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Meet the Janoskians
August 11, 2013 7:24 PM   Subscribe

The Janoskians are a group of five YouTube comedians from Melbourne, Australia renowned for their cringeworthy pranks on unsuspecting members of the public. Formed in 2010, the group now attracts rock-star welcomes from hordes of screaming fans when it tours across the world and has signed deals with Sony and MTV.

Yet as the Janoskians have become more famous, their pranks have become ever more abusive, culminating in one video which showed them simulating masturbation in public places, including next to a young mother with a pram while telling her "your baby's sexy" and asking to see the infant's face. Following an outcry in Australia and abroad, the video was removed from YouTube. The controversy has not checked the rising popularity of the group, whose channel has topped 1 million subscribers.
posted by dontjumplarry (31 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am (sort of) looking forward to reading the responses but the words"pranks", "unsuspecting", "public" "abusive" "your baby's sexy" put me off reading the links. I have never even been able to handle amateur talent shows or any situation where a non consenting adult/child is humiliated or embarrassed in front of others.
posted by rmhsinc at 7:34 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Australia must have a very loose definition of comedian. I watched half of the prank video and saw none, and half of the unsuspecting video and only saw what in Toronto would pass for idiot highschoolers who cry "foul" and "it was only a joke!" when someone eventually knocks them on their ass.
posted by dobbs at 7:38 PM on August 11, 2013 [8 favorites]


Ubiquity of cheap cameras capture act-out adolescent behavior in public.

(Not sure I'd call these "pranks" -- I have another word for these guys in mind....)
posted by CrowGoat at 7:39 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


If that young mother was my wife, they'd be known as the late Janoskians.
posted by 4ster at 7:42 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


Stop talking about them. It only encourages them.
posted by crossoverman at 7:47 PM on August 11, 2013 [11 favorites]


Coincidentally arriving at the airport at the same time was former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, who seemed thrilled by the attention he was receiving in the absence of the group.
Battling to make his way through the crowd, the star couldn't help but grin as the group grabbed for him and asked for autographs, despite them actually waiting for someone else entirely.


It's like a vortex of assholecelebrityness.
posted by mannequito at 7:51 PM on August 11, 2013


(Not sure I'd call these "pranks" -- I have another word for these guys in mind....)

There are lots of great pranks, both public and personal, on the internet, and I've wasted too much time watching them. What these guys do is not pranking. I believe the word that CrowGoat was too civilized to use was "assholes."
posted by anothermug at 7:53 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am pretty ashamed they are from Melbourne. But, honestly, I think this is the second time I've heard of them. Clearly, I am not in their demographic, but I suspect most Melbournians over the age of 15 haven't heard of them.

Fuck Sony and MTV for supporting them.
posted by crossoverman at 8:03 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Australia must have a very loose definition of comedian. I watched half of the prank video and saw none, and half of the unsuspecting video and only saw what in Toronto would pass for idiot highschoolers who cry "foul" and "it was only a joke!" when someone eventually knocks them on their ass.
posted by dobbs at 7:38 PM on August 11 [2 favorites +] [!]

Don't worry, it's not funny in Australia, either, except to a very defined subset of underaged idiots.

Cringeworthy beyond belief.
posted by Salamander at 8:25 PM on August 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not so much they are frat humor idiots, reasonable minds can see that, but they seem to have a Beatles-like phenomenon of screaming girls lining up at the airport and 1 million fans. And that is harder to discount.
posted by stbalbach at 9:03 PM on August 11, 2013


At some point, somewhere out there, the collective sense of humor seems to have gravitated away from "funny" and settled on "mean." Straight up mean-spirited nasty bullshit seems to have replaced wit and creativity. Go somewhere with a camera and be a horrible bully and everyone will laud you as some kind of goddamn comedy genius. I just can't with these assholes anymore.


but they seem to have a Beatles-like phenomenon of screaming girls lining up at the airport and 1 million fans.

Yeah, I think we'd better just close it all down. It is fail.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:16 PM on August 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not an example of Australian comedy at all. I feel quite pissed at the game these idiots are getting .

This description of their 'live show' does nothing to ease that anger
posted by HarveyDenture at 9:17 PM on August 11, 2013


I have never heard of them (obviously not their target demographic) despite living in Melbourne. We are not all puerile arseholes. I have always loathed "pranks", even those that aren't sexual. I'm surprised they haven't been arrested for disturbing the peace or something. I think they should be.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:22 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


My kids are the target demographic (15 year old daughter, 12 year old son). My daughter started watching their channel a year or two ago but soon realised that mean humour is not funny.

I will not watch the masturbating-next-to-a-baby clip, but damn, I wish I was that mother. After I unleashed my fury, I'm fairly sure that the Janoskian responsible wouldn't be doing anything with his penis in the foreseeable future. Not without crying in pain, anyway.

I look forward to shopping at a suburban Woolworths in 2023, and seeing one of these 'talented comedians' collecting the abandoned trolleys between Centrelink appointments.

My son is home sick from school today, I just asked him if he watches the Janoskians. He grimaced and said "I don't watch that wannabe-Jackass crap". I asked if he knew any of their songs, would he recognise a song of theirs if he heard it, and he said, "mum, if I knew it was them, I'd refuse to listen to it".

So there is hope for the youth of today.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 9:49 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just read the review HarveyDenture posted.

All I can say is, what in the actual fuck??!

I know I'm old, but I can't imagine anyone I know getting off on this when I was a teenager. We were begging our parents for tickets to go and see live bands like Midnight Oil - performers with actual talent. I cannot imagine any of us being impressed with this bullshit.
posted by Salamander at 9:53 PM on August 11, 2013


They are truly Australia's most regrettable export since we stopped mining asbestos.
posted by dontjumplarry at 10:27 PM on August 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Isn't this why we invented pepper spray? I can hardly wait for them to show up on MY lawn.
posted by fredludd at 10:29 PM on August 11, 2013


Utter scum.

Overseas can have them. We don't want them here.
posted by chris88 at 10:31 PM on August 11, 2013 [4 favorites]


They are going to have to live with this when they are adults.
...once again, youth is wasted on the young.
posted by quazichimp at 12:31 AM on August 12, 2013


Hmm. It's five fairly fit teenage boys who get paid to run around having fun being disgusting idiots together? A certain type of girl must love that shit, and love it all the more because we turn our noses up at it. (And if there isn't one already, a girl group must be in the works.)
posted by pracowity at 12:35 AM on August 12, 2013


That made me remember the time when, as a teenager, I wondered why some guys seemed to attract all the girls in spite of their outrageous behaviour. Of course, it was because of their behaviour, and their good looks.
posted by nicolin at 12:39 AM on August 12, 2013


Please see the Tom Green of the 00s to remember that tasteless crappy comedy is always in style just because parents don't get it. And that dude wasn't even good-looking.

Salamander, I think all teenagers get off on crap that older people who have developed taste don't get, because older people with taste don't get it. I begged my parents for tickets to Radiohead, but also begged for tickets to Sevendust. I respectfully submit that youth once again are no better or no worse than they were, but memory and nostalgia hide the ridiculousness of our own youth.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 12:56 AM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also that probably very few of those girls at the airport came alone. Liking things is itself a social activity, hobby, and group marker in middle and high school, and the actual quality of the thing liked is worth much less than the solidarity of liking the thing. Don't think about whether you actually like the Janoskians, think about whether you'd rather be known as liking them than One Direction or the Wanted or [substitute another group here; at 26 I am now one of the Olds on questions like this]. To draw another example from my own unfortunate experience, I saved up for Linkin Park tickets not because I ever loved their music, but because I Was Alternative and needed to legitimize that by demonstrating allegiance to the appropriate "alternative" signifiers.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 1:02 AM on August 12, 2013


c'mon sea legs - good points, and I agree. Especially with this:

Liking things is itself a social activity, hobby, and group marker in middle and high school, and the actual quality of the thing liked is worth much less than the solidarity of liking the thing.

Very true, and we did the same.

What really rubs me the wrong way about these tools, though, is how horrible they are to their own fans. There's a particularly nasty element of exploiting teenage girls' insecurities here that is deeply gross.

We loved guys that were rugged and rough, or smooth and slick, or alternative and dark, or whatever. But nobody worshipped talentless douchebags who also treated us like shit.

Or did we? I fully admit that I might be employing selective memory here. :/
posted by Salamander at 1:17 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Australia must have a very loose definition of comedian

no no not at all. Here in Melbourne we refer to these people as "dickheads".
posted by mattoxic at 2:41 AM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


That description of their live show was bizarre. They don't sing songs, they don't do comedy sketches, they don't do acrobatics or physical stunts—so what, exactly, are their fans paying money to stare at for two whole hours?

Reminds me of the Mr. Show sketch The Fad 3.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:27 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey I'm pretty damn old, yet I still consider Jackass a guilty pleasure. I didn't like that it made me laugh, but it sure did. These jokers (using that term loosely) can't even conceive the bar Knoxville's bunch set, much less touch it
posted by Redhush at 9:30 AM on August 12, 2013


If your daughter is into this then you, as a parent, need to get your shit together.
posted by basicchannel at 9:41 AM on August 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wannabe Jackass shock morons in diapers. I can't get those minutes of my life back, unfortunately, and I'm a little irritated that I gave them a view stat on YouTube.
posted by Chuffy at 9:57 AM on August 12, 2013


Makes "Ow My Balls" seem like fucking Harold Pinter.
posted by fungible at 10:49 AM on August 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


According to the Daily Mail, their fans were waiting with "baited breath," so apparently even their fans hate them and are trying to lure them to their deaths, possibly by Poison Ivy-style venomous lipstick?
posted by Mooseli at 11:52 AM on August 12, 2013


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