Here's Why Anthony Padilla Left Smosh and the Exciting New Ventures He Has Taken Up

Allison Cacich - Author

Oct. 13 2023, Updated 11:18 a.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Anthony Padilla built Smosh alongside Ian Hecox.
  • In 2017, Anthony left Smosh for personal reasons.
  • Roughly six years after leaving Smosh, Anthony and Ian bought it back (woo-hoo!).
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It has been nearly six years since Anthony Padilla originally left Smosh, the YouTube franchise he helped build with Ian Hecox. Why did he leave Smosh? That's the million-dollar question we've finally found the answer to!

At the time, the Sacramento native told fans that he wanted to pursue an independent career following his success with the sketch comedy brand, which included five separate channels when he split from the group in 2017. Have his solo ventures been successful? Here's what we know about Anthony's departure and the exciting endeavors he has taken on since.

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Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox attend 'Smosh: The Movie' premiere.
Source: Getty Images

Why did Anthony leave Smosh?

The internet celebrity announced his decision to step back from Smosh in June 2017, admitting that he thought the enterprise was becoming more restricted.

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"I had to come to terms with the fact that Smosh being part of a company has put all of my creative decisions through a filter of what’s appropriate for the Smosh brand as deemed by the company," he explained in a YouTube video. "I need to feel that happiness [of creative freedom] again."

Still, Anthony had nothing but love for his co-founder, who he met in sixth grade. "I’m so sad to see this chapter of my life coming to a close, but I will continue to support Ian and wish nothing but the best for him and the brand we created together," the influencer shared in a statement.

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"As I begin this adventure, I am excited to return to a feeling that I felt many years ago: a rush of adrenaline following a new and exciting idea."

Since Anthony’s exit, Smosh has continued on without him thanks to Ian’s leadership and a dedicated cast that includes Courtney Miller, Damien Haas, and Shayne Topp.

Joshua Ovenshire, David Moss, Sarah Whittle, Damien Haas, Ian Hecox, Courtney Miller, and Shayne Topp at the NERF Challenge in 2019.
Source: Getty Images
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What is Anthony Padilla doing now?

The comedian’s gamble appears to have paid off seeing that he has been able to work consistently in film and television after parting ways with Smosh.

In 2019, Anthony began hosting the talk show, Throw Back with Nickelodeon, in which he interviewed former Nick stars about their experiences on the sets of popular series like All That, Kenan & Kel, and iCarly.

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The social media star also flexed his acting muscles to voice a character in the 2019 animated feature, The Angry Birds Movie 2, and had a part in Keanu Reeves’s John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. His personal YouTube channel, which was started in 2006, currently has 7.55 million subscribers.

In addition to scoring movie roles, Anthony uses his TikTok account to showcase the exciting interviews he hosts regularly. The Smosh founder has had the pleasure of sitting down with the popular influencer Michael Reeves, vocalist Oliver Tree, and the hilarious Brittany Broski to name a few.

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As for the actor’s friendship with Ian, the duo may not be as close as they once were, but they still have a lot of respect for one another. On the 14th anniversary of their very first YouTube video, Anthony wrote, "We were 18 years old and had no idea what this platform was capable of or what it’d become.

"I’m incredibly proud of what these two little emo boys created together and I’m honored to have been a part of YouTube history," he added.

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Anthony Padilla attending the 2022 YouTube Streamy Awards
Source: Getty Images

Ian also marked the occasion, noting, "I sure am glad it worked out for the both of us, and helped, inspired, and employed so many other people along the way."

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Is Smosh coming back?

On June 20, 2023, it was announced that Anthony and Ian bought back Smosh! Mythical, another content duo, bought the Smosh brand four years ago. Now, it's back in the hands of the original creators. We don't yet know the exact financial details of the deal, but Mythical will be keeping a minority stake in the company, according to Variety.

"Thank you for how you welcomed Smosh and their millions of fans into our community with open arms," Mythical said in a tweet.

According to Variety, the decision from Anthony and Ian was rather spontaneous. Now, the pair are back to creating their signature comedic videos. While Mythical is keeping a financial stake, a tweet from a member of the Smosh team, Courtney Miller, revealed that Anthony and Ian are in "full control of this incredible comedy brand."

“I really want to return to our roots, and part of that is owning the company so we can really take Smosh in any creative direction,” Anthony told Variety.

You can catch up with the Smosh founders as new content drops regularly on their YouTube channel.

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