequently claimed that the parody was removed because Sony objected to the video's violent content. The video was restored in February 2015.

In early 2015, Dawson released a memoir titled I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays. The memoir was released by Atria Books/Keywords Press.[46]

In July 2016, Dawson released another memoir entitled It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays. It was released by Atria/Keywords Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.[47][48]

2017–present: YouTube Documentaries

In 2017, the focus of Dawson's channel has shifted to include a wider variety of video genres such as extended vlogs, conspiracy theory videos and documentary-style series where he collaborates with other YouTubers like boyfriend Ryland Adams, Garrett Watts, Morgan Adams, Tana Mongeau, James Charles, Drew Monson, Andrew Siwicki, Trisha Paytas and Bunny Meyer.

In June 2018, Shane uploaded a three-part doucmentary series about the TanaCon convention. The series received tens of millions of views in one week and garnered significant media attention.[49]

In August 2018, Shane continued the documentary format and covered internet sensation Jeffree Star in a five-part series called The Secret World of Jeffree Star and also received high amounts of media attention[50] as well as garnering 70 million views in the first two weeks.

In September 2018, Shane covered internet sensation Jake Paul in a eight-part series called The Mind of Jake Paul. The first episode, self-titled as "The Mind of Jake Paul" got 7 million views in under 10 hours.

Personal life

Dawson lives in Los Angeles, California with his boyfriend, Ryland Adams,[51] his dogs, Uno and Honey, and his cat, Cheeto.

Dawson has body dysmorphic disorder.[52] In July 2015, Dawson came out as bisexual in a video posted on Shane Dawson TV. This announcement also confirmed his separation with his now ex-girlfriend, Lisa Schwartz.[53]

Despite his difficult relationship with his father, he has managed to reconcile with him in recent years and has made videos talking of his improving relationship with his father, even finding that they have much in common.[54]

Major productions

  • Hot Teens Gone Wild on Degrassi! Part 1 – November 21, 2009 (11-minute-long special)
  • Hot Teens Go Wild on Degrassi! Part 2 – March 6, 2010 (12-minute-long special)
  • SD High: School Dance Disaster – July 3, 2010 (SD High Episode 1) (8-minute-long special)
  • SD High: High School Drama – July 31, 2010 (SD High Episode 2) (9-minute-long special)
  • Haunted House Party – October 30, 2010 (Interactive Halloween special)
  • Shane Dawson's Love Story – December 18, 2010 (10-minute-long Christmas special)
  • SD High: Teens Gone Wild – March 26, 2011 (SD High Episode 3) (7-minute-long special)
  • Friends 4Ever – October 29, 2011 (22-minute-long Halloween short film)
  • How Shananay Stole Christmas – December 17, 2011 (15-minute-long Christmas special)
  • Shane & Friends Halloween Special – October 20, 2012 (7-minute-long Halloween special)
  • Emo Love Story – May 3, 2013 (11-minute-long special)
  • I Hate Myselfie – March 2, 2015 (13-minute-long short film)
  • I Hate Myselfie 2 – August 7, 2015 (16-minute-long short film)
  • It Gets Worse – July 19, 2016 (21-minute-long short film)
  • The Lottery – December 12, 2016 (16-minute-long short film)



Year Title Role Note
2011 Friends 4 Ever Amy Short film
How Shananay Stole Christmas Shananay
2012 Smiley Binder
2014 Not Cool Scott Also director and producer
2015 I Hate Myselfie Himself Short film
Viral Video 2 Short film; cameo appearance
I Hate Myselfie 2 Short film
2016 Internet Famous[55] Tomas "The Parody Boss"
It Gets Worse: Short Film[56] Himself Also director
The Lottery: Short Film[57] Narrator / Himself


Year Title Role Notes
2012 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange Christmas Past / Popcorn 2 episodes
2014 The Chair Himself 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2010 BlackBoxTV Presents[58] Himself Episode: Let Her Die!
2011 Corey & Lucas for the Win! Himself 2 episodes
2016 Escape the Night The Renegade Main role; YouTube Red series: 1 episode
2018 The Truth About Tanacon Himself 3 episodes
2018 The Secret World of Jeffree Star Himself 5 episodes
2018 The Mind of Jake Paul Himself 8 episodes



List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications
Year Title Peak chart positions
2011 "Hey, Suup!?"
(featuring Eric Stuff Production)
2012 "Superluv!" 87 163 16
"The Vacation Song"
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Spoof)"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"High School: The Rap"
"Maybe This Christmas"
2013 "I Knew You Were Trouble - Spoof"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"F**k Up"
"82 (Spoof of 22 By Taylor Swift)"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"Birthday Spoof"
"Applause Parody"
"Wrecking Ball Spoof"
(featuring Kristin Findley)
"This Christmas Life"
2014 "Blank Space Parody"
2015 "Famous YouTuber"
2017 "You Didn't Glow Up"
(featuring Ryland Adams)
"Girlish Body"
"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory


Awards and nominations

Dawson has been nominated for various awards.[59]

Colin Mochrie awards and nominations
Wins 6
Nominations 11
Year Award Category Notes Result
2010 The Streamy Awards Best Vlogger Won
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice Web Star Won
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Web Star Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite YouTube Star Nominated
Streamy Awards Creator of the Year Nominated
First Person Nominated
2018 Streamy Awards Collaboration For "Switching Lives With A Blind Person", with Molly Burke Nominated
Creator of the Year Won
Documentary For "The Truth About Tanacon" Won
Editing For "The Truth About Tanacon", with Andrew Siwicki Won
People's Choice Awards The Social Star of 2018 Won


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  2. ^ "Shane Dawson on Instagram". October 23, 2016. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
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  4. ^ "Meet The YouTube Stars Making More Money Than EMTs, Cops, Firefighters, And Teachers". December 29, 2010.
  5. ^ Dachille, Arielle. "I Don't Buy This Shane Dawson Apology".
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  9. ^ " Watch The Chair, Season 1 - Prime Video".
  10. ^ [5][6][7][8][9]
  11. ^ "Shane Dawson Talks Disney Conspiracies [VIDEO]". PopCrush.
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  13. ^ [11][12]
  14. ^ "Shane Dawson Proves Authenticity Still Exists on YouTube". February 11, 2018.
  15. ^ "Shane Dawson's new documentaries crack YouTube culture's Kardashian problem".
  16. ^ [14][15]
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  19. ^ "ShaneDawsonTV2". YouTube. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  20. ^ [17][18][19]
  21. ^ "Top 100 YouTubers sorted by Subscribers - Socialblade YouTube Stats - YouTube Statistics".
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  23. ^ [21][22]
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  26. ^ Ferguson, Wes (April 13, 2012). "Shane Dawson Reveals Downside to Internet Fame". celebuzz. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
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  28. ^ Ewalt, David M. (February 2, 2010). "The Web Celeb 25". Forbes. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  29. ^ "WIZARDS OF SD HIGH?!". YouTube. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
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  31. ^ stirfryTV (September 25, 2010). "SHANE DAWSON in the YouTube Spotlight". YouTube. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
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  33. ^ "shane". YouTube. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  34. ^ "SUPER SWEET 16 *SPOOF*!". YouTube. November 17, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  35. ^ "MY BREAK UP SONG! (Hang With Shane : Day 90)". Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  36. ^ "Is Bieber Going To Jail!?". YouTube. February 5, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
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  38. ^ "Wanna Make Love To You - Single". iTunes. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  39. ^ Rose, Lacey (November 12, 2013). "YouTube's Shane Dawson, 'Big C' Creator Team for Weight-Loss Comedy at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter.
  40. ^ "I MADE A MOVIE!". YouTube. April 4, 2014. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  41. ^ "Shane Dawson's movie budget tweet". Twitter. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  42. ^ "Shane Dawson on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  43. ^ Nemetz, Dave. "'The Chair' Exclusive: Shane Dawson Reacts to Zachary Quinto Dissing His Movie". Yahoo TV. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  44. ^ Spangler, Todd. "Shane Dawson Wins Starz 'The Chair' $250,000 Prize, But Not Everyone's Cool With It". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  45. ^ "Shane Dawson Parody Pulled For Copyright Infringement? #shanedawsonsony". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  46. ^ Spangler, Todd. "Shane Dawson Thinks Even People Who Hate His YouTube Videos Will Like His Book". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  47. ^ "It Gets Worse: Book by Shane Dawson". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  48. ^ "It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson". Simon & Schuster Publishing. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  49. ^ Miller, Liz Shannon (July 3, 2018). "'The Truth About Tanacon': Shane Dawson Takes a 'Making a Murderer'-Style Look at Some Epic YouTube Drama — Watch".
  50. ^ "27 of the most shocking things we learnt about Jeffree Star from Shane Dawson's YouTube documentary". Cosmopolitan. 2018-08-02. Retrieved 2018-08-16.
  51. ^ "Instagram post by Shane Dawson • Oct 24, 2016 at 6:31am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  52. ^ Nguyen, Mai Linh. "Shane Dawson Opens Up About Body Dysmorphia". whatstrending. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  53. ^ Vultaggio, Maria (July 7, 2015). "Shane Dawson Comes Out As Bisexual In YouTube Video, Thanks Twitter Fans For Support". International Business Times. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  54. ^ shane (2017-11-29), CONFRONTING MY DAD, retrieved 2018-07-09
  55. ^ "INTERNET FAMOUS on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  56. ^ "I Love You Wes Craven". YouTube.
  57. ^ ""THE LOTTERY" - SHORT FILM". YouTube.
  58. ^ Miller, Liz Shannon (August 17, 2010). "Sxephil, iJustine and Shane Dawson Spill Secret Fears for Black Box TV". GigaOm. Retrieved June 18, 2018 – via Knowingly, Inc.
  59. ^ "2010 Teen Choice Awards winners announced". Entertainment Weekly. August 9, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010. "The 2010 Streamty Awards Official winners". The Streamy Awards. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010.

External links