Half of the iconic YouTube personality duo Dan and Phil, Daniel Howell has recently broken out on his own on a solo global comedy tour. The tour, titled “We’re All Doomed!”, is themed around the apocalyptic and impending end of the world.
The announcement of this new tour came as a huge surprise to Howell’s audience, as it came after a nearly four-year-long hiatus.
After doing two live tours with the other half of the Dan and Phil duo, Phil Lester, in 2016 and 2018 and a total rebrand in 2017 from “danisnotonfire” to “Daniel Howell,” Howell’s refrain from regularly posting content from June of 2018 to May of 2022 took regular viewers of his channel by surprise.
After a YouTube career spanning over a decade, this prolonged and unannounced break from posting content reflected a notable turning point in Howell’s career as a content creator. Starting at the end of August of 2022, he began posting a new style of content, a YouTube show titled “Dystopia Daily.” This new content features themes and a comedic style very similar to the “We’re All Doomed!” tour that Howell is currently performing all over the world.
The tour features a solo stand-up comedy set that is about an hour and thirty minutes long, divided into two 45 minute sections.
The comedy featured throughout the show is in Howell’s signature style of self-depreciation in combination with commentary about current events and the state of the world. Though, the theming of the tour does lend itself to a heavier leaning into cultural commentary than some of his other content.
The atmosphere of this tour contrasts with his previous two live comedy tours that were done in collaboration with Lester, which focused mostly on a specific culture that had been developed within their joint audience. While the content Howell presents in “We’re All Doomed!” certainly would be best understood and enjoyed by previous fans of his, the comedy does not rely on an understanding of his library of content to enjoy.
In addition to political overtones, the show touches on a variety of darker topics that Howell has become somewhat known for covering extensively throughout his online presence.
After coming out as gay officially in a 45-minute long video essay on June 13, 2019, Howell has become a significant contributing voice to digital and real life conversation surrounding sexuality. Howell touches on this topic similarly to the way he does in his recently posted online content, discussing the impact that feeling the need to hide his sexuality growing up impacted his mental health and contributed to his struggles to connect with others.
His struggles with mental health, the theme of his 2021 book “You Will Get Through This Night,” was another overarching theme of his comedy set. He draws parallels between the psychological impact of the climate crisis and the toll that depression takes on those who struggle with it, connecting the theme of his comedy tour to his anecdotes.
In addition to the advertised stand up comedy, sections where Howell “gets deep” and provides the audience a glimpse inside the personal growth that he has experienced since entering the public eye through YouTube are dispersed throughout the show, maintaining the darker tone employed throughout his new era of content. The topic of these monologues ranged from the climate crisis, to the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on his (and others’) mental health, to coming to terms with his sexuality, to the reality of life as a content creator over a decade after first joining the YouTube platform.
While the comedy presented by Howell in his “We’re All Doomed Tour!” seems at first to be very similar to his library of YouTube content from the last decade in terms of topics and comedy style, his show reflects a distinct maturity and growth that was developed during his several year hiatus.
The comedy featured throughout the show uses Dan’s signature style of utilizing dark comedy in order to discuss heavy topics in a meaningful, effective and entertaining way — the same way that captivated his fans all those years ago.