Charlie McDonnell

On this date in 1990, Charlie McDonnell was born in Bath, England, where he grew up. In 2007, while bored studying for exams, he started making videos for his YouTube channel, charlieissocoollike. The channel became incredibly popular after producing hit videos like “How to get featured on YouTube” and “How to be English.” His YouTube channel has more subscribers than any other channel based in the UK. As of January 2012, he had nearly 1,400,000 subscribers. Producing videos on YouTube has been McDonnell’s full-time job and primary source of income since he graduated from secondary school in 2009. In 2010, he moved to London, where he lives with friend and collaborator Alex Day. In 2011, the two bought a house in order to shed the reputation of being “kids who make videos in their bedrooms.”

McDonnell occasionally performs humorous songs on his YouTube channel, usually accompanying himself on the ukulele. He addresses scientific themes in songs like “A Song About Monkeys,” about evolution, and “Chemical Love,” on the physical origins of human emotion. In “A Song About Monkeys,” McDonnell addresses a gorilla: “You’re my favorite animal, but I’m biased I guess, because you look exactly like me. . . . You’re an animal. You’re just like me, ‘cause I’m an animal. We’re of the same biology.” McDonnell is a member of the Doctor Who-themed band Chameleon Circuit with Day. He has also made appearances in more mainstream media outlets; he presented an award at the 2010 British BAFTA Television Awards, and in 2010 he filmed a series of behind-the-scenes videos for the BBC show “Doctor Who Confidential.” McDonnell often addresses scientific ideas from a rational perspective in his videos, and describes himself as an atheist.

Photo by Gage Skidmore under CC 3.0

Fan’s blog post (rating Charlie’s “hotness points”): Faith: Unknown but believed to be an atheist.
Charlie McDonnell: I am an atheist.
Fan’s Blog: Minus 50 [hotness] points
Charlie: Oh well, reason loses again.

Compiled by Eleanor Wroblewski

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