|“||I'm Ray William Johnson, and I approve this message!||”|
―Ray at the end of each video
Ray William Johnson (born August 14, 1981YouTube celebrity and comedian. He became famous through his YouTube show, Equals Three, in which he provides humorous commentary on viral videos a show he started in the middle of 2009. Although his content was dark and crude, he managed to get fans all over the world ranging from various ages.), was a
"Equals Three" was so popular that his channel was the most subscribed on YouTube from June 25, 2011 to January 12, 2013 before being surpassed by Smosh. The show included a wide range of celebrty guests including Gabriel Iglesias, Snopp Dogg, and Robin Williams. Ray due to the show gained media praise, positive and negative as well as leading to him meeting up with other famous YouTubers.
By early 2012, Johnson was a YouTube millionare, becoming the first YouTuber to gain a net worth of one million dollars.
Though the channel had the biggest and at one point the fastest growing following, the show faced criticism from the YouTube community, some finding it immature/dumb and offensive, some saying that Ray Johnson's fans were inappropriate kids with many saying other YouTubers should have held his spot while he was the most subscribed channel. Some also said that Ray commenting on viral videos was not only unoriginal but lazy and copyright infringing.
The downfall of his channel began however in November 2012 when Maker Studios, his YouTube partner at the time wanted a majority stake of his Equals Three show but since Ray refused, the company left, taking away their contributions to the show, making it decrease in quality as well as the company taking away the latest album of an animated musical comedy group he leaded whose YouTube channel was called Yourfavoritemartian. The channel at one point was the most subscribed music channel on YouTube as well as one of the most viewed channels on the platform, same as the Equals Three channel which has gained over 10 million subscribers since August 2013 and and 3 billion video views since early 2017, hitting one billion views in late 2011 and 2 billion in late 2012 becoming one of the first to do so. The music channel was as well shut down by Maker Studios which it gained over 1.2 million dollars worth of sales without any promotion or record label.
The channel, now independent was run by only Johnson and his crew later named "Equal Three Studios". The channel became less popular, gaining only 1-2 million views on a regular video despite it used to getting around 5 million video views on average due to new algorithms and trends appearing on YouTube and by late 2013, his channel was no longer in the top 10 most subscribed, which it had been since 2009, the year he started to do "Equals Three" as previously stated.
"BreakingNYC his old vlog channel, was his very first YouTube channel; RunawayPlanet. The channel is no longer active and Ray has since deleted all of the videos on it but he currently posts his Instagram stories to his YouTube channel and is active on Facebook, as well, doing stand up comedy show tours.
In late 2013, Johnson directed a higly acclaimed five part video series titled "Riley Rewind" which starred his then girlfriend and fellow YouTuber, Anna Akana. Around the same time, him and Akana along with Derek Shelby made a podcast show called "Runaway Thoughts" which not only discussed different things but answered fan questions (which often got of topic hence the name "Runaway Thoughts") and interacted with the audience. The podcast as well received positive reception with Variety naming it in the top 10% of podcasts in 2013.
Ray Johnson left "Equals Three" in March of 2014 because he felt that he wasn't fulfilling himself creatively anymore and if he didn't, he would become depressed in turn, wanting to try new things. Since then the channel saw a major drop in views and subscribers a day however he has done some movies since. He at first uploaded vlogs on his channel and even initially wanted the show to end for good in the middle of 2014 but due to the audience still wanting "Equals Three", he made a private audition for the next host of Equals Three, the winner being Robby Motz, who was 20 years old at the time. He was first met with mixed reviews until fans of "Equals Three" mostly accepted him.
Motz left the show in July of 2015, nearly a year after he started due to him similar to Johnson wanting to move on. Later that month, Kaja Martin took over but due to people not seeing her as the right fit for the show, her in the videos were looked at with much negativity which she claimed didn't phase her but the "Equals Three" crew (which shortened after Maker Studios' departure) asked the fans to stop).
Due to the overwhelming hate from fans of the show and also Kaja wanting to try new things, it changed from her to Carlos Santos in December 2015 with the final episode of him hosting Equals Three, "Friday THE 13TH" on May 13, 2016. The show hasn't returned since with no explanation why. Carlos was said to be the closest to Ray Johnson's commentary of the show which most say Ray was the best host and wants him to return. Ray however says he has moved on to other social media platforms where he has gained more views than ever doing primarily vlogs and stories as well as gained popularity on the platforms and is living life happily doing other projects.
The show since Ray's departure hasn't gained as many views and subscribers as it once did, the subscriber and view count going slightly up and down with Motz, a very low drop with Kaja, and a low subscriber and view gain and sometimes drop from Santos. Due to the abrupt stop of "Equals Three" and the other video projects he produced since 2015, it continues to drop. His peak subscriber count was over 10.8 million, achieved in November 2015 and his last recorded subscriber count was over 10.3 million before him hidding his subscriber number in the middle of 2017.
Besides The Equals Three show, there have been other videos shows on the channel as said before.
- Ray William Johnson
- Carlos Santos
- Kaja Martin
- Jules Medcraft
- Kelly Landry
- Luis Victor Jimenez
Booze Lightyear (
- 10/10 (formerly known as Top 6)
- Comedians On
- Date Debate
Subscriber Milestones For RWJ's Channel
- Ray hit 2 million subscribers on September 23, 2010 behind nigahiga.
- Ray hit 3 million subscribers on
Notable Videos On RWJ's Channel
In November 2014, Ray initiated a lawsuit against Jukin after they had accused Johnson’s production company of stealing some of its viral videos for inclusion in the =3 comedy clip series. For example, in a November 7, 2014 episode of =3, then-host Robby Motz poked fun of a man from a Jukin-owned clip who tripped and dropped his new bride at an Arizona wedding.
Equals Three sued Jukin (which owns the FailArmy YouTube channel and has built a very good business out of licensing and distributing viral video clips) claiming the studio’s use of viral clips was protected under fair use. Equals Three also accused Jukin of denying the production company ad revenue after Jukin issued YouTube takedown notices against Equals Three videos that contained its owned and licensed clips. On October 13, 2015, Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California said Equals Three’s episodes provided commentary on Jukin’s videos and were therefore protected under fair use. Jukin then sued the Equals Three company. in March 2016, Ray William Johnson’s and Jukin Media’s lawyers came together to bargain a settlement prior to the official ruling from the jury.
Watch Mojo's "TopX" Series
Top 10 YouTube Comedy Channels
Ray was ranked 6th in this episode
Famous Quotes/Sight Gags
- "FAKE AND GAY!" – Used by Troll, his character portraying what a troll would usually say by feigning typing on a keyboard and sounding like a jerk.
- "GEEZUS!!" – A phrase used when a video goes very viral, very fast.
- "Zing!" – A subtitle which comes up when Ray has made a joke concerning sexism, racism, or just something which is funnier than usual.
- "Epic Face! Epic face!" – A line Ray uses when he finds a video with people making strange faces. The line usually goes, "epic face! epic face! epic face! epic face! Jizz... in... my pants." Though on occasion the ending is changed to fit the video's needs. Often referred to as, "The Joke."
- "Jizz In My Pants!" – A line he uses everytime after he uses Epic Face! Epic Face! Epic Face! Followed by jizz in my pants. He takes pictures and then points out the funny faces and this is one of his most popular lines, but he rarely says it anymore.
- "Two camels in a tiny car!" – A comeback line he used in the older videos. He usally says it when the Troll pops up. (It is rarely used now)
- "I'm a @#!*%!" – Used all the time, because apparently, he is one. Wait, what?
- "Honey Badger don't give a $#!%&!" – A reference to Honey Badger.
- "BALLS!" – Ray's swear word of choice.
- "Get back in the kitchen! - Famous sexism joke
- "Here's the dildo" – Reference of people thinking that Ray said that in "Shake Dat Ass" but he actually said "Here's the deal though"
- "HOW DOES SOMEBODY NOT KNOW HOW TO FLUSH THE TOILET AFTER THEY'VE HAD A SHIIII$#!%&!T?!" – Used in the end of the videos since "Who sh&@!?".
- "Throwing a Baby" - In many of his videos, as a semi-racist joke, Ray throws a plastic African american baby doll against the back wall of the set. This baby was replaced in one episode with an asian toddler doll, after Ray was called out for racism. As the Asian toddler's head fell off during the video, Ray has gone back to using the african american baby.
- "Can we &@!$ it?" – Reference to some discussions in the podcast where Ray and Anna would take anything they were discussing and ask if they could $@&! it.
- "Shut the %$#@ up Dan!!!" - What Robby says when Dan interrupts him.
- "....And I approve this message" - Said every ending of the show