Home Opinion A love letter to Jerma985, the Internet’s favorite e-clown

A love letter to Jerma985, the Internet’s favorite e-clown


Jeremy Elbertson, known professionally as Jerma985, is a professional ax-dodger and eater of shoes and gloves. He once won over a billion dollars from gambling and spent it all on limes. He’s also a video game live streamer on the popular website Twitch.tv.

Jerma’s been creating content on the internet for well over a decade, starting out by recording himself playing Team Fortress 2 and uploading the footage to YouTube. My brother showed me one of his videos sometime in elementary school, and I remember liking Jerma’s friend and fellow content creator Star_ more than him. 

However, as the years went by, I found myself watching more and more of Jerma’s content, and I really began to like him more than any of his contemporaries. And today, a solid decade after I first watched one of his videos, Jerma remains my absolute favorite content creator on the internet.

His humor and personality is completely unmatched by any other livestreamer or YouTuber. He doesn’t follow typical content-creating conventions, instead choosing to do his own thing.

Remember when I said he eats shoes and gloves? That wasn’t entirely a joke. Jerma once said, very confidently, that Sans, a character from the game Undertale, was never going to be added to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. If Sans were added, however, Jerma promised his audience that he would eat a shoe.

Of course, as jinxing things go, Sans was added to Super Smash Bros., and Jerma is a man of his word. It wasn’t a real shoe, though; his mom baked a shoe-shaped cake for him to eat. Still, he kept his promise and technically ate a shoe for his fans. A similar situation happened with the glove. Jerma was convinced that the Three Stooges would be added to Fortnite, and that if they weren’t added to the game by April 23, 2022, he would eat a glove on stream. Again, he was wrong, and his mom baked a glove-shaped cake that he ate on stream.

No one was actually forcing him to eat anything; Jerma ate the glove and shoe simply because he said he would, and because he thought it would be funny. 

Brittanica.com describes clowns as engaging in “ludicrous antics” and “buffoonery” to induce laughter, and Jerma has described himself as being an “e-clown” a number of times. Jerma has absolutely no problem making himself the butt of the joke. From eating articles of clothing to building a computer by putting pepper on the motherboard and vaseline on everything else, he presents himself as being ludicrous. His humor and antics are so absurd that you can’t help but laugh. Jerma does things that nobody would have any conceivable reason to do, but he does them to make himself and others laugh.

Jerma hosted his own carnival on stream, complete with ring toss, cotton candy machines, and a dunk tank, with his viewers as the attendees. But they weren’t there physically; they were still watching at home on their computers.  Jerma had hired someone to create a machine that was controlled by messages viewers typed into the chat. By typing certain inputs, viewers could aim the machine and shoot rings and baseballs in order to play the various games that Jerma set up.

In the Nevada desert, Jerma streamed himself digging for rocks and buried treasure. He flew in on a hot air balloon and dug into the ground using an actual excavator. He even brought in a real geologist from the Science Center Nevada, who promptly told Jerma that digging for rocks is geology, and not archaeology. After digging up some geodes and a treasure chest filled with trading cards from an obscure brand called “Grotto Beasts,” he went to a pawn shop and attempted to sell his findings in order to buy gold. The cashier told them that everything he dug up was essentially worthless, and he stood to make absolutely nothing.

But by far his most ambitious project to date is the Dollhouse stream. If you have ever played the Sims (or just know what it is), the Dollhouse stream was essentially that in a real-life studio set, with Jerma as the Sim and his viewers as the player. His viewers made him livestream on the toilet, shower in front of a stranger, cheat on a hired maid (that viewers made him have an affair with) with the Grim Reaper, and have him run around his bathroom wearing a cape and making airplane noises while periodically stopping to cry. He also got thrown out of a window.

Of course, there is so much more to Jerma’s mythos than the examples I gave, but that roller coaster goes on for over a decade. 

Jerma is erratic and unpredictable. His live streams are usually just him playing video games, but that can change at any moment. You never know what he’s going to do next, what joke he’s going to make, or what’ll trigger a minutes-long rant about something really specific. You don’t even know if he’s going to play the game with how easily he gets sidetracked. Jerma remains fresh in my mind even after a decade of watching him because he’s always evolving and changing, perfecting his craft as an e-clown.

Unlike clowns, though, Jerma does not follow a structure. Much of the content on the internet is formulaic and structured. Generally, when people play a game, they play the game, with no off-topic tangents, bits, or jokes. It’s predictable, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are many content creators that I watch who follow some type of formula, such as videogamedunkey or Ssethtzeentach, but Jerma never does. Jerma’s streams can take a drastic turn, from him just playing some detective game to him using streaming software to give himself a mustache and enlarge his eyes, mouth, and ears while lip syncing to “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen.  You never know what Jerma will do next. You know he’s going to do something crazy, but you never know when, keeping you engaged and entertained even through an hours-long live stream of him painting houses.

Jerma’s not worried about money or fame; he just wants to entertain and have fun doing it. He’s authentic and unapologetically himself, pushing the envelope because it’ll make him laugh and might make someone somewhere laugh. Jerma’s a breath of fresh air in a landscape dominated by influencers so concerned with money or making a name for themselves that they stick to a rigid, unchanging formula and forget to just have fun with what they do.

This is more or less a love letter to Jerma. He’s heavily influenced my own sense of humor and made me laugh no matter what was going on in my life. Not many people are so willing to make themselves seem insane the way he is just to elicit a laugh from complete strangers. He’s not actually insane, though. It’s just a character he plays. Still, it can be really hard to tell when he’s joking and when he’s absolutely serious. He blurs the line between reality and fantasy so effortlessly that, even after being a longtime fan of his, I still find myself thinking, “What did I just watch?” after his streams. It can be hard to believe that he’s even a real person, but I think that’s what makes him the internet’s favorite e-clown.

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OHS Senior, first and only year on staff


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