It’s the end of an Internet era.
He explained his reason for ending the show, which still gets millions of views per video, to his loyal subscribers in one last 14-minute post.
“This show isn’t fulfilling me creatively anymore, and I have to move on,” he explained. “I mean, really, the only satisfaction I get doing this these days is that I get to entertain and interact with you, which by the way, has been an incredible experience.”
Johnson first announced that he wanted to quit “=3” last December, but he didn’t reveal the final end date until Sunday. He told his audience that he had outgrown writing jokes about viral videos and making “=3” “no longer feels gratifying.”
After 5 years and 400 something episodes, it finally comes to an end. pic.twitter.com/6aLrXqpoSn
— Ray William Johnson (@RayWJ) March 9, 2014
Johnson had his own slew of problems with “=3” over the past couple years. After parting ways with Maker Studios in October 2012, he filed a lawsuit against the company for not returning ownership of his channel’s AdSense account.
Johnson is already working on other projects. He runs a successful podcast that’s “in the top 10 percent,” has run other popular web series and music ventures, is getting a graphic novel published later this year. He also sold a show to FX that may make it to TV.
However, “=3” itself isn’t ending. That was Johnson’s original plan, but after getting pushback from his fans, he’s planning to shut down the show long enough to find a new host, producer, and writer—jobs he did himself.
Johnson may be leaving, but the show must go on.
Photo via RayWilliamJohnson/YouTube