The original look of Equals Three.

The Equals Three Show (formerly known as Equals Three) (stylized as "=3") was a YouTube web series which was famously hosted by Ray William Johnson until mid March 2014. The show returned on July 16th, 2014 and was hosted by Robby Motz. After Ray left, the show's popularity began to decline and it really declined when Kaja Martin took over as host on July 28, 2015.

Also around this time, Ray began Equals Three Studios, which forced the show's name to be changed from "Equals Three" to "The Equals Three Show". On December 4th, 2015, she was replaced by Carlos Santos. Carlos decided that rather than reviewing three videos in two episodes a week, he would review six videos in one long episode that would air on Fridays.

The show premiered on Fridays on the Ray William Johnson channel, but it used to be on Tuesdays and Fridays when only three videos were reviewed. The show hasn't made any new episodes since 2016. The most recent new episode was uploaded on May 13, 2016.


The title card of Equals Three 2.0

Content Edit

Each episode is usually 5 minutes long, and consists of the following:

  • A greeting
  • Viral Videos (x3 separated by transitions)
    • Contextualization of video
    • Playback
    • Initial Reaction
    • Mockery
    • Repeated playback and/or dubbing
  • Comment Question of the Day (now discontinued)
  • Credits
  • Miscellaneous announcements and updates (occasionally)
  • Outtakes/Replay (occasionally) 

Episodes Edit

Main article: List of episodes

Season 1–3 (2009–2011) Edit

These episodes were all hosted by Ray William Johnson in his college dorm room.

Season 4–5 (Equals Three 2.0) (2012–2013) Edit

Around mid-way through the season, Ray and Maker Studios get into a dispute, resulting in Ray temporarily hosting Equals Three from his apartment. A few weeks later, the show receives it's first major update with a new studio and look dubbed by fans, "Equals Three 2.0"

Equals Three 2.0 is the name given to the improved and revamped Equals Three show, which is now produced by Ray's studio Runaway Planet and in conjuction with Julian Smith's studio Papertown. There are numerous noticeable changes to the show.

There is no longer "Cool Transitions". Now, the camera pans away from Ray, revealing a comic book strip, and zooms in onto another frame to transition. However, the record spin sound is still played as it transitions. These comic book strips also surround the videos that are being reviewed. Also, there is a new title card for the show.

Including higher quality visuals, the background is blurred while Ray is clear. The camera appears to be lower than he is and at an angle upward, meaning that Ray has to stoop slightly. Although, a few months later that was fixed and the camera is now at his eye-level.

Finally, due to the team of staff that now help Ray produce the show, there are credits that roll at the end of each episode while a techno-like beat plays. Credits were featured when Ray worked with Maker Studios, though they eventually stopped being put in. According to Ray, its current format is the way that he always wanted his show to be.

Notes Edit

In the episode So Long Ray, he announced that he was going to record the Your Favorite Martian album and that there would be guest hosts for the six weeks. Little did we know, that would be the last =3 episode with Ray partnered with Maker Studios.

In the episode WORLD'S GREATEST NINJA, Ray returns to =3, but is now filming in his apartment as he is no longer with Maker Studios.

The episode How to Approach Women is the last =3 episode under the original Equals Three.

In the episode Equals Three 2.0, Equals Three 2.0 begins.

Season 7 (Equals Three 3.0) (2015) Edit

Season 8 (2016) Edit

The 2016 season was hosted by Carlos Santos and it premiered January 1st, 2016 with BEST OF YOUTUBE // week 4 - December 2015. For the first three months, it followed the new "Equals Six/Best of YouTube" format, which had a new episode being released each Friday. On March 15, 2016, Carlos decided to revert to the classic "Equals Three" format, which had three videos reviewed in one episode and an episode was released on Tuesday and Friday.

Production Edit

Pre-Production Edit

The host reviews videos he discovers either personally or through a user and usually keeps up-to-date by immediately broadcasting exceptionally viral videos in the following episode. However, more than once has he reviewed older, lesser-known videos he wishes to share.

During "pre-production" the host selects the videos and writes a script revolving around the three which may or may not be relevant to each other.

Ray has been aided officially in the writing of the episodes since his moving to Los Angeles by Phil Haney, Steve Greene, Martin Silbermintz, Erin Schmalfeld and Ilana Cohn.

Production Edit

Shooting of Equals Three episodes has nearly always taken place at Ray's home by himself. It is shot generally inside, like in his first living room, in his New York City bedroom and in his Los Angeles apartment though on rare occasions they have been shot outside. Filming has transitioned in his later episodes to a Los Angeles studio.

At first simple, vlog-like productions, Equals Three episodes have been improved with time as Ray introduced the Watchmen wallpaper for example and then used superior lighting as well as upgraded video and audio recording hardware. Current episodes are available in 720p.

Post-Production Edit

Post-production (mainly editing) of Equals Three episodes is what has evolved the most since the start of the show. At first edited by himself, Ray gave up editing to Brandon Perna since his moving to Los Angeles. But because of Brandon being apart of Maker Studios, Justin Johns now edits his videos.

Style Edit

Originally the show was fast-paced with Ray speaking quickly while developing his thoughts and including only some puns for comedic value. The hectic pace gradually slowed down in regards to the international audience Ray gathered and nowadays the host emphasizes more on simply mocking or reacting to the content instead of speaking his mind.

Since the very beginning, Ray interacted indirectly with videos and reused the content in the context of the show in order to repeat a joke or underline a point. This manipulation of reviewed videos is more present in the latest episodes although now used near-exclusively for comedic effect.

From a cinematographic point of view, Equals Three has only very slightly changed since its debut in 2008. The camera is always fixed while Ray is sitting (in earlier episodes) or standing (in later episodes and currently) in front and facing the camera. He utilizes the jump cut method and leans left or right for each shot.

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