“No gaming videos this week,” Jack Black said apologetically at the start of his latest video on his gaming channel on YouTube. And also the one before that. And the one before that. And, well, you get the idea.
Back in December, Jack Black and his beard launched a YouTube channel called Jablinski Games. This was a surprise, because Black is very famous for being in movies like School of Rock and bands (that are also movies) like Tenacious D, but not even a little bit famous for playing video games. After an exceptionally brief announcement video, nobody was quite sure what to expect. That did not, however, stop his channel from gaining one million subscribers before Black even managed to post a real video.
When he finally got around to it two weeks later, he didn’t play Fortnite or even a game for old people like the now-ancient (by YouTube standards) Minecraft. No, Black went way back—to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. There, he played pinball and cracked dad jokes. It was great.
The next week, he kicked off what is now a trend: He mentioned hypothetical viewers who are waiting for “real gaming videos” and then apologized, telling them they’re gonna have to wait a little longer. Then he went to an arcade called Round One in Los Angeles, played games like Dance Rush, and cracked dad jokes. This time, his two video editors, one of whom is his not-quite-teen son Sam, really stepped up their games, placing a tiny, dancing Sans from Undertale between two giant images of Black’s face singing along to Undertale song “Megalovania”—something I never thought I’d see in all my days and, frankly, am still not sure I actually have. The video ended with Sam being mortified by his dorky dad’s antics. It was wholesome as all heck.
It’s been more than a month since, and Black has released a new video every week. In every single one, he’s apologized for the lack of “gaming videos” before playing some kind of old or obscure game. He’s also done heaps of other things, like take his son to the orthodontist, react to a rap video inspired by School of Rock, and—in perhaps his best segment to date—perform a slow-motion reenactment of the time he got mad at Kyle “KG” Gass for beating him at chess and punched him “as hard as I could” in the shoulder.
His fans love the bit. “Jack: ‘No gaming videos this week.’ [Plays an OG video game every episode],” reads one of the top comments on last week’s video, echoing top comments on basically all his other videos.
The past few weeks, he’s taken to blaming Twitch king Tyler “Ninja” Blevins for his lack of proper gaming content, claiming that Ninja stole his “Del Gato” capture card out of fear that Black would steal his throne. His most recent video, released last Friday, is titled “Ninja responded.” In it, Ninja from South African hip-hop group Die Antwoord cursed out Black for accusing him of playing Fortnite. Then Black played “the first ever game”: Senet, an ancient Egyptian board game whose rules Wikipedia says are “the subject of conjecture.” That’s the level we’re operating on here. Ninja—the video game one, not the South African hip-hop one—is doomed, and I’m sure he knows it.
At the end of the episode, Black promised that this week, he’s going to shave his beard and “get to some real gaming.” If either of those things actually happen, I will eat Jack Black’s beard.