“Welcome to @midnight, a show I am hosting that is oddly not about another show,” said Chris Hardwick at the start of last night’s @midnight premiere. In addition to helming the popular Nerdist podcast and TV show, Hardwick also recently hosted talk shows about Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead. His latest gig is something completely different, however: think of it as a hybrid of Tosh.0, Match Game, and your own Twitter feed.
The show’s format is a departure from your typical interview-driven late night programming. Instead, @midnight is a merciless, no-jokes-barred game show in which three comedians wage a war of riffs to determine The Funniest Person in the World (for the next twenty-three and a half hours, at least). The premiering episode featured Kumail Nanjiani, Natasha Leggero, and Doug Benson, with Nanjiani named the eventual king of laughs.
So where does the internet come in? @midnight sources the weirdest miscellany from around the web that day, and asks comedians to make fun of the findings. Last night’s games included Tag It!, in which contestants had to make up hashtags for people’s stupid tweets; Name That Barbie, in which they had to name weird-looking Barbies from someone’s weird Barbie Tumblr; and Etsy Store or Porn Title?, in which Hardwick gave his guests a name and they had to guess if it applied to an Etsy store or a porno. The game formats will be familiar to fans of Hardwick’s TV show The Nerdist—though in this case they’re a little more perverted and a little less geeky.
The points system seemed pretty rogue in episode one, with Hardwick kind of doling ‘em out whenever he felt like it. Contestants on the show later this week include Kurt Braunohler, Andy Daly, June Diane Raphael, Mike Lawrence, Kyle Kinane, Tom Lennon, and Deon Cole. Good mix!
Click play below to check out the premiere.