Part of a series on YouTube shows that don’t suck.
Geography Now! came out of nowhere. In 2014, Paul Barbato just showed up on YouTube and started making profiles on every recognized sovereign state in alphabetical order– though the name change of Swaziland to Eswatini has forced him to interrupt that order for the first time. After four years, he’s gotten slightly more than halfway through the countries, covering each one’s political geography, physical geography, demographics, and the Friend Zone (elaborating on each country’s historical, economic, and political ties to other states).
In addition to the regular show, Barbato has introduced several spinoffs: Flag/Fan Friday, in which he discusses the particulars of each country’s flag, coat of arms, and national symbols at length, makes corrections to the most recent episodes, and reads some truly epic amount of fan mail. The creation of his show has also enabled him to travel extensively for work (at least once on the dime and request of the host country), including the hosting of geography bees, and these are called Geography Go!
While Barbato remains the host and main writer for the show, Geography Now! has expanded to include a coterie of actors, artists, and random friends, some of which have become fan favorites (such as the taller, handsomer Noah, or stoner stereotype Luke). While the show is obviously intended to be kid-friendly, the largest audience for the show are actually in their 20s, a rarity for YouTube.
Despite constantly mining humor from the inevitable controversy of discussing geopolitics, Geography Now! has proven astonishingly uncontroversial. This is a program that managed to handle Israel without causing a stir, the only big beef he ever received was from notably non-Libyan tankies who got mad at him for not glorifying Muammar Gaddafi.