I did a compare and contrast post of comedians Daniel Tosh and Chris Hardwick because both had internet clip shows on the air at the same time back in 2009. Flash forward to 2013: Tosh.0 is still going strong, while the network that aired Hardwick’s show no longer exists. (The G4 channel is now Esquire Network.) Hardwick has kept himself busy with his Nerdist empire. And he kept himself visible by hosting AMC’s Talking Dead, a show that discusses the AMC hit show, The Walking Dead. One question I raised was how the results would differ if Hardwick had his show on a high-profile, basic cable network, like for example… a Comedy Central, instead. For the past four weeks, that question was answered by no other than Daniel Tosh’s own Comedy Central. It looks like the artificial rivalry I created just might become real after all.
Airing right after The Colbert Report, At Midnight (or @midnight) focuses on the current trends on social media. The format is a game show that features three comedians that vie for the title, “Funniest Person on the Internet…for the next 23.5 hours,*” (*or 95.5 hours on Thursday.) Below their podiums is not just the comedians’ names, but their Twitter accounts. The podcast-like format and its improvisational nature makes it a cross between Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, and Whose Line is it Anyway? The show has a great pedigree of producers and production companies. The folks responsible for Reno 911!, Nerdist, and Funny or Die are just some of the producers of the show. With all of these connections, there is no shortage of talented contestants to call upon.
I believe that even Daniel Tosh is surprised that his show has lasted for as long as it has. Not that there is a possibility to ever run out of material, but his keystone segment, The Web Redemption, is starting to lose a lot of steam. In Season 1, there were plenty of “internet celebrities” that we were dying to see on television. But after 5 seasons, and 131 episodes, it seems like he scraping the bottom of the YouTube barrel for possible redemptions. The ratings are still as strong, so I would not be surprised if there is a Season 6. And his animated show, Brickleberry, is also receiving solid ratings in its second season. Tosh is currently sitting pretty (unlike his beloved Miami Dolphins), and it appears that he is not going away anytime soon.
After its initial four-week trail run, Comedy Central announced that @midnight will be renewed for forty more weeks, starting in January, 2014. The ratings have been spectacular, especially amongst the key men 18-24, men 18-34, and adults 18-49 demographics (and apparently, judging by the #hashtag wars, it’s popular amongst the WWE superstar demographic as well). Comedy Central has given Hardwick a chance to be its third late-night mainstay, right behind The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. The King of Nerds will now have equal footing with The King of Trolls. Round 2… begin!
- Comedy Central’s ‘@Midnight’ Gets 40-Week Pickup (deadline.com)
- Tosh.0 vs Web Soup: Daniel Tosh won the battle, but did Chris Hardwick win the war? (iomnibus.wordpress.com)
- A Two Week Wrap-up for @Midnight (2ndfloorcommons.wordpress.com)