Take It or Leave It

Interview with Douglas MacKrell

Posted by HERETICPRIME on November 21, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Always on the search for the next cool thing or person, I was on Facebook and noticed a lot of funny comments and posts from somebody's friend.  Curiously, I peeked at his profile and saw that he had a YouTube Channel with original videos.  I think I looked at his most recent one and was pleasantly surprised.  For a few days I watched his videos and reached out to him to talk about them.  He was very prompt in his response and appreciative in tone.  He even featured my question in one of his videos.  That person was Douglas MacKrell, and just like a cool dude would, he was willing to turn his chair and cap around and rap with us all.  This is a dramatization of that talk.

I came to know you because you are good friend of one of my YouTube Idols, Kevin Conn, and I used to see you commenting on his Facebook.  I followed a link to an episode of Internet After Dark, and that's all she wrote!  I knew that I wanted to find out more about the guru of sex and the internet right then and there!  Would you mind telling me, and the All Cool Things™ followers about Internet After Dark, and how you were able to bring it into fruition?


Internet After Dark actually came about from a fit of creative passion.


At the time I was in a Human Anatomy and Physiology class, and on a track to become a physical therapist. It was without a doubt one of the HARDEST classes I have ever taken. Every other week I had practical exams where I would need to be able to recall every precise part of a human body - but in the most stressful way possible: I was given 60 seconds to look at a model or clay sculpture or dissected body part and identify two labeled parts on a sheet of paper, all while I was being observed constantly by a moderator to make sure I wasn’t cheating. After 60 seconds, they sound a hokey buzzer thing and you have to leap to the next station. Of which there were 25.


I was so burnt out on outrageous short term memorization for a goal I did not want, that I went crazy. At the time, my film making efforts left me soundly behind the camera. It was a hard enough job getting all of that stuff together when you’re a one-man-band, and I also being on camera myself an egotistical move - which wasn’t my goal.


It was around this time that I fell into the vlogs of Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart and others, and I envied what they had. A decent audience for a show that wasn’t much more than themselves in front of a camera cutting between jokes. I knew I wanted something like that, but I was too uncomfortable just talking without a focused theme.

So I went home and focused on a goal of creating a fireside chat for topics that piqued my interest. Internet After Dark was the first name that jumped into my head, and after a quick search to see if it had been used elsewhere turned up nothing - I slapped on a costume smoking jacket I had, dialed in a Youtube fireplace (the same one that I still use to this day), and I started talking about three articles I had read about during my day at work. It was unfocused, unscripted, and slapped together all in a single night. I didn’t know what to make of it, but I was proud of it nonetheless.

I posted it online, and the rest is history.


When I became a regular viewer, Internet After Dark was pretty...wild.  Don't get me wrong.  It's still very spicy, but you did things I had never seen on YouTube before.  Could you kind of tell the readers what I mean? 


As of this last May, I rebooted the show with a far stricter format and assumed more of a character - much like Stephen Colbert assumes a campy version of himself for his show. But what I wanted to do was not pull any punches. I was lampooning mens lifestyle shows like Playboy After Dark, The Man Show, and countless others. Though some of these are censored for air, the 80’s late-night cable-access anything-goes aesthetic I wanted to craft commanded a lot more raunchiness, explicit sex, and naked people. 


One of the dirty secrets about YouTube is that they want to monetize content and so much content is uploaded every day that can’t scan all of it - and as such there’s no “decency censor” guarding over anything uploaded. It’s still very much a wild west - and as long as content is properly labeled on the back end, it’s practically invisible to those who might find offence in frank discussions of sex and pictures of naked people.

Another built in defense that Internet After Dark has, is that it’s wordy and requires people to both get the joke and be patient enough to watch and get the joke. It’s sort of a built in age gate. Younger guys searching for a quick fix to get off on will be turned away from the show - but the folks who have experience with actually watching and taking in content get the fun tease of seeing some racy content deeper in the video.


Currently my largest audience is 25-65 year old men - which is perfect.


Do you intend to resurrect those old formatted episodes and offer them on your main site?


As of late I have started censoring the show from explicit sex and genitalia - but mostly with half assed “Censored” bars that barely do their job. The good news is that I also upload all of the same images (and usually a few extra vintage 80’s porn pics and gifs) to the blog post for each episode on Internet After Dark’s website.

I did so because I was brutally kicked off of Blip.tv AND Dailymotion for explicit content in short time, and I figured I should do some light censoring pushing forward. I did make sure to let my audience know in a specific video on the topic so they wouldn’t freak out. That’s really the power of YouTube - the direct interaction with your core audience. You just can’t get that in any other kind of media.


Also important to know is that although Internet After Dark is now censored on YouTube, I also upload UNCENSORED versions to my Citizen TV account.


Speaking of the older formats of your show, I've noticed that Internet After Dark has almost been three shows.  One of the other formats is you kind of being a man about town and chequeing out people and places of interest.  The last one is move of a lengthier version sort of reminiscent of The Rest of the Story.  'Any thoughts on brushing those old formats off and making completely separate shows?


I do have ideas for a few other shows that follow those kinds of format - a separate show for reviews and op-eds, and another for on location interviews and showcases. The main problem with that is time and money. I don’t really have the time right now to produce a 3rd or 4th show, and going out in the field requires location wrangling and camera crew - which I really can’t afford at this stage.


Those ideas aren’t gone though. Maybe someday when I’m rich enough to make video producing my full time job I can start taking more shows under my wing.


So other than Internet After Dark, I do know that you write and act.  In fact, I think that you just did some writing and behind the scenes stuff with Kevin Conn and his G.I. Joe PSA's, right?  Are there any other projects that you just recently worked on?


Currently I’m producing a new show for my second YouTube channel. The Royal Order of the Holy Mackerel.  It’s a weekly meeting of a secret society based around talking about and discussing possible theories of on of my favorite new shows, Gravity Falls. I’m incorporating a lot of new tricks and innovations that I’ve discovered to try to make the show more immersive and inclusive to those who watch and want to play along.

Each week I create a new challenge based around secret codes that need to be deciphered and riddles that need to be answered in order to receive free downloadable premiums like a membership card or a secret decoder wheel.


People are really taking to it. I’ve received a LOT of praise and I’ve had some of the best growth and retention I’ve ever had in my YouTube career. It’s barely 3 weeks old, and I’ve netted nearly 200 subscribers, and just about as many card carrying members - all of whom comment and interact with me nearly daily!


Internet After Dark is now sticking to a twice-a-week schedule (Thursdays and Sundays) and the latter of the two episodes will be more geared to directly answering audience questions. It’s part of my new status as the Citizen Pro of the Love and Sex category at CitizenTV. I’m basically the host of that area, and so I’ll be answering folks questions directly and working with a growing community of on-camera romantic advisors. [SIDE NOTE: If you have an advice show on YouTube or elsewhere or have always thought of doing so - swing on by www.citizen.tv/lifestyle/love-sex and join the community!]


My other projects are a little too new to talk about publically just yet.


I also think that you will be doing some more work with Kevin on his second season of I Hate Earth.  'Getting in front of the camera any?


I am! I can’t divulge my character or any real details about the second season of I Hate Earth just yet - but I’ll probably be making Beatrix’s life pretty miserable for most of the season.


You know Douglas, you are the kind of guy that I would hang out with...if he didn't live on another side of the country.  Dude, what you say we move our operations to Pennsylvania, and make money off of the naive and fun-starved Amish youth?  It would be great!  I've seen Amish Mafia, and I can see what they consider hardcore.  If we moved there, there'd be no stopping us!  What do you say?


Lets do it! I’ve watched enough MacGyver to be able to wow them with science and makeshift machinery that I’ll quickly establish myself as the David Copperfield of the Amish community. After we’re chased out of town for possibly being demons, we can use our newfound Amish street cred to corner the barn and churned butter market! Mrs Roberts’ Ol’ Fashioned Churned Butter and Barns INC. Also, you’ll have to dress like - and make public appearances as - an Amish Grandma. Me, I’ll be the sunglasses wearing skateboarding cool dude that appeals to the churned butter and barn youth market. “GET BARN-ZAY” I’ll say as I skateboard in eating churned butter from a tube.

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All Cool Things™ would like to mention that Douglas MacKrell is not a doctor, but does play one on the internet.

Categories: Pop Culture, Television, Trending (at the Time)