Ethan Klein is the man behind H3H3 and is a popular commentary YouTuber-turned-podcast host that’s consistently been a big name in and around the gaming community. While Klein is currently known for his political takes and high-profile dramas, he used to be known for beanies, his comedy skits produced with his wife, and his vaping.
So who really is Klein, and why did his content shift so significantly? Here is a rundown of Klein’s wild content creation career.
Ethan Klein was born in California on June 24, 1985. He studied English at the University of California but experienced a lot of anxiety during that time. This led Klein to take part in the Birthright program, a free trip to Israel offered to Jewish teens and young adults. That’s where Klein met his wife Hila Hacmon.
Klein is said to be 5’11” and to weigh close to 200 pounds, but his weight fluctuates.
Ethan Klein and his wife Hila Hacmon moved to California once Hacmon was done with her time in the Israel Defense Forces. They started a YouTube channel called H3H3 as well as the H3 Podcast. Klein’s early videos were comedic takes on social trends, including his famous “Vape Nation” video that has over 28 million views.
Many of Klein’s antics have earned him icon status in the streaming and gaming communities. His “triggered” face has become one of the most popular memes and GIFS under a search for “triggered.” This is thanks to his hot takes as well as his trademark coughing and purposeful double chin.
While most of Klein’s antics were quite humorous, such as meeting up with DJ Khaled to eat McDonalds, there were definitely times when his commentary turned to straight up drama. The first well-known example is when Klein made a video calling out Leafy for mocking an autistic YouTuber. Leafy’s fans called Klein a “backstabber” for not standing up for his then-friend, even after Leafy apologized.
Sometimes Klein’s commentary rubbed its subjects the wrong way. This was the case with Matt Hosseinzadeh, a YouTuber who decided to sue Klein over a reaction video that included clips from Hosseinzadeh’s channel. Other YouTubers came together to support Klein, with Phillip De Franco even creating a GoFundMe to help Ethan and Hila with the legal costs.
The following year, the Kleins won the lawsuit. They donated the money raised in the GoFundMe to an escrow account to help protect fair use.
Not many people are fans of Daniel “Keemstar” Keem, including Klein. He uploaded a critical video on Keemstar, accusing the DramaAlert host of mocking mental illness, making racist statements, and throwing around serious allegations against potentially innocent people without concern about the consequences.
In the video, Klein questioned why the energy drink G-Fuel would still sponsor someone who behaves this way. In response, Keemstar announced that his partnership with G-Fuel had ended. This led a lot of people to criticize Klein for going after Keemstar’s income. But others felt Klein had only brought up the brand’s integrity.
H3H3 and Keemstar went back and forth for a while, calling each other out and responding to allegations.
The drama with Trisha Paytas has been a long one. In 2019, Ethan Klein uploaded a video that criticized social media photos being heavily edited. One of the people he made fun of in the video was Paytas. In response, the controversial content creator called Klein a “bully” and urged Hila to divorce him “ASAP.”
But Klein wasn’t done just yet. Later in 2019, Paytas posted a video called, “I Am Transgender.” Klein commented on the situation on the H3 Podcast, calling Paytas “insane.” Paytas responded that Klein was shaming her for her mental health. They appeared on Klein’s podcast a few weeks later.
This wound up being the beginning of one of social media’s most-talked-about collaborations. The Kleins hosted a reality TV show knockoff called “The Bachelorette” to try and find Paytas a partner, which resulted in Paytas flirting with Hila’s brother Moses. The two started dating after the show and even got engaged.
In September 2020, Paytas and Klein started co-hosting the Frenemies podcast. Despite the two controversial hosts having constantly had beef prior, the podcast was well-received. It had 39 episodes but ended after nine months when Paytas stated they were leaving the podcast.
In a YouTube video discussing their choice, Paytas said she didn’t like some of Klein’s decisions about the show’s revenue and production. The feud became ugly again, with Paytas throwing out accusations at Klein. But she later apologized. Klein didn’t accept the apology, accusing Paytas of trying to ruin his life and reputation.
After the Paytas drama died off, Klein announced a political podcast called Leftovers. He further announced political streamer Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker as his co-host.
“The spirit of this show is not serious policy debate. It’s bringing righteous justice to these s— bags and clowning on idiots,” H3H3 said at the time of the announcement.
Leftovers has been getting steady views. The second episode has almost 1 million views on YouTube and the third episode is sitting at just under 900,000. Viewers have commended Klein for overcoming the drama and others have applauded the show for its generally healthy and fun debates.