In a message and video posted on Twitter and YouTube, respectively, Padilla thanked those who have supported him over the years, explaining that he had been considering an exit, describing it as “a passion that I have wanted to explore for a long time.”
Padilla formed Smosh 12 years ago as a YouTube channel with his high school buddy Ian Hecox.
“To all those that have followed Ian and I throughout the years, I will always be so grateful for the continued love and support,” he said. “As scary as this is, I am excited because I know that no matter what happens, I am following what’s true to me and what I’m passionate about. I hope to see you all on my journey.”
While Padilla didn’t say exactly what he planned to do, he said he supported Hecox and wished him well.
As of January, the Smosh channel had more than 6 billion video views and 22 million subscribers, making it the eighth most subscribed channel on YouTube.
Smosh owner and operator Defy Media assured the brand will continue. “Smosh has not only sustained its top-ranking position for more than a decade, it has expanded from its two co-founders to a global comedy empire with 14 cast members, 7 original channels counting over 70MM fans, and multiple product and programming extensions,” said Defy Media President Keith Richman in a statement. “The incredible team of talent and producers at Smosh has worked hard over the past decade to ensure that Smosh was more than a YouTube channel, but a meaningful brand with true longevity and are thrilled to have achieved this goal. We are excited for Anthony as he embarks on his next chapter and energized for what’s next for Ian and the full Smosh cast as we build on this incredible run and roll out more new programming and formats this year.”
Added Hecox: “Anthony and I have been friends for 19 years, and creative partners for the past 11 of those years. Throughout that time, we’ve built a comedy brand we’re so proud of and, side by side, developed content we loved – Smosh wouldn’t be what it is today without his contributions. As Anthony moves on to pursue new creative endeavors, myself and everyone at Smosh are excited to see what he does next. I’m really looking forward to taking Smosh to the next phase, and we can’t wait for people to see what we have coming up.”
Here is Padilla’s Twitter message.
And here is Padilla’s video explaining his exit.