Vine King Thomas Sanders Wins 1st-Ever YouTube Honor At 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Viral star Thomas Sanders has officially made the transition from Vine alum to YouTube great, thanks to a big, early win from this year’s Shorty Awards.

Mashable is reporting that the 27-year-old singer, songwriter, and occasional stage performer (Ultimate Storytime, Heathers) picked up his first major trophy related to the video-sharing site, Best YouTube Comedian, three days ahead of Sunday’s scheduled ceremony.

Speaking from New York, where Sanders flew out to attend the celebratory gathering with close friends and fellow YouTube personalities Ben J. Pierce and Dodie Clark, the Florida native couldn’t help to have a bit of an emotional reaction to the news of his big Shortys win.


“This was quite a way to start my day,” Thomas exclaimed on Twitter early Thursday afternoon.

“I love you all [so much] for making this possible!”

Thanks to the Shorty Awards’ fan-voting process, Sanders’ dedicated collective, often referred to as “Fanders,” helped the man of the hour to best several longtime YouTube content creators for the big prize, including TimothyDeLaGhetto, now a recurrent player on MTV’s Wild’n’Out with Nick Cannon, and the aforementioned Pierce, a musical artist who often collaborates with Thomas.

Incidentally, Ben, along with Clark, met up with Sanders for some fierce, fashionable fun on the very same day that Thomas became a YouTube Shortys winner.


Gregory Galant, the CEO of Muck Rack and co-founder of the Shorty Awards, recently noted how the Shorty Awards expanded their categories to allow burgeoning talents like Thomas to get their proper due.

“The growth of the Shorty Awards is a sign of how vibrant the internet is for talented creatives, and a reminder of how important their work is,” he relayed to Mashable.

thomas sanders shorty awards
The Shorty Awards have deemed Vine alum Thomas Sanders, this year's Best YouTube Comedian. [Image by Thomas Sanders/Instagram]

A biographical paragraph on Thomas life on the official Shorty Awards website seems to mirror Galant’s intent regarding most nominees.

“One of the foremost stars of all time on Vine,” the site shares, “Thomas Sanders took his hysterical six-second videos and expanded the content for his new life on YouTube, with an already-impressive 1.5 [million] subscribers.”

Thomas has since amassed an additional 2 million subscribers on his YouTube profile, adding to the nearly 440,000 who watch him on Twitter and the 1.3 million who follow his Instagram account.

“With his quick-witted videos, Thomas is quickly becoming as popular on YouTube as he was on Vine.”

Gallant went on to say that the influx of performers who flock to the internet in hopes of displaying their innate gifts has also brought forth a new mass of voters who want their faves to win.

“The Shorty Awards has doubled in popularity this year,” he continued.

“These winners were chosen by over 5 million votes and the Real-Time Academy.”

Sanders previously snagged Viner of The Year in 2015 at that year’s Shorty Awards, and gave a heartwarming speech that can be viewed below.

Along with Sanders, several other major players in the online world were announced as being early 2017 Shorty Awards winners, including Tyler Oakley for Best Webseries, and actor Gaten Matarazzo from Netflix’s Stranger Things, as Best Actor.

Read on for the current list of known 2017 Shorty Awards winners:

Best Actor:
Gaten Matarazzo

Best in Art:
Timmy Ham

Breakout YouTuber:
James Charles

Best Celebrity:
Chrissy Teigen

Best in Dance:
1Million Dance Studio

Best in Gaming:

GIF of the Year, presented by Watchable:
Mr. Peanut’s Dab

Best in Health & Wellness:
Dana Falsetti

Instagram of the Year:
Same but Different

Best LGBTQ+ YouTube Channel:
Shannon Beveridge

Best in Lifestyle:
Kyle Krieger

Muser of the Year:
Lisa and Lena

Best in Music:

Periscoper of the Year:
Darius Arya

Best Podcast:
Anna Faris is Unqualified

Best in Sports:
Simone Biles

Tumblr Blog of the Year, presented by Watchable:
The Blackout

Twitch Streamer of the Year:
Bob Ross

Vine of the Year:
The Laughing Fox

Vlogger of the Year:
David Dobrik

Best Web Series, presented by Watchable:
The Tyler Oakley Show

Best in Weird:
Hydraulic Press Channel

Best YouTube Comedian:
Thomas Sanders

Best YouTube Ensemble:
Jenna & Julien

All Shorty Awards champions, including Thomas Sanders, will be receive their statuettes on Sunday, April 23, during the YouTube live-streamed ceremony. Congratulations to all the winners!

[Featured Image by Thomas Sanders/Facebook]