Friday 28th July 2017,
Televisual

Ze Frank Returns: Can He Reinvent The Vlog?

Ze Frank Returns: Can He Reinvent The Vlog?

Ze Frank is back! Back in the day — you know, 2006 — Frank was at the cutting edge of vlogging, a form of web video as old as the late 1990s — like the late Snack Boy of The Sync — but one Frank helped moved forward. YouTube debuted in 2005 and quickly vlogging became the norm. Frank was at the top tier of a host entertainers, like Philip DeFranco, who popularized the fast-talking, fast-editing style that soon became the standard.

Now, he’s back! With a wonderfully weird inspirational video. Watch it in the morning before heading to a long day’s work.

Can Frank survive in a crowded market, as vlogging’s home base, YouTube, moves on to higher budget productions and streamlined channels in the style of television?

Frank knows what he’s up against. The 40-year-old performer has changed the name of his program from The Show — for a moment, it really was — to A Show. His humility is welcome, and the tone of the intro video suggests he suspects the next year of thrice-weekly videos might be his last shot at cultural relevance.

He’s got a good shot. Clearly a lot of people miss him. Frank raised three times what he asked for in the Kickstarter campaign for A Show: a whopping $150,000.

We don’t yet know what A Show will be like. Apparently, we’re a big part of it — “I will be asking you to make things, to do things, and to surprise me,” Frank says on his crowdfunding page.

“It’s risky, unknown and awesome,” he adds. I hope it will be!

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

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