Shane Dawson

For the baseball player, see Shane Dawson (baseball).

Shane Dawson

Dawson in 2012
Personal information
Born Shane Lee Yaw
(1988-07-19) July 19, 1988
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation YouTuber, actor, author, comedian, singer, songwriter, film director
Website &
YouTube information
Years active 2008–present
Genre Comedy
Subscribers 16.4 million subscribers
(April 2016)
Total views 3 billion views
(April 2016)
Network Fullscreen
Associated acts Trisha Paytas, Joey Graceffa, Gigi Gorgeous, Fine Brothers
Subscriber and view counts updated as of December 16, 2015.

Shane Lee Dawson ( Yaw; born July 19, 1988) is an American YouTube personality, actor, author, sketch comedian, singer, songwriter and film director. Dawson was known for making comedy videos featuring recurring original characters he has created (such as Shananay, Ned the Nerd, S. Deezy, Mom, Aunt Hilda, Fruitlupe and Amy), celebrity impersonations (such as Paris Hilton, Miley Cyrus, Sarah Palin, Michael Jackson, Justin Bieber), and spoofs of popular music videos and television shows. Most of his major productions were done with the help of producer Lauren Schnipper.[1][2]

As of April 2016, his YouTube channels, collectively, have more than 16.4 million subscribers and more than 3 billion views.[3][4] In March 2012, Dawson began pursuing a music career, releasing six singles.[5] He has also released numerous music video parodies.[6]

His podcast, Shane and Friends, starring him and his friend Jessie Buttafuoco (originally with his producer, Lauren Schnipper), was created in 2013 and is still ongoing.[7][8] As of July, 2016, 70 episodes have been released, with multiple YouTubers and celebrity guests.

In 2014, Dawson released his first film, Not Cool, directed by and starring himself.[9] In early 2015, Dawson released a memoir titled I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays.[10]

On July 19, 2016, he released another book, It Gets Worse, and an accompanying short film on his main "Shane Dawson TV" YouTube channel.[11]

Life and career

1988–2007: Early life

Dawson grew up in Long Beach, California, where he attended Lakewood High School. As a teenager, he was overweight and was mentally and psychically abused by his alcoholic father, (as well as Shane's mother) who eventually abandoned his family. He has two other older biological brothers, Jerid and Jacob Yaw. They were really close, and helped Shane during this times. Additionally, his family was poor (because of his father) and he was often bullied because of this. He has since lost 150 pounds (68 kg). He first became interested in making videos when he would turn in videos as school projects with his friends in high school.[12][13] He is of Swedish, Dutch, Welsh, and English descent.

2008–10: YouTube channels

On March 10, 2008, Dawson made his first YouTube channel, called "ShaneDawsonTV". The earliest video that remains on the channel, "Hodini's Street Magic" was uploaded three months later. When he first began making videos, he worked at Jenny Craig along with his mother and brother, but was fired in August 2008 after he uploaded a video of himself pole dancing in the building he worked in. His mother, brother and about 6 other coworkers who appeared in the video also got fired after the company saw the video.[14] In September, he uploaded a video called "Fred is Dead!", which has since received over 24 million views (as of September 2016), making it his most-viewed video to date. Dawson occasionally posts new videos on his channel "ShaneDawsonTV" (mainly short web films, music video parodies, film trailer parodies, and original music) and formerly posted other videos on his second channel "ShaneDawsonTV2", now called "Human Emoji" however the use of this channel has mostly been discontinued as of 2012.[15] His third YouTube channel, Shane, is where he previously posted vlogs, and now posts original content Mondays through Fridays. He began using this channel in May 2010. Shane often collaborates with other YouTubers or appears in their videos, such as Joey Graceffa, BrittaniLouiseTaylor, TheFineBros, Trisha Paytas, iJustine (real name Justine Ezarik), Tyler Oakley, Miranda Sings (a character created by YouTuber, comedian, singer and actress Colleen Ballinger), Sawyer Hartman, Drew Monson and others. In November 2009, Dawson was featured on Attack of the Show![16] In 2010, Forbes magazine named him their 25th most famous web celebrity.[17]

2010–13: Television pilots and music career

On August 11, 2010, Dawson announced that he was in the making of a 30-minute pilot which he will call SD High. Previously, the funding he needed for the pilot was provided by digital media group Take180 after he helped them out with acting in their own videos.[18] The pilot is based on two previous videos which Dawson uploaded to his main channel in Summer 2010. In his previous videos, the story centers around a teenage boy in school, and his interactions with the other characters. The pilot was due to be released towards the end of September 2010 on his main YouTube Channel, however Dawson later announced that he had been contacted by a television studio to produce the pilot for their TV channel(s).[19] According to Dawson, there is some uncertainty involving the pilot, however it may be a TV show in the future.[20] On March 26, 2011, Dawson uploaded a video to YouTube explaining to his audience that he's working with Happy Madison Productions, Sony Pictures, and some other YouTubers including TheFineBros and BrittaniLouiseTaylor to create the television show.[21] The video contains an explanation from Dawson about what he's working on, and a 'mock trailer', made up of clips from previous episodes on his YouTube channel, which was made to pitch the show. Dawson eventually withdrew from the SD High pilot, however in January 2013, Dawson revealed that production on SD High had restarted.[22]

In January 2012, Dawson stated in a video that he was now working on a new television show, which would be semi-based on his life working at a Weight Loss center. He stated that he would be pitching the show soon, and that he was "really excited" for it, and stated the show was "kind of like Arrested Development, but - not."[23] On May 16, 2012, Dawson revealed in a vlog that he was working on a comedy-horror film, explaining that he wanted to write "something like a teen comedy", however that the film would be "scary and fun". Dawson revealed in November 2012 that he was in negotiations to direct a feature-length film.[24] In 2012, Dawson revealed in a vlog that he was working on a music project. In March 2012, Dawson revealed that his debut mainstream single, "SUPERLUV!" would be released that month. The song was released on March 31, 2012 on iTunes, with an accompanying music video debuting on his YouTube channel on the same day. The song managed to chart at 87 in Ireland, 16 on the UK Indie Chart, 163 on the UK Singles Chart and reached the 28th spot on the US iTunes Pop Chart.

On May 8, 2012, Dawson revealed in a video that he has begun working on his next original song, which is tentatively titled "The Vacation Song". He previewed about 10 seconds of the "rough edit" of the song, and stated that he was going to change the mood of the song, saying, "Right now, it's a little too happy, because it's a break up song. I want it to be more like Kelly Clarkson's 'Since U Been Gone'." He stated that the song would "hopefully" be released by the beginning of June 2012.[25] The song was released on June 23, 2012, with the music video being released a week later. In October 2012, a film called Smiley was released to theaters starring Dawson. In December, Dawson released a new single entitled "Maybe This Christmas". On February 5, 2013, Dawson recorded a single titled "F**K Up".[26] The song was released on YouTube and iTunes on March 30, 2013.[27] On October 18, 2013, Dawson released a song entitled "Wanna Make Love To You", with Liam Horne.[28] Dawson doesn't actually provide vocals to the song, but iTunes credits him as one of the artists.

2013–present: Shane and Friends, The Chair, and books

In June 2013, Dawson started a podcast entitled Shane and Friends. As of 2013, Dawson revealed that he is pitching a talk show and is continuing to pitch the series about him working at a weight loss center. On November 12, 2013, Dawson announced that he was developing the weight loss center project with Sony Pictures Television for NBC. The project has been titled Losin' It and, if picked up, will be a half-hour single camera comedy series focusing on a successful former-client at a weight loss center who decides to share his inspiration by becoming a consultant at the center, and subsequently becomes the manager by the end of his first day. Darlene Hunt, Will Gluck, Richie Schwartz, Lauren Schnipper, and Dawson will serve as executive producers for the project.[29]

On April 4, 2014, Dawson announced that he had directed and starred in a comedy film in Pittsburgh earlier that year. The film, which was made on a budget of approximately $1 million, is expected to be released in September 2014.[30][31] On June 26, he announced that the film would be titled Not Cool.[32] It was part of a Starz original series called The Chair, in which two novice directors are given the same script and must each make their own film from it. People who watched both films then voted online to vote for the films. Not Cool competed against Anna Martemucci's Holidaysburg. Zachary Quinto, producer of The Chair, called Dawson's film "deeply offensive" and "tasteless", and that Dawson should not be making films at all, removing his name from the film in disgust. Dawson defended his film by saying that "I like the movie. The producers that I trust like the movie. The test audience liked the movie. I know I deserve to make a movie because I've been working my fucking ass off these last eight years on YouTube."[33] Dawson won the competition, winning the $250,000 prize to work on another film project.[34]

In December 2014, Dawson released a parody of Taylor Swift's song "Blank Space" on YouTube. This video was found to be in poor taste by her labels, Big Machine Records and Sony, who removed it,[35] citing "copyright infringement". Dawson subsequently claimed that the parody was removed because Sony objected to the video's violent content. Typically in the United States, parodies are generally classified as fair use, as cited in Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc.. The video was restored in February 2015.

In early 2015, Dawson released a memoir titled I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays. The memoir was released by Atria Books/Keywords Press.[36]

In July 2016, Dawson released another memoir entitled It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays. It was released by Atria/Keywords Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.[37][38]

Personal life

Dawson has five dogs, Miley, Charlie, Chocolate, Unicorn (nicknamed Corny) and Uno as well as two cats, Muffins and Snoop. They often appeared in his videos until Shane moved into his home with Lisa Schwartz, his former girlfriend.

He currently resides in Hollywood, California.[39]

Dawson also has body dysmorphic disorder.[40] In July 2015, Dawson came out as bisexual in a video posted on his main YouTube channel. This announcement also confirmed that he has separated from Lisa Schwartz.[1]

Major productions



Year Title Role Note
2011 Friends 4 Ever Amy Short film
How Shananay Stole Christmas Shananay Short film
2012 Smiley Binder
2014 Not Cool Scott Also director
2015 I Hate Myselfie Himself Short film
I Hate Myselfie 2 Himself Short film
2016 Internet Famous Movie[41] Tomas "The Parody Boss"
TBA It Gets Worse[42] Himself Also director


Year Title Role Notes
2012 The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange Christmas Past / Popcorn 2 episodes
2014 The Chair Himself 10 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Escape the Night The Renegade Main role; YouTube Red series: 2 episodes



List of singles, with selected chart positions and certifications
Year Title Peak chart positions
2011 "Hey, Suup!?"
(featuring Eric Stuff Production)
2012 "Superluv!" 87 163 16
"The Vacation Song"
"We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together (Spoof)"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"High School: The Rap"
"Maybe this Christmas"
2013 "I Knew You Were Trouble - Spoof"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"F**k Up"
"82 (Spoof of 22 By Taylor Swift)"
(featuring Wendy McColm)
"Birthday Spoof
"Applause Parody"
"Wrecking Ball Spoof
(featuring Kristin Findley)
"This Christmas Life"
2014 "Blank Space Parody"
2015 "Famous YouTuber"
"—" denotes a recording that failed to chart or was not released in that territory


Awards and nominations

Dawson has been nominated for various awards.[43] On August 9, 2010, Dawson won the award for Choice Web Star at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards. Although the category was not featured at the awards show, Dawson stated in a video that he posted to YouTube the next day that "It was just great to be nominated and at the show itself". The nominees for that category included fellow YouTubers iJustine, Charles Trippy, Lucas Cruikshank, best known for his Fred character, and singer Greyson Chance. Dawson was nominated for Choice Web Star in the 2011 Teen Choice Awards, but lost to Rebecca Black.

Year Category Award Result
2010 Best Vlogger The Streamy Awards Won
2010 Choice Web Star Teen Choice Awards Won
2011 Choice Web Star Teen Choice Awards Nominated
2017 Favorite YouTube Star People's Choice Awards Pending


  1. 1 2 Vultaggio, Maria (July 7, 2015). "Shane Dawson Comes Out As Bisexual In YouTube Video, Thanks Twitter Fans For Support". International Business Times. Retrieved July 7, 2015./
  2. "I Hate Myselfie by Shane Dawson - review". The Guardian. June 25, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  3. "Top 500 Youtubers by Subscribed". Social Blade LLC. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  4. "Shane Dawson TV". YouTube. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  5. "Original Music Videos". YouTube. July 14, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  6. "Music Video Spoofs". YouTube. December 1, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  7. "Shane and Friends". SoundCloud. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  8. "Shane and Friends". iTunes. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  9. "Not Cool". IMDb. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  10. "Shane Dawson thinks even people who hate his youtube videos will like his book". Variety. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  11. "It Gets Worse". Keyword Press.
  12. Dawson, Shane (March 5, 2011). "BORN THIS WAY in LONG BEACH!meow". YouTube. Retrieved March 6, 2011.
  13. "DRAW MY LIFE - Shane Dawson". YouTube. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  14. Shane Dawson (August 29, 2008). "YouTube Got Me Fired!". ShaneDawsonTV. YouTube. Retrieved October 8, 2010.
  15. "Shane Dawson's main YouTube channel". YouTube. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  16. Dalonzo, Michael (November 5, 2009). "Shane Dawson's Comedy Sketches on YouTube". Attack of the Show!. G4. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  17. Ewalt, David M. (February 2, 2010). "The Web Celeb 25". Forbes. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  18. "WIZARDS OF SD HIGH?!". YouTube. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  19. Shane Dawson (September 15, 2010). "Taylor Lautner In My Room?!". YouTube. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
  20. stirfryTV (September 25, 2010). "SHANE DAWSON in the YouTube Spotlight". YouTube. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
  21. ShaneDawsonTV (March 26, 2011). "Teens Gone Wild in "SD High"!". YouTube. Retrieved March 26, 2011.
  22. "Instagram". Instagram. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  23. "shane". YouTube. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  24. "SUPER SWEET 16 *SPOOF*!". YouTube. November 17, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  25. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  26. "Is Bieber Going To Jail!?". YouTube. February 5, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  27. ""F**K Up" Music Video By Shane Dawson". YouTube. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  28. "Wanna Make Love To You - Single". iTunes. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
  29. Rose, Lacey (November 12, 2013). "YouTube's Shane Dawson, 'Big C' Creator Team for Weight-Loss Comedy at NBC". The Hollywood Reporter.
  30. Video on YouTube
  31. "Shane Dawson on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  32. "Shane Dawson on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
  33. Nemetz, Dave. "'The Chair' Exclusive: Shane Dawson Reacts to Zachary Quinto Dissing His Movie". Yahoo TV. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  34. Spangler, Todd. "Shane Dawson Wins Starz 'The Chair' $250,000 Prize, But Not Everyone's Cool With It". Variety. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  35. "Shane Dawson Parody Pulled For Copyright Infringement? #shanedawsonsony". Retrieved March 28, 2015.
  36. Spangler, Todd. "Shane Dawson Thinks Even People Who Hate His YouTube Videos Will Like His Book". Variety. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  37. "It Gets Worse: Book by Shane Dawson". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  38. "It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson". Simon & Schuster Publishing. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  39. "We'Re Having Kids!!!". YouTube. November 29, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  40. "My Body Dysmorphia Disorder". Youtube.
  41. "INTERNET FAMOUS on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  42. "I Love You Wes Craven". YouTube.
  43. "2010 Teen Choice Awards winners announced". Entertainment Weekly. August 9, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2010. "The 2010 Streamty Awards Official winners". The Streamy Awards. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
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