Kyle Johnson

Auto Tunes With Flula: Way Less Awful Than PewDiePie

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Auto Tunes with Flula reveals some genuine talent beneath YouTube's requisite blanket of morons screaming at computer screens

I could be entirely alone in this, but if there’s one thing that I’ll never understand, it’s the appeal of so-called YouTube celebrities. I know, I know, you’re thinking get this old man back to his rocking chair. But seriously…why? (Also, get off my lawn and turn down that damned rock music.)

Now, I understand that the internet has become the modern day equivalent of Star Search (yeah, remember that show?) or even The Mickey Mouse Club (whose mid-90s ensemble gave us no less than Ryan Gosling, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears), but I don’t think I can wrap my head around the idea that a guy who is best known for filming his overreaction to Amnesia: The Dark Descent is somehow worth $6.1 million dollars.

Auto Tunes with Flula


Seriously. I just found this out. You are working 50-or-more hours a week and doing everything you can to make ends meet. A 23-year-old kid from Sweden makes a bunch of videos of himself being preposterously obnoxious and he’ll never have to worry about money again for the rest of his life. Spare me the ludicrous assumption that PewDiePie is, even in the faintest way, funny. What he is, clearly, is wealthy and opportunistic, so I suppose there’s something to be said for the talent of exploiting the questionable tastes of more than 23 million people.

(Oh god, I just realized that 23 million presumably intelligent life forms watch his videos…we really are doomed.)

Remember all that the next time your kid says they want to be an internet star while you pore over the interest statement on your five-figure student loan debt.

Auto Tunes with Flula

“Keep working hard, kids, and one day you might be successful and influential just like this thing.”

Anyway, back on point (was I even there to begin with?): YouTube occasionally yields some gems (I’m thinking the “Bed Intruder Song,” the Angry Video Game Nerd series, Feminist Frequency, and Marble Hornets just to name a few), and while I’m not ready to declare Flula a member of YouTube’s upper-echelon of tolerable personalities (yes, that’s a thing I actually just said…you have the quantify these kinds of things), I found myself pretty entertained by the Auto Tunes with Flula series.

The most recent entry of Auto Tunes with Flula features native German Flula Borg (along with a friend) recording a cover version of “No Diggity” from the confines of a Honda Civic. Yes, that’s “No Diggity” as in the Blackstreet song from 1996. (Ah, elementary school days.)

While the performance itself is pretty entertaining (thanks to the clever use of various instruments, some beatboxing, and a portable multitrack recorder with looper), the best moments arguably occur at the beginning of the clip in a discussion about how to properly say Uber (“No no, not ooh, you’re like ‘ooh, look at the cute lady,’ it’s ‘ew, the spaghetti’s on m’feet.’”).

Auto Tunes with Flula No Diggity

“Can you take me to the market? It’s 2.3 kilometers.”

Your mileage may vary here with Auto Tunes with Flula, but I feel that there’s actually some good stuff to be had here. His cover of Gary Numan’s “Cars” is pretty damn inventive (and I do so love it whenever one finds a good excuse to break out a melodeon), and it’s always entertaining to discover that people remember the unfortunate thing that is Ginuwine’s “Pony.”

Auto Tunes with Flula Melodeon

Oh, I get it. It’s because he’s literally in a car. Ha!

Hell, I hated Psy’s “Gangnam Style” (largely because I had the dubious honor of living in the country of the song’s origin at the precise moment that it blew up), but there’s something oddly charming about watching Fluba perform it in LA’s Koreatown and earning a second glance from a visor-wearing ajumma. Bonus points are certainly due to Borg for nailing the Korean lyrics with what sounds like pretty flawless pronunciation.

Auto Tunes with Flula Ajumma

“The Ajumma, seen left, in her natural environment. Note the pink umbrella, which can double as a whuppin’ club at a moment’s notice.”

And while no doubt staged, I’m fascinated by the Mini Van Family episode’s implication of a Lynchian world where hitchhikers performing live renditions of “U Can’t Touch This” from the spacious third row is perfectly natural. Watching the almost totally impassive father take the microphone to take over on the “oh-oh-oh-oh-oohoohhh” breakdown while Borg does his best take on the Hammer Dance is a pretty special moment.

Just another day in the suburbs of Lumberton, where the grass is always green and filled with severed ears.

Just another day in the suburbs of Lumberton, where the grass is always green and filled with severed ears.

Oh, and he and Dirk Nowitzki do “Satisfaction” by The Rolling Stones while the Mavs Dancers drive them to the American Airlines Center. It’s…well…it’ll certainly make you feel a lot better about the last time you and your friends got bombed and tried to sing “Carry on My Wayward Son” at a karaoke bar.

Auto Tunes with Flula Nowitzki

Mark Cuban got fined $200K for this

Okay, so maybe I do kinda like this YouTube celebrity. So far, Auto Tunes with Flula is pretty okay in my book.

Auto Tunes with Flula No Diggity Four Square

8/10 would watch

Let me know: what are your favorite songs to sing in the car? Personally, I’ve always been a “Wicked Game” man m’self.

  • Kyle JohnsonEditor

    Kyle S. Johnson lives in Cincinnati, a city known by many as "the Cincinnati of Southwest Ohio." He enjoys professional wrestling, Halloween, and also other things. He has been writing for a while, and he plans to continue to write well into the future. See more articles by Kyle.

  • Jonas

    TLDR. The things I like are better than the things you like. Enjoying the things I don’t enjoy makes you dumb. Life is unfair.

    • Kyle Johnson

      You have encapsulated my thought process pretty perfectly here.

      You need a semi-colon in there, though.

  • Ryan Nicol

    Dude I understand where you’re coming from for I find it ridiculous myself that youtubers are sooo popular but you have to see that these people don’t just ‘make a bunch of videos’ as if to say it’s the easiest job in the world. Because it isn’t. For instance Pewdiepie works about, 12 hours a day editing to put at least two videos out. I’m sure you know how long it takes to edit a video and aswell as the time consuming process of making these videos they also have to listen to abuse, death threats, just general harsh comments that swarm the comment section. I completely understand what you’re saying but don’t try make it sound like it’s one of the easiest jobs in the world as it’s definitely up in the most difficult.

    • Kyle Johnson

      “don’t try make it sound like it’s one of the easiest jobs in the world as it’s definitely up in the most difficult.”

      Video editing is hard work, sure.

      Among the most difficult jobs in the world?

      Police officer, soldier, firefighter, skyscraper window cleaner, oil rigger, coal miner…need I continue?

      • Ryan Nicol

        Okay maybe not in the world. but mentally and emotionally it really is. You need to be someone that doesn’t give a shit about yourself to do it as you will be tormented constantly IF you get up to a substantial fan base.

        • Kyle Johnson

          I dunno, man. Granted, it’s definitely monotonous work, but if it’s what you enjoy doing, it becomes considerably less stressful.

          Being a video editor is not even close to one of the hardest jobs in the world. That dude doesn’t have the tenth hardest job in his country, in his town, nor probably even on his block. He makes videos, records them, edits them, uploads them, ???, profit. Sure, you sink a lot of time into it, but doesn’t everybody sink a lot of time into their job? Custodians spend their days cleaning up after people, but they ain’t going home to a mansion.

          I feel like the entire concept of being an internet celebrity is giving enough of a shit about yourself, and perhaps even too much of one, as you are building your living entirely off of the idea that you are your greatest skill. It’s a good job if you can get it, and for whatever reason, that works for that guy. Good on him, but his videos are still unwatchable.

          People being shamed or mocked in public isn’t exclusive to dudes who make a ton of money on YouTube, either. That kind of thing happens to people on a much smaller scale every day, but the difference there is that those peole don’t care enough about themselves to fight back or ignore it (which is why suicides brought about by bullying is a huge issue in our day and age).

          I’m sure PewDiePie gets his fair share of hate mail and grousing from folks like me, but I’m also willing to bet he has a hard time hearing it over all of that cash slamming into his pockets. Would you really care what a dude like me had to say if you were in his shoes?

  • Hayley

    How I see it is that if you don’t like something, if it makes you angry or upset, stay away from it. Of course he’s making money, so are many other celebrities in the world. Celebrities are famous for that one thing they do, even if others don’t like it, they still do it because whatever it is makes them happy.

  • Donna

    I would just like to add that there are people that now have access to clean drinking water thanks to PewDiePie and his bros’ clean water campaign which raised $450,000. He also donated his cash award for being voted “Gaming King of the Web” to the World Wildlife fund and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. There is more to this young man than just funny faces and screaming at horror games.

    • Kyle Johnson

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Donna. It’s reassuring to know that the guy behind the persona is a generous one, and that people in need have benefitted from that kindness. Not enough of that kind of thing in the world, unfortunately.

      His videos and the persona for which he is famous, however, remain exceptionally obnoxious. 🙂

  • Mickey

    Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Pewdiepie puts all his time and energy into doing the things he loves and he makes a lot of money off of it. Meaning he has a really fun job and makes a lot of money, does this make him a bad person? No, of course not. It simply means he may be the best person in the universe, he gets to be happy. Happiness is the meaning of life, and if you are happy doing what you do and make money off of it why is that a bad thing? It just means that you have reached a higher level of happiness. You need to stop feeling sorry for yourself because you’re less fortunate. The only reason you’re unhappy is because you want to be unhappy. You are jealous of this man and you want other people to be jealous. In the future don’t hate on people just because they’re happier then you are.

  • Anonymous

    Life is unfair. Everybody knows it. But articles are meant to inform.
    What made me very upset about this article was not how it insulted a YouTuber that I liked. It wasn’t even the fact that you insulted me and 23 million other people due to their tastes. It was the lack of actual information in this.
    Yes, you included your opinions and you included some figures but beyond that this was just a rant. That was extremely biased and opinionated. To be perfectly honest, this subject shouldn’t even be on a NEWS website. It’s not a good subject: there’s not enough interesting information about it that would keep the reader engaged – I only skimmed through – and the article would be very short. The only reason that this was long was because of the pictures and the obvious advertisement of an unrelated YouTuber.
    Overall, mean and disappointing. But good effort.

  • Kyle Johnson

    I’m not saying that you deserve to be insulted for liking PewDiePie, but then again, you’re not doing anything to convince anyone not to insult you by admitting that you are a fan of PewDiePie.

    Also, you’re a PewDiePie fan complaining about a lack of content. Do I even need to explain why this is an oxymoron?

    “…biased and opinionated…mean and disappointing…”

    Hi, welcome to the Internet. Is this your first time here?

    • Anonymous

      Your reply is contradictory. You say that I do not deserve to be insulted because of my interests yet you still do it.

      “…not doing anything to convince anyone not to insult you…”
      Why must I explain my interests to you, pray tell? There is a reason why I called myself “Anonymous”, you know. But all dry humourless jokes aside, I think it is rather unreasonable for you to insult fans just because they are unable to provide you with a reason not to.
      Although if you do want a reason, for me personally, it is because of his kindness. He encourages giving to charity and does charity and I find that that is very kind of him to do so. Furthermore, I like the fact that he is able to freely express himself and connect with 23 million other people.

      I see the supposed irony in your words however that is, again, your opinion and apparently not the opinion of 23 other million people. (I do though recognise that there are more people, besides yourself, that find PewDiePie distasteful.)

      And I agree, there are many biased and opinionated things in the Internet. As well as mean and disappointing. But as you can see, all or most of these biased and opinionated things are terrible abominations that should not have ever seen the light of day. What I am wondering is why you did not defend your work. Is it because “evrybodys duin it so y cant i?” Because if it is, I should have you know that just because everybody is doing it, it does not mean it is right.

      • Kyle Johnson

        Wow. You really are new to the internet, aren’t you? If you’d like, I can see if I can find someone to give you a guided tour or something.

        • Anonymous

          Nah, I think I can manage, but thanks anyway. I’ll be sure to go to you when I get lost or something.