The Key Of Awesome (formerly Barely Productions and formerly Barely Political) is a YouTube channel that produces comedy videos starring writer/performers Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, Bryan Olsen, and director Tom Small. The most popular series on the channel is called "The Key of Awesome," which makes music viral videos and parodies, which was created by Mark Douglas and Ben Relles. Barely Political was created in June 2007 by founder Ben Relles and debuted its presence on the internet in the music video "I Got a Crush...on Obama", starring Amber Lee "Obama Girl" Ettinger and created by Ben Relles and Jake Chudnow. Videos on the YouTube channel have been seen over 2.6 billion times online. "The Key of Awesome" has become the central identity of the channel.
Barely Productions has created numerous videos featuring many political aspects, including the military, news media, and also inviting some of the 2008 presidential candidates to be featured in a video, including former Senator Mike Gravel.
In October 2007 Barely Political, as it was at the time, was bought by Next New Networks, for an unknown amount, which in turn was acquired by YouTube in spring 2011. Herb Scannell, co-founder and CEO of Next New Networks, stated, "With BarelyPolitical, we've added a team that can grow our reach to a very important audience — one that likes their politics with a healthy serving of humor — timed perfectly with the upcoming 2008 election season."
Barely Productions videos are mainly directed by Tom Small and feature writing and performances by Mark Douglas, Todd Womack, Doug Larsen, Anastasia Douglas and Bryan Olsen and occasionally appearances by Andrea Feczko, Lauren Francesca and Michael Stevens.
In 2014 the Barely Productions YouTube Channel was listed on New Media Rockstars Top 100 Channels, ranked at #29.
In addition to its popular Barely Productions sketches, the comedy group has multiple web series they post on their YouTube channel.
When asked about the video by the Des Moines Register on June 18, 2007, Obama said, "It's just one more example of the fertile imagination of the Internet. More stuff like this will be popping up all the time." Obama told the Associated Press that the Obama Girl video had upset his daughters and said, "You do wish people would think about what impact their actions have on kids and families."
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