Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Why No Tosh.0?

Right now, people who watch Comedy Central tend to like Tosh.0.

And I get it. He's a very talented comedian. They said the same about Gallagher...

But hear me out: I have a case against Daniel Tosh's comedy that keeps me from continuing to find him funny, or watching his show. And I think it's worth consideration.

Tosh.0 gets its comedy from using the Internet to find Youtube videos of people doing stupid and/or embarrassing things. If you haven't seen the show, think America's Funniest Home Videos but with a host who makes Lisa Lampnelli look like Paula Abdul. He is the Simon Cowell of people who have friends that loaded embarrassing videos on the Web.

And I have no reservation making fun of him for reasons below.

I find roasts to be hilarious. The Comedy Central series of roasts that have aired have featured some hilarious roastees: Flava Flave, Hugh Heffner, Pam Anderson, Bob Sagat. These are people who are institutionally hilarious to even mention in a joke, let alone center a night around. And these roasts have biting jokes that often push the boundaries of comedy.

But at the end of each roast, condolences are typically given to the roastee. Everyone has their chance at rebuttals. Most everyone is drunk and laughing. Occasionally Courtney Love drunkenly slurs that she's been sober for five years. And the roastee gets his due at the end of the show to dish out some punishment and his/her roasters.

Very few of Daniel Tosh's targets enjoy the same good-natured spirit. In fact, he's often unapologetically mean, even deriding his audience (who relish the attention) both online via Twitter and in his own audience. These aren't celebrities, or the wannabe celebrities that they make fun of on The Soup. Those people get the exposure and attention that they were seeking to begin with. These are random people whose stupid antics are being exploited by a guy who is pleasantly removed from any ill effects his insults might have.

Comedy is hard. But it's a lot easier to be mean & funny than it is to be nice & funny.

We should expect more from our comedy. More zing than sting.


  1. I have to admit...I watch this show on the regular. I really didn't really think about it that way...but now I actually feel kind of guilty for laughing as hard as I do.

  2. Just food for thought, no need to feel bad.

  3. You actually put the finger on why I don't like Tosh.0. I love The Soup, and the difference is that Joel McHale is making fun of people who are really, really asking for it. Not like "Oh, that's so bad, he's asking for it" but as in "I am willing to be mocked just to get my 15 minutes of fame, bring it on!"

  4. I enjoy watching Tosh.0 every now and then, but I tend not to let it become a favorite of mine for that particular reason.

    Still, he is a decent comedian.

  5. I certainly admit he's talented.

  6. Daniel Tosh's humor isn't responsable in the slightest. A few bigoted jokes in the first episodes set the tone for every subsequent episode. Just illustrates an awful trend in entertainment: cheep shots, like racism and rape jokes, are too often revisited because they're edgy and get people to watch.