Padilla began posting flash animations on Newgrounds in 2003, under the name Smosh. He was later joined by his friend Ian Hecox. Soon afterward, they began to post videos on YouTube in the autumn of 2005 and became one of the most popular channels on that site. As of June 2016, the Smosh channel has more than 22 million subscribers and 5.6 billion video views. The Smosh team has expanded to include others to handle animated, other language, and video gaming content videos, and the sketches have included more actors.
The Smosh channel has experienced three different spans as the most subscribed YouTube channel. The first period spanned from May to June 2006, the second spanned from April 2007 to September 2008, and the third span lasted from January to August 2013.
Formation and Pokémon Theme Music Video: 2002–2006
The franchise began when Anthony Padilla built a website in 2002, smosh.com, and made several different Flash animations. He has stated that the name Smosh came from an incident where he mistook a friend explaining a mosh pit, as a "smosh pit". Later, his friend, Ian Hecox, joined the venture. Padilla and Hecox first met in their sixth grade science class. They became friends, and quickly discovered their knack for comedy. In 2005, they joined YouTube and made several videos together, lip syncing the theme songs to Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At first, these videos were not intended to be posted online, but after they sent them to their friends, they started a YouTube channel.
One of Smosh's earliest videos, "Pokémon Theme Music Video," was released on November 28, 2005. It followed the same style as their other earlier videos, featuring the duo lip-synching the original English theme song for the Pokémon anime. However, the video instantly became much more popular than any of their other videos; over the course of its lifetime, it gained 24.7 million views, becoming the most-viewed video on all of YouTube at that time. It held that title for about six months until it was removed.
The success of their Pokémon video and other videos led Smosh to be featured in the "Person of the Year: You" issue of Time Magazine, published December 13, 2006 and on Time.com. In March 2007, a user named Andii2000 re-uploaded the original Pokémon video; it has over 15.8 million views as of July 2016. Due to the channel's continued success, and Smosh's partnership with YouTube, the two recreated the video in November 2010, this time changing the words to be critical of The Pokémon Company taking down the Pokémon theme video.
YouTube success: 2006–2012
Over the course of the next few years, Smosh began to diversify. They started making short YouTube skits, such as their annual video series Food Battle and That Damn Neighbor. Smosh continued to grow in popularity and became one of the most subscribed channels on YouTube. In 2009, Smosh prepared a massive redesign of Smosh.com, added a games section, and put extras in the video section. In January 2010, Smosh launched the "Smosh Pit" feature, a blog that consists of various pieces of pop-culture trivia, and written comedy. In addition, 2010 saw the channel launch 3 different Smosh-based web series: Ian Is Bored, which started as a collection of comedic videos by Hecox, but then turned into both Hecox and Padilla making vlog like videos, and renamed Smosh Is Bored; Ask Charlie, where people ask Charlie, from their January 2010 Charlie the Drunk Guinea Pig video, random questions; and Lunchtime with Smosh, a comedy series featuring Smosh getting and eating food from various places, and answering Twitter questions from their fans on Twitter. Some of Smosh's most popular video series include Pokémon in Real Life and If ____ Was Real. Also in early 2010, Smosh created the "iShut Up App" for Android phones as part of a Google sponsorship; it eventually made its way to the iTunes app store. In 2011, Smosh was acquired by Alloy Digital.
In 2012, the duo started three new YouTube channels, ElSmosh, with Smosh videos dubbed in Spanish, Shut Up! Cartoons, with various animated videos, and Smosh Games, with gaming related content hosted alongside Mari Takahashi, David "Lasercorn" Moss, Matthew Sohinki, and Joshua "Jovenshire" Ovenshire. Some of Smosh's most popular videos are video-game themed music videos. These songs (along with other original songs) have been released in 4 albums to date – Sexy Album (2010), If Music Were Real (2011), Smoshtastic (2012), and The Sweet Sound of Smosh (2013). In January 2013, the Smosh channel surpassed Ray William Johnson in subscribers. Smosh released Super Head Esploder X, a video game for iPads, iPhones, and iPods, in February 2013, and in July 2013 started an Indiegogo campaign for an iOS and PC game, Food Battle: The Game. Hecox and Padilla raised $258,777 to hire video game producers to create a game based on their characters and the foods used in their annual Food Battle series. Smosh donated 10% of the funds to three charities in November 2014, as well as releasing the game.
In February 2014, Smosh released a mobile app to access Smosh videos and other content from their website, and in late 2014 an Xbox One app. Also in late 2014, fan run channel Smosh France became an official Smosh channel. In March 2015, Smosh re-launched the Smosh Games Alliance, a multi-channel network where fans join to enjoy network benefits in exchange for a percentage of the ad revenue. In 2015, the duo announced Noah Grossman, Keith Leak II, Olivia Sui, Courtney Miller, and Shayne Topp, as new regular cast members for Smosh videos. A sketch series, called Every (Blank) Ever, has been released every two weeks since May 2015.
In January 2016, a web sitcom was launched on the main Smosh channel. Part Timers is a comedy-drama which takes place at a fictional children's arcade and pizza place called Pork E. Pine’s, which takes inspiration from Hecox's first job at Chuck E. Cheese's. Each episode presents a challenge that the team must overcome to keep the business going. The series features regular Smosh cast members, Grossman (as Pete), Hecox (as Ian), and Padilla (as Anton), in addition to Cat Alter (as Mads), Jade Martz (as Ella), Casey Webb (as Dinger), and Natalie Whittle (as Lori). The series was released every Monday on the Smosh channel from January to May 2016.
On September 18, 2014, Lionsgate announced that a feature-length movie was in development, Smosh: The Movie was released on July 23, 2015. It is directed by Alex Winter, written by Eric Falconer, and aside from Hecox and Padilla, stars Jenna Marbles, Grace Helbig, Harley Morenstein, Michael Ian Black, Mark Fischbach (Markiplier), and Steve Austin. Smosh also gave their voices as Hal and Bubbles in The Angry Birds Movie, a 2016 film based on the video game franchise of the same name.
Ten Smosh-related channels exist on YouTube, though only seven have scheduled content.
The base "Smosh" channel, where the team post skits and other videos starring Noah Grossman, Ian Hecox, Keith Leak II, Courtney Miller, Anthony Padilla, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Videos are uploaded every Friday, Monday, and every other Tuesday, and behind the scenes (BTS) are released in the following days. It has over 22 million subscribers and over 5.6 billion views. Grossman, Miller, Sui, and Topp also have their own channels, which are not considered part of the Smosh roster.
Smosh Games (youtube.com/SmoshGames)
"Smosh Games" uploads numerous videos a week, consisting of Let's Plays and video game commentary shows. Padilla and Hecox appear less regularly on this channel, with fellow Smosh Games members Mari Takahashi, David "Lasercorn" Moss, Matthew Sohinki, Joshua "Jovenshire" Ovenshire, Amra "Flitz" Ricketts, and Wesley "Wes The Editor" Johnson handling most hosting duties. It has over 6.8 million subscribers, and over 2.0 billion video views as of June 2016. Takahashi, Moss, Sohinki, Ovenshire, Ricketts, and Johnson also have their own channels, which are not considered part of the Smosh roster.
Smosh 2nd Channel (youtube.com/IanH)
From "Smosh 2nd Channel" (originally named "IanH", and was used at first for vlogs and other non-scripted videos), Hecox and Padilla upload their side series Smosh is Bored on Mondays, while the rest of the team uploads vlogs on Thursdays, and Put It In My Mouth and Smosh's Seriously Super Stupid Sleepover on Saturdays. It has over 5.2 million subscribers and over 1.2 billion views. Smosh Pit Weekly was a series on the channel hosted by Mari Takahashi from April 2011 to August 2015, posted on Saturdays.
On "ElSmosh", the team uploads ElSmosh Pit de la Semana (Smosh Pit Weekly), Honest Game Trailers, a series from Smosh Games narrated in Spanish, and new Smosh episodes that have been dubbed over in Spanish. It has over 2.6 million subscribers.
Active as a Smosh channel from June 2013 to October 2014, and titled "WatchUsLiveAndStuff", it hosted vlogs uploaded by Padilla and his then fiancée Kalel. Kalel continues to upload videos and it has over 1.9 million subscribers.
Shut Up! Cartoons (youtube.com/ShutUpCartoons)
"Shut Up! Cartoons" uploads a number of ten episode animated series, created by different animators. It has over 1.9 million subscribers.
"AnthonyPadilla" hosts vlog-like videos uploaded by Padilla, however most videos uploaded prior to 2016 have now been removed.
New AskCharlie EVERY WEDNESDAY (youtube.com/askcharlie)
"AskCharlie", active from May 2010 to December 2011, hosts videos from the Ask Charlie series, where an anthropomorphic guinea pig, named Charlie the Drunk Guinea Pig, answers viewer submitted questions.
Smosh Games Alliance (youtube.com/SmoshGamesAlliance)
The Smosh Games Alliance (SGA) channel is used for extra content for the Smosh Games crew. Originally it utilised fan-submitted gaming content, spotlighting it on the channel, and offered tutorials in "Smosh University". It continues to host live gaming between SGA members and the Smosh Games crew, but now hosts more vlogs with the Smosh Games crew. It has over 210 thousand subscribers.
Smosh France (youtube.com/TheFrenchSmosh)
"Smosh France" is a fan-run channel which re-uploads videos from the Smosh channel with French subtitles. It has over 140 thousand subscribers.
|"Smosh"||Every (Blank) Ever|
|Behind the Scenes with Every (Blank) Ever|
|Smosh video||Behind the Scenes with Smosh|
|"Smosh Games"||MariCraft||Honest Game Trailers||Friendly Fire||Grand Theft Smosh||Smosh Summer Games Camp||Cell Outs||Gamer Fights (monthly)|
|"Smosh 2nd Channel"||Smosh is Bored||Smosh Summer Games Camp|
|"ElSmosh"||Honest Game Trailer en Español||ElSmosh Pit de la Semana||Cada (Espacio) de Siempre|
|"Shut Up! Cartoons"||Animated video|
|"Smosh Games Alliance"||What're Those||Bonus vlog||Lost Levels||SGA Live|
|"Smosh France"||Schedule varies|
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|If Music Were Real||5||26|
|The Sweet Sound of Smosh||4||33|
|Shut Up! And Listen||4||—|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.|
Awards and nominations
|2006||2006 YouTube Awards||Comedy||"Smosh Short 2: Stranded"||Won|
|2009||2009 Webby Awards||Experimental & Weird||"Sex Ed Rocks"||Nominated|
|2010||2010 Webby Awards||Viral||"If Movies Were Real"||Nominated|
|2013||3rd Streamy Awards||Best Comedy Series||Smosh||Nominated|
|Audience Choice for Personality of the Year||Smosh||Nominated|
|Best Animated Series||Oishi High School Battle||Nominated|
|2013 Webby Awards||Branded Entertainment Short Form||"Ultimate Assassin's Creed 3 Song"||Nominated|
|2013 Social Star Awards||Most Popular Social Show||Smosh||Nominated|
|United States Social Media Star||Smosh||Won|
|2014||4th Streamy Awards||Best Comedy Channel, Show, or Series||Smosh||Nominated|
|Best Gaming Channel, Show, or Series||Smosh Games||Won|
|2015||Seventh Annual Shorty Awards||YouTube Star of the Year presented by A&E||Smosh||Won|
|5th Streamy Awards||Show of the Year||Smosh||Nominated|
|Best Gaming Channel, Show, or Series||Smosh Games||Nominated|
|2016||2016 Webby Awards||Gaming (channel)||Defy Media Smosh Games||Won|