Mike from Mike's Mic holding a box of nerds

Mike’s Mic Is the YouTuber Every Gen Zer Needs Right Now

With his witty sense of humor and wildly entertaining opinions, the Australian star's YouTube channel is perfect for this generation's present predicament of pain.
August 22, 2020
7 mins read

Everyone could use some humor these days. Australian YouTuber Michael Messineo, also known as  Mike’s Mic, knows just how to make people laugh at a time when they need it the most.

Mike creates some of the most absurd, specific and unpredictable content on YouTube — and I mean that entirely as a compliment. His videos consist of everything from ranking the days of the month to sharing his secret collection of “Monsters, Inc.” screenshots.

Mike is the perfect YouTuber for the Gen Z audience because he perfectly harnesses the witty and self-deprecating humor they appreciate. Whether he’s discussing which emoji would win in a fight or analyzing Pixar’s “Cars,” Mike always manages to insert just the right amount of funny opinions along with commentary on how his personal life relates to whatever he is talking about.

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His wildly random topics and clever personal takes make his channel relatable for a generation obsessed with meme culture and using internet humor to cope with personal and social issues.

The randomness of Mike’s content also makes his channel a great place to help Gen Zers get their minds off the wide array of issues they are facing in 2020. If you want to forget about the pandemic or politics, head over to Mike’s Mic, where you can watch in-depth analyses of iconic “Dance Moms” moments, or learn about Mike’s appreciation for Britney Spears’ Instagram.

The best part about Mike’s humor is that it never seems forced. Gen Zers are harsh critics when it comes to internet humor, and the easiest way to be deemed unfunny is to make it obvious that you are trying to be funny. Mike never falls into this trap. He doesn’t try to be anything he’s not. He never strays from the witty humor he knows he’s good at.

This strategy is clearly working. Over the course of just a few years, Mike has gained close to 370,000 subscribers, a number which increases every day. Some of his videos have over 700,000 views. It’s refreshing to see how his unique humor has caught on among a sea of YouTube influencers and personalities who all seem to look and sound the same. While his subscriber and view counts have not yet reached the millions, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually do given his recent popularity increase.

In addition to his style of humor, Mike is also socially aware. For example, he has a video where he calls out the lack of diversity in Australian TV. He has also been vocal about his support of the Black Lives Matter movement, sharing allyship resources with his viewers. Even in videos that are not directly about social issues, he still finds ways to throw in sharp comments that address injustices. Mike knows that his audience cares about societal problems just as much as they care about memes, so his inclusion of this type of content makes his videos even stronger.

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Some of Mike’s best creations involve his analyses of pop culture — past and present. Many of his videos are a fun walk down memory lane for Gen Zers who grew up consuming the same TV shows, movies, music and celebrity drama.

For example, he made a video discussing what made the year 2009 a “cultural reset,” covering everything from the Black Eyed Peas to the “Glee” premiere to the notorious Kanye West/Taylor Swift VMAs incident. Another example of Mike’s best pop culture content includes his “Essential Viewing” series, where he gives hot takes on memorable reality television moments.

He also once spent over 20 minutes ranking early 2000s childhood TV shows, providing detailed reasoning for his choices that any member of Gen Z could relate to.

Mike’s rankings videos are some of the smartest and most entertaining content on his channel. Mike has ranked a variety of things, including “Glee” characters, pictures of Dr. Phil and 2000s celebrity phones. Through the act of ranking, Mike subverts the entire notion of the action by demonstrating how arbitrary comparisons can be.

He creates very specific “levels” for these comparisons that have absolutely nothing to do with whatever he is ranking. For example, in a video where he ranks TikToks, he places the videos he likes best into a tier named after an iconic “Ratatouille” scene, and the TikToks he dislikes the most are named after a drink he hates.

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His funny reasoning is very specific to his personal tastes, which he makes clear to his viewers. The ranking videos are ridiculous in the best way possible; they prove that in a social media obsessed society, where all we do is compare everyone and everything, the act of judging things against one another is silly and not based in any sort of objective reality.

You can’t talk about Mike’s Mic without mentioning the editing — yet another smart element of his channel. The editing is key to his style of humor. He inserts memes and songs throughout his videos in a way that is just as fast-paced as the words that come out of his mouth. You never know what is going to pop up in a Mike’s Mic video, which adds to the enjoyability of his channel.

One of the most interesting and relatable things about Mike is that being a YouTuber isn’t his full-time job. He is actually a software engineer, something he mentions so often that it has become a running joke in the comments section of his videos. A defining characteristic for members of Gen Z is their tendency to perform well in sophisticated school and work environments without missing a beat, and then spend their free time engaging with absurd internet humor and ridiculous TV shows.

Knowing that he spends his days in a complicated tech job and then goes home and films videos detailing his distrust of the green M&M makes his channel all the more perfect for viewers who probably live a similar double life.

Mike has created a channel full of humor unique to his personality that is also relatable to his Gen Z audience. His popularity is on the rise and will only continue to grow if he keeps doing what he is doing. As smart as he is funny, Mike’s Mic is the perfect YouTube channel to turn to for some lighthearted humor at a time when we all desperately need it.

Starr Shapiro, Columbia University

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Starr Shapiro

Columbia University
Theatre (with a focus in Playwriting) and Psychology

I am a rising senior at Columbia University studying playwriting and psychology, which means that I really love thinking about why people do what they do! Huge fan of theatre, dance, and television.

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