How much time do you spend on YouTube? You just were on there a few minutes ago before you headed here, right? There aren't many people on the planet who haven't uploaded a "funny," "silly," or "stupid" video in the hopes that it will reach viral world domination. And if you've made a video or ten, well then chances are you like watching them in all their glory; and what better place to catch all of these shenanigans than on Comedy Central's over a million viewers per episode hit, Tosh.0.
If you are under the impression that Tosh.0 is a mindless show that just whips up internet video clips and shares them with a funny comment here and there you'd be wrong, I found this to be the complete opposite when I went to a live taping of the popular show. If you're already a fan then you will appreciate the gravity of work that is put together for your weekly amusement and if you're not quite sure the show is for you, you might be surprised and get a sudden inkling to check it out.
Comedian, Daniel Tosh, walks on set looking tired and a little frail as he goes over to a small ledge on the side of his mark (which signifies where he should stand) where a tissue box, a microphone and some notes are placed. He grabs for the microphone and a tissue and addresses the audience with a warm "hello everyone" and apologizes that he is under the weather. Daniel nervously paces a bit, unsure of where to place the tissue box; on the floor — on the ledge, he goes back and forth before ending up placing the box on the floor again, and jokes "I'll leave it here and then I can just throw the used tissues on the floor." The box at some point ends up back on the ledge. His initial uneasiness, a trait of social anxiety which he is said to suffer from, quickly settles and he gets into a comfortable groove. Daniel runs through how the show is going to proceed; he will do each segment twice and tells us we should be very kind and laugh the second time just as hard as the first time. His purpose for this is to try different jokes out or styles of delivery and see what works best.
Daniel is 100% focused when the camera is rolling and a perfectionist at getting each segment right. He is very genuine with every piece of video that he is commentating on, and making little chit chat with the audience in between takes. One of the highlighted videos is of a shirtless fat man who seems to be drunk on his bowl of gravy. He repeatedly slurs, "Bowl of gravy" but it sounds like "bullagravvy," and his dad is chiming in the background, "you're ruining your life." Daniel tells us that there's going to be some audience participation and that we each will be receiving bowls of gravy and in jest compares the offering to the Oprah show. He instructs every time the gravy guy says, "Bowl of gravy" we have to take a sip from the bowl of gravy. He continues that we don't actually have to drink the gravy but just put the bowl to our lips for the camera, and then jokes, "and drink it."
It's evident throughout the taping Daniel is a hard worker and he comes across grateful for his success, but there are haters out there that like to cause trouble. The incident that happened last year with Daniel and the rape joke at The Laugh Factory and how it got blown up was so unnecessary. Comedians tell jokes, yes, even on sensitive issues. The intention, no matter how out of line the topic may be, is to remove the severity, even just for one-second, not undermine it. We all have the option to get up and leave if we become offended with the material, it's best to do that, be respectful and not heckle (I know I just rhymed there).
Tosh.0, now in its fifth season, may be a show that focuses on viral video sensations, but it is plain to see that Daniel Tosh takes the show very seriously, and that's endearing. He shines on the bits and sketches, as in the "Web Redemption" segments. If you're not familiar with Tosh.0, the "Web Redemption" is where Tosh invites a person who has an embarrassing video to the show where they have a chance to recreate the video. His interaction with the person being redeemed is genius and Daniel is child-like charismatic, often dressing up to play off of the individuals appearance in the video. And I bet I'm not the only one that wouldn't leave the house if there was a "Web Redemption" marathon on.
The taping was a fun experience, almost like a mini live stand-up show. And I found that being a part of the audience is key in the end result of the show because Daniel Tosh feeds off of the reaction and will adjust a segment if he doesn't feel it succeeded. At one point during the break Daniel was huddled with the Tosh.0 staff making last minute changes.
Tosh.0's ever growing audience may primarily consist of men 18-24 but if you’re like me you’ll enjoy the humorous commentating and “Web Redemptions," it's worth a watch. Tosh.0 airs Tuesdays at 109c on Comedy Central. And if you're in the LA area you can get tickets to the show by going here, who knows you may be part of the show in some way, like me eating gravy.
By: Sabrina Tosti
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