GradeAUnderA (short for Grade A Under Achiever, commonly referred to as Grade) is a British comedian most well known on YouTube for his satirical rants and commentary on a diverse variety of issues. He kept his real identity anonymous (until his 2 million subscribers special) and uses drawn characters dubbed Grade and Under to show expressions and actions in his videos.
Early lifeBefore YouTube, he was studying to be a teacher, but the person overseeing the training was in GradeAUnderA's words "as competent as a teacher as I am as an animator." He was a sixth form mathematics teacher, but was fired from his job; however he states that he is still in the education sector. He studied mathematics at Imperial College London for four years. He has stated in his video Awkward Situations that he is about 28 years old.
Youtube careerGrade's first upload was made on March 23, 2013; but for over a year gained barely any views. His first video to gain notice was reportedly the video "Girly Drinks vs Manly Drinks". Though it had been uploaded on April 8, 2013; the video went generally unnoticed until it was noted in a popular Reddit subforum /r/videos, where it gained nearly 3000 upvotes. This overnight following led to Grade to continue creating YouTube videos and slowly grow in popularity. He began uploading videos in a similar style where he would talk about things that angered him, colloquially known as "rant videos". By November 2015, he had reached about 200,000 subscribers. As of May 2016, he has over 2 million subscribers, and is halfway to reaching his goal of $10K(USD) in his patreon account.
On October 10, 2015, GradeAUnderA published a video about a YouTube key function, which received over 2 million views and was written about by Metro and The Daily Dot. According to Vice he was nominated for best YouTuber of 2015 by Reddit.
The videos often contain strong language and usually end with a short instrumental section of The Laughing Policeman by Charles Penrose.
On January 16, 2016 he uploaded a video in which he criticized Nicole Arbour and what he viewed as her unscrupulous pursuit of fame. This video went viral and gained him a large amount of attention. He has become a strong critic of the popular genre of reaction videos. These videos, according to Grade, repeatedly get away with breaking copyright laws. A genre of YouTube channels he has "ranted" over are "Prank" channels, and he has so far made three videos on this topic debunking their rise in popularity. More recently, he has made a two-part video series titled, "Everything Wrong with YouTube" where he talks about YouTube's Community Guidelines and copyright infringement and how they are enforced on YouTube. At the end of this video, he starts the "#MakeYouTubeGreatAgain" movement (a parody of Donald Trump's Make America Great Again campaign) and shows a clip of YouTube's CEO, Susan Wojcicki talking to an audience about how the YouTube community does a good job about bringing wrongful things to their attention and therefore uses this by informing his fans that they should tweet her the video and bring it to her attention so she can "Make YouTube Great Again". Around one week later, Susan responded and is currently trying to meet Grade's expectations. However, #MakeYouTubeGreatAgain is still floating through the comments of popular videos until they see progress. He had, in the past, similarly made a video about Ray William Johnson plagiarizing content. He has further accused YouTubers Tyrone Magnus and Matthew Santoro of plagiarism and copyright infringement.
On May 15, 2016, GradeAUnderA in his video titled "How To Find Any Songs Name", he revealed a picture of his face for his 2,000,000 subscriber milestone.
As for plans for the future, he has said he "would love to be able to make a completely separate math channel where I teach math for ages up to about age 16." He acts as a maths tutor for Akash, Nima and Shayan in his spare time.
Grade's amount of subscribers had risen to 500,000 by January 2016, and to his first million by February as one of the fastest growing YouTubers of 2016 so far. He has so far reached upwards of 1,850,000 subscribers, as of April 2016, and 2,000,000 subscribers as of May, 2016. As of April 2016, he is making upwards of $5,000(~£3400) a month from his Patreon page.
Grade's content is formatted in a way that splits each point about the topic into subsections. While he does present his real opinions, it is often done humorously and hyperbolically. He uses two crudely drawn characters, dubbedGrade and Under to show expressions and actions. He makes his videos using Microsoft Paint, Windows Movie Maker, audio recorded from his Samsung Galaxy S2, and occasionally OBS. His channel is according to his own words ran on a "zero budget". He has a second channel, GradeBUnderB, which is a backup channel and has 121,823 subscribers, as of May 17, 2016, despite there being no videos on the channel.