How An ‘Out Of Context’ Meme Page Turned Memes Into A Job On One Of YouTube’s Biggest Podcasts
No matter what your opinion is of the often controversial Ethan Klein, it's hard to deny the power of the H3 Podcast, hosted by Klein four times a week on YouTube. With consistently high views, an extremely dedicated fanbase and a history of notable guests including the likes of Bella Poarch, Bill Burr and Jack Black, the show has been running strong for over five years (not including those rare occasions when they’re suspended) with no plans to stop anytime soon.
Fans of the show are given a constant stream of content to enjoy (and enjoy memeing) and the haters are given an endless mountain of content to criticize. But as the saying goes, all publicity is good publicity. The H3 podcast is often one of the most discussed on social media, regularly inspiring viral moments inside and outside of its fanbase.
The show's massive cast and crew is one of the main things that sets the H3 Podcast apart from its competitors like Impaulsive and BFFs. Rather than just having Klein and a co-host discuss current events, the H3 Podcast has a crew of around nine members who join him on camera. Among the crew are Dan the producer, Ian the switcher, Cameron the graphic designer, AB the researcher, Sam the prop master and Love, the social media manager. And that’s not even everyone. While they all have specific work-related tasks they perform throughout the show, the crew members are also there to chime in whenever they have an opinion on one of the show’s topics, whether it’s something serious like the most recent David Dobrik allegations or something more lighthearted like Keemstar’s latest cringeworthy take.
Ultimately, the ever-present crew takes what could easily be one-sided opinions and turns them into fully fleshed-out conversations. It also gives fans more drama, personalities and memes to get invested in as aspects of the crew members’ lives often become topics of discussion themselves. The cast and crew have become just as important to the show’s diehard fans as the host, many of them even launching successful side projects thanks to the show.
Zach Louis, the sound engineer, has managed to play a few sold-out shows in LA at locations including The Viper Room. AB, Lena, Ian and Love are all on Twitch with hundreds of viewers every time they go live. Olivia Lopes, another crew member, has over 90,000 followers on Instagram and a massive presence on the /r/h3h3productions subreddit. The H3 Podcast isn’t the only one to do this, but it is the only one to do it on such a large scale, thanks to its production values and massively active fanbase of followers (the subreddit alone has over 550,000 members) who are eager to put the crew in the spotlight whenever they get the chance.
Most of the crew members on the H3 Podcast started out as fans of Klein and his work on both the podcast and his original YouTube channel, H3H3 Productions, where he grew to YouTube fame. AB and his wife Lena, both crew members, were hired after AB made a video on his “Starkilla” channel defending Klein from false allegations of ripping off his fans, among other things. Ian was hired after sending Klein numerous professional emails asking for a job. Then there’s Love, aka Lovebot, the only remote employee on the crew.
Love appears on the podcast from Sweden through a teleconferencing robot that he can move around the studio in real-time. What’s interesting about his journey onto the H3 Podcast is that he started as a simple fan meme page, following the often-tread Twitter memer path of the out-of-context page. We spoke with Love over Zoom to learn how he went from meme page to full-fledged employee on one of YouTube’s biggest podcasts.
“I’ve been a fan [of H3] forever. I posted memes on the subreddit, I replied to Ethan on Twitter from my personal account […] one day I replied super early to one of Ethan’s tweets and he ended up liking it from his personal account. I got this crazy dopamine rush. Looking back at it now that I work with him, it’s funny, freaking out about a ‘like’ […] but I kept hunting that ‘like’ with my personal account with GIFS and clips.
Eventually I cut a clip I thought was funny and he started liking posts pretty regularly. I thought, ‘I gotta make a page, I can’t just keep spamming H3 stuff on my personal account. I gotta make a dedicated account just to annoy Ethan.’”
Love tells us that looking back on it he was probably “pretty annoying” but tried to stay respectful in his memes, essentially becoming a reply guy for Klein.
“I don’t know why I did ‘H3 out of context,’ I could have just done H3 clips. I know there’s been a bunch [of out of context pages] for every fanbase out there. Then I started doing my own clips. I’d get a live podcast notification and literally screen record the YouTube video and cut clips from the new episode as fast as I could. Even before they posted it on Twitter I had clips [from the current episode] ready to reply to their podcast announcement tweet.”
His dedication to the page, he tells us, was born mostly out of quarantine boredom. The @H3out page was started in November 2019, right when COVID really started to ramp up and countries started to enter lockdown. He also tells us that he “hated” his real job at the time, calling it a “super boring desk job.” Love kept on going and going, posting out of context clips to the page. Klein liked the posts more and more often, keeping Love motivated.
“I gained maybe 2,000 followers in two months just from replying to Ethan’s account, the H3 Podcast account and the Teddy Fresh account […] Eventually I woke up and had an Ethan follow in my notifications. I absolutely freaked out. One or two weeks later Hila followed me and two weeks after that the podcast account followed me.
My assumption is that there was some kind of dialogue that they needed a guy that cuts clips, because that’s exactly what they hired me for. One morning I got a DM from the podcast account asking if I wanted to do clips for them and I thought, ‘this is crazy.’ I live with my parents and I ran down to my dad and explained the whole thing.”
Love’s part-time position cutting clips quickly turned into a full-time position and he quit his desk job “immediately.” The idea of getting hired onto your favorite podcast simply by being a fan is a dream for many, including Love, who admits that H3 videos were a big part of his formative years as someone who grew up online. There’s also the ‘likes,’ which Love is open to admit he enjoys. “I like the attention, I like the likes, I like the community. My social life wasn’t insane and [the page] kinda gave me a substitute for being social. I really enjoyed the social aspect of it.”
For the first while, Love worked behind-the-scenes exclusively with no expectations of ever being on screen. “I kind of liked being this unknown person,” Love tells us, “I’ve always been like that, very anonymous online.” Then Love’s name started to get brought up on the podcast as the H3 Out Of Context guy, sparking interest from the viewers about who the mysterious new crew member could be.
Leading up to December 2020, the mysterious @H3out became known in the community as the “H3 archivist” and the ultimate H3 simp, a title previously (jokingly) held by another crew member, AB. This eventually lead to a “simp-off” during the podcast where Love appeared on-camera from Sweden over Zoom to battle for the title of the ultimate H3 fan. That day wasn’t just the first time the viewers saw Love’s face, but the first time the other crew members saw his face. “It took a little while after that for me to join the ‘on-screen cast.’ It was some point after the simp off, I just stayed on the Zoom, saying one or two things every once in a while.”
In May 2021, Love’s presence on the podcast evolved when he got hooked up with the “lovebot,” a video conferencing robot (essentially an iPad on wheels) that he began appearing through on the podcast. The idea was sparked by Love through the @H3out account after he tweeted a photoshop of himself on the robot. Klein made the purchase and Lovebot quickly became a fan favorite, becoming a regular in memes and fan art on the subreddit.
Love has also taken the opportunity to bring his meme talents to the screen. When Love's screen appears during any given podcast, he’s always quick to apply a filter, pop a few memes up on the screen and act as a sort of side-show to the main discussion. One of the most famous examples of this is when Love appeared in “white face” during a show, which was turned into a GIF and uploaded to Tenor. In fact, if you type “white” into the GIF search on Discord it’s often the first result. That’s a pretty big leap for someone who started out just wanting to get the attention of one of his favorite creators.
“I kind of grew up when YouTube really started to blow up, like the PewDiePie and Machinima era. I knew I wanted to be involved in some way. Growing up I’ve always had a Twitter, I had a YouTube channel where I did some CS:GO and video game stuff and that’s where I got the experience I have now, with a little bit of understanding of how engagement works. But gaming and meme culture is very intertwined, so I always used to post memes. I’ve been very adjacent to the meme community forever. The meme community and game community is kind of the same community.”
In a position like Love’s, knowing what makes a meme good is important and Love knows his memes. He even called the H3 Podcast subreddit out last year during a podcast when he felt their memes were getting stale and the results, in his opinion, were immediately noticeable.
“[The subreddit] was so much drama. Some drama is fun and it brings in the views too. As a social media manager, if there’s drama, I clip it and it gets views. But there is a healthy balance between drama and goofs and gaffs. At the time [I brought it up] there were too many text posts. Not only did I roast the community [for their lack of memes] I also put out the incentive that I need memes for the main social media. If you post a good meme, I’ll post that shit. That really put a fire under the H3 community."
I always put a meme on the podcast announcement posts because it kind of drives engagement. I was like, ‘I’ll tag you, I’ll put your credit under every post,’ and that really did juice the subreddit up. I’m super happy about that.”
As Love’s duties for the show have stacked up, the @H3out page has become a little bit less active, with most of Love’s tweets coming from his personal account @yungfika these days. He’s also managed to successfully branch out to Twitch under the same name thanks to his presence on the podcast, boasting hundreds of regular viewers and over 20,000 followers. “I wanted another chance to interact with the H3 community and it’s kind of grown to its own thing,” he tells us. He even had a viral moment that ended up on Dexerto, where he was pulled over during a car stream and his chat spammed sound effects as the police made sure everything was good.
The pipeline that Love followed, from fan to reply guy to meme page to employee on one of the biggest YouTube podcasts, is a rare one that not many people can say they’ve followed. A lot of creators likely won’t let that pipeline exist, the idea of hiring a fan raising a massive red flag in their minds. Love's story, however, shows us that this red flag might not always be worth listening to.
Love’s story also shows that with a lot of dedication and perseverance, you never know what something as simple as making a meme page for your favorite creator can lead to. When it comes down to it, we’re all on the same internet as our favorite creators and you never know what might come across their desk. A wise man once said, “Don’t let your memes be dreams,” and Love’s story is an ultimate testament to that advice.
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