With more than three billion views and over 13 million subscribers across the ERB YouTube channels, Shukoff’s success is made sweeter by years he spent toiling to fit into a conventional comedy system. Turns out he didn’t need to. “I like the idea of being at the center more as a conductor than an all eyes-on-me star,” Shukoff says. “The audience is as much a part of this show as I am. I’m just kind of guiding it.”
Best recognized for co-creating Epic Rap Battles of History, the most viewed format on YouTube on per episode, Shukoff draws from viewers suggestions for each comedic tête-à-tête rhyming competition before pouring extreme devotion into researching every episode. Considering, too, collaborations with KassemG such as the “Street Music” series of improvised songs inspired by a day out’s random public encounters, his “The Monday Show” weekly vlogs and “Picture Songs” inspired by the web’s funniest photos, Shukoff’s relationship with his audience through this medium is at the crux of his winning humor—online and onstage.