When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, plenty of people got creative to overcome the isolation that came with lockdowns and quarantines. As most of the global population stayed at home, everyone moved their communications and interactions online.
An elderly gentleman from Clearfield, Utah, however, went a step further. He went on social media, and this grandpa’s YouTube channel showed him doing things he would normally be doing with his grandkids.
‘Grandpa Reads the Comics’ is exactly what it is. Craig Hansen loves to read the comics to his children and grandchildren but was prevented from doing so because of the pandemic. So, in May 2020, he used social media to maintain connections with his family as well as reach out to others who, at a time of extreme difficulty, may need a grandfather like him.
The kind grandpa’s YouTube channel describes the creator as someone who can play the banjo, ukulele, piano, and ping pong. Hansen says he’s not really good at all of them, but his skills were certainly good enough for a grandpa.
‘Grandpa Reads the Comics‘ features Hansen doing ordinary things – such as playing the piano, dancing, or making a smoothie – coupled with entertaining jokes, thoughtful advice, and heartfelt reflections on life.
As thoughtful and lovely as the grandpa’s YouTube channel may be, it was understandably overlooked in the veritable ocean of available social media channels one can find on the internet.
Uploaded videos had few views with only 200 subscribers, and there had been no new posts in over a year. All that changed, however, after a stranger saw the channel and in an act of kindness, encouraged his own followers to check it out.
He shared that he discovered that the videos all ended with a positive message for the audience. He then asked his 155,000 followers to convince Grandpa Reads the Comics to return.
The online response was simply phenomenal – Grandpa Reads the Comics gained over 180,000 subscribers in two days.
New subscribers immediately rushed to the channel’s most recent video, which was published in September 2021. It showed Hansen sharing a “Dennis the Menace” comic as well as positive affirmations and advice for his followers.
Thousands of people left comments beneath the upload, praising the elderly gentleman for his words of wisdom, and imploring him to resume the videos.
Just a day after, the elderly YouTuber returned to the channel in a YouTube short, which was originally filmed for his TikTok account where he now has 78,800 followers.
In the video, he thanked all his new fans “and all the new friends we have,” and promised to make a new video every day. In a follow-up video also posted to TikTok, he directly responded to the growth of his YouTube channel and expressed his appreciation to his new followers and said, “you’ve like, breathed life into this old man.”
Caetano’s Instagram post has since generated over 2 million likes and around 7,000 comments, many stating that they had subscribed to grandpa’s YouTube channel.
After this unexpected shoutout, Grandpa Reads the Comics now boasts over 490,00 subscribers and features 545 videos.
Caetano’s post may be a bit random, but this isn’t the first time that he has helped shine a spotlight on little-known content creators. @karvetv has posted multiple videos asking his followers to watch and support Twitch streamers with little to no viewers.
Asked why he helps unknown content creators, Caetano said, “I truly do get joy from what I do. There’s honestly no better feeling than helping someone else out.”
After the grandpa’s YouTube channel skyrocketed to fame, Hansen appeared in an Instagram video with @karvetv where he showed appreciation for the Instagrammer and the attention he’d brought to his channel.
He said, “If there was a Mount Rushmore of people that have helped my life, you’d be on my Mouth Rushmore, buddy.”
Caetano also shared his sentiments regarding the support for ‘Grandpa Reads the Comics’ and posted, “We truly have the most loving community on the planet. You guys don’t understand how much every one of you means to me, the amount of lives we change in a group effort is more than beautiful, the simple act of stopping by their pages for even a minute and pressing a few buttons makes all the difference.
“Let’s continue to grow a kind community to consistently do amazing things for the wonderful human beings who deserve it,” he added.
It can be a challenge to navigate social media, but there is a lot of wholesome positive content out there, that fortunately get a bit more mileage with the kind support of social media champions.
So, if you need a dose grandfatherly humor and wisdom in your life, then Grandpa Reads the Comics might just be the channel for you.