Theo Von's This Past Weekend: YouTube Creator Spotlight

Comedian Theo Von has been publishing videos on his YouTube channel since March 24th, 2008. Starting with clips of his stand-up, the Louisana born wordsmith now uses the platform to release one of comedy's most beloved podcasts, This Past Weekend. Here's a look at where Theo started, what his channel has to offer, and what he is doing now.

A still of Theo Von recording his podcast. Credit: This Past Weekend on YouTube
A still of Theo Von recording his podcast. Credit: This Past Weekend on YouTube

The early days of Theo Von's YouTube are interesting to explore now that This Past Weekend has taken off the way it has. The channel started with stand-up, live interviews, and skits. When speaking of his early comedy, and even his first Netflix special No Offense, a now pensive Theo Von speaks about how he was still finding his voice. He felt protected by comedy that had harsher edges but he now attributes his podcast, in part, to his discovery that it is in telling stories of his childhood and digging into the depths of his authentic self on stage that produces truly funny, revealing content. There is perhaps no comedian more simultaneously raw, endlessly empathetic, and whimsical as Theo Von on his podcast. Any seemingly random thing that a guest says can launch Theo into a story of his childhood, which he tells with a casual, novelistic flare. The stories he tells seem, to the casual listener, too strange to be true. He speaks of friends he grew up with such as a boy who had a wooden shirt, a kid named Stuck who got his hands glued together, and the boxing bus boy Billy Conforto who tragically drove his car into an embankment.

What's interesting, though, is that the more time you spend with Theo, the more sure you become that these stories, and everything about this comedian, is real. After an ongoing bit about Billy Conforto (fans would comment "RIP Billy Conforto" and "Embankment gang" frequently), Theo had Conforto's brother on the podcast. At the end of the podcast, Theo receives a pictured of Conforto's mother wearing a "RIP Billy Conforto" shirt that the comedian produced. Theo, getting choked up, said:

"We don't know the friendships we're going to make, the effect that they're going to have on people years later. That's the power of people right there. Yeah, we're going to be okay, man. If somebody's hands are cold man, hit them with those air mittens. Life is short, but it is sweet, man, and we are here together. There's a reason why we're all here at the same time. I believe that."

Von has a way of opening up on his podcast, which he, and now his fanbase, use as a form of therapy. Though every episode has moments of true hilarity, he also uses This Past Weekend to soul search. From the episode Cleveland, Theo spoke in a hushed tone, rife with childlike wonder, sadness, and hope, as he spoke about a dream he had about his late father, who was seventy years old when Theo was born. Theo said:

"I saw my dad in a dream when I was in Maui. It was really crazy because I hadn't seen him in twenty years, even in a vision. And I had an adult vision. [,,,] It made me think that my dad lives in Hawaii or something. I was like Oh, is this where he's been? It made me think, Of course this is where he's been. This is where I would be."

While we usually spotlight the channel's top videos here, the podcast episodes are generally longer than an hour, but Theo Von also hosts shorter clips of his podcast on a second channel used for shorter content. Some fan-favorites include:

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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