Directed by Scott Zabielski
Original language(s) English
First episode date 4 June 2009
Theme song Tosh.0 Theme Song
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 9
Presented by Daniel Tosh
Program creators Daniel Tosh, Mike Gibbons
|Created by Daniel Tosh
Writers Daniel Tosh, Nick Malis, Eddie Gossling, Joe Borden
Similar @midnight, The Soup, Brickleberry, Web Soup, Almost Genius
Tosh.0 (/ˈtɒʃ ˌpɔɪnt ˈoʊ/ TOSH point OH) is an American television series hosted and produced by comedian Daniel Tosh, who provides commentary on online viral video clips, society, celebrities, and other parts of popular culture and stereotypes. It premiered in the United States on June 4, 2009 on Comedy Central. The tone is based on Tosh's deliberately offensive and controversial style of black comedy, observational comedy, satire, and sarcasm. The show has reached No. 1 ratings for its timeslot among men within the ages of 18–24, reaching millions of viewers at a time.
Tosh.0 was launched to a similar demographic as E!'s Talk Soup (and its since-canceled derivative, G4's Web Soup), and of time-filling video mashups on late-night talk shows. It launched at a time of the convergence of television, computers, video cameras, and Internet access—across all devices and across all walks of life.
The show premiered on Comedy Central on June 4, 2009, starring stand-up comedy veteran Daniel Tosh. The first season was a surprise hit, averaging more than one million viewers per episode. Within ten weeks of its premiere, Tosh.0 became the second-most-watched cable network show in its time slot among males aged 18–34, a sought-after advertising demographic.
The show was originally scheduled for only 10 episodes, but as its popularity increased, Comedy Central extended the first season to 16 episodes. In December 2009, it was announced that Comedy Central had renewed the show for a full second season with 25 episodes, and the show has since been consistently renewed as of 2015.
In 2015, the series was sold into syndication, to air on local stations in major US cities, and in other local markets for late-night weekend spots. Syndication ad-sales and distribution were purchased by Debmar-Mercury and 20th Television.
Tosh.0's low-cost production model is oriented upon viral video clips that are freely downloadable from the Internet and freely reusable via American fair use copyright laws, with host Daniel Tosh presenting from a chromakey virtual stage. Daniel Tosh says, "The [clip show] format had been tried a couple dozen times and failed. Our idea [was] to push it as far as we can and see what happens"; and that the staff selects videos of "people whose lives were changed because of a 15-second clip". Executive Producer Charlie Siskel said the show "[looks] at pop culture and all areas of life through the lens of the Internet".
The video clips are primarily selected by the show's full-time researchers and validated "on a case-by-case basis" by Comedy Central’s standards and practices division. Though reportedly approving 95% of all the show's submitted videos, Tosh says this division is surprisingly unpredictable in both its approvals and disapprovals, and that he's as surprised as the audience is at what the company allows on TV. The range of selected clips includes spontaneous cuteness, whimsical performances, romance, accidents, exhibitionism, fetishism, surrealism, stunts, vomit, gore, and other acute bodily harm. Hank Stuever of The Washington Post says the show's decadent tone is formed around the values and maturity of its young adult target audience.
Each episode begins with a cold open of a viral video clip from the Internet. Presenting to a live studio audience seated before his virtual stage, Daniel Tosh makes jokes and commentary about that video, and about a selection of other viral videos and pictures. He may act as if he were commenting on a video sharing site such as YouTube, making as many jokes as possible in 20 seconds. The final video in this section enters a "Video Breakdown" segment, where Tosh discusses the video's elements of action and themes.
Tosh may perform original short sketches related to or parodying these videos. For example, he displayed a video of a man attempting to climb a precariously homemade staircase of milk crates to reach a flagpole, resulting in a great fall with visibly broken bones. Tosh whimsically parodied the tragedy in a fully animated stylistic recreation of Nintendo's original Super Mario Bros. (1985) video game, starring himself as Mario within the game's madcap action of jumping over huge blocks and collecting treasure.
The "Web Redemption" or "CeWEBrity Profile" segments additionally invite the stars of those videos directly onto Tosh.0, where they are interviewed to explain and recreate the video's subject matter. The segment yields various blends of increased cuteness, humiliation, bullying, parody, black comedy, sympathy, or protectiveness in an attempt to explore and redeem the star and the subject matter. For example, Tosh pretends to spend days trapped in an elevator with Nick White, whose actual 41 hours trapped in a New York elevator had been chronicled by The New Yorker and posted on YouTube in 2008. The "Web Reunion", "Web Remix", or "Web Investigation" segments are formatted similarly; the "Web Retreat" featured Tosh hiking with Paul Vasquez from the viral video Double Rainbow.
Throughout the show, Tosh interacts directly with the live audience, inviting broadcast viewers to actively join his following of millions of Twitter users in "live tweeting" and to submit their own videos. In the "Is it Racist?" segment, Tosh invites viewers to vote on any racial stereotypes presented in a video. In addition to garnering a reported average of 1,200 monthly death threats, Tosh's ability to call the audience to action has yielded the mass vandalism of the show's own Wikipedia article, and has resulted in traffic volumes that have temporarily crashed websites such as CelebrityNetWorth and Comedy Central.
Tosh routinely utilizes the show's screen time for promotion of his stand-up comedy tours, merchandise, and other TV shows—prompting Forbes to describe the show as being "as much marketing [vehicle] as ... [moneymaker]".
The first season was a surprise hit, averaging more than one million viewers per episode. In June 2010, the season premiere was the #1 show on its timeslot among men aged 18–24. With nearly 2 million viewers, the episode was the most-watched episode of the series. This record was quickly broken by the July 7 episode, which had up to 2.4 million viewers, and the July 28 episode would attract 2.7 million viewers, again winning the time slot and being the most-watched show on television that day among men aged 18–24 and 25–34. The July 28 episode was the top cable show that night for adults 18–49. Within ten weeks of its premiere, Tosh.0 became the second-most-watched cable network show in its time slot among males aged 18–34, a sought-after advertising demographic.
In June 2015, Forbes ranked the show's Twitter following of 17 million members as number 43 out of 100 on "The Social 100", its list of the most followed celebrities on Twitter. In 2016, a New York Times study of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that Tosh.0 was "very much of a Northern show, but not necessarily an urban one. It is most popular in Colorado; least so in Mississippi".
The show's core premise has been initially compared to that of the perceived competition of E!'s Talk Soup (and its since-canceled derivative, G4's Web Soup), The Dish, Sports Soup, and of time-filling viral video mashups on late-night talk shows.
Hank Stuever of The Washington Post initially gave a mostly negative review of the June 4, 2009 debut episode of Tosh.0. He found Tosh's stage execution to yield a banal, juvenile, and unnecessary "blooper show" serving as a "cheap example of clearinghouse programming" which adds little to a mashup of viral videos but "clutter, buttressed by a lot of stale references". Stuever thought the concept of the series had potential, concluding that Tosh can "hold his own" within the concept of redeeming the Internet and "undoing the fail". Five years later, Stuever reevaluated the show positively as a now long-time fan, and addressed his retrospective regret of his "prematurely dismissive" impression by writing a new review to serve as "a long-delayed Valentine to [his] secret dirty love, Daniel Tosh". He describes Tosh's performance as being the essential self-rationalizing, misanthropic troll who personifies the audience's worst impulses in "a splendid act of pretending to be the guy who enters the world and immediately sets about disliking it". He describes the content as "a digest of shockingly funny, gross or embarrassing ... moments of terrible decisions and painful outcomes" and Tosh's highly rationalized tone of delivery as hilariously cruel, vicious, venomous, shocking, protective, and occasionally redemptive. Stuever says the show's decadent tone is formed around its target audience and its tentatively developing maturity level, "higher learning[, and] guiding set of ethics"—calling the show a good place to be, and to make fun of, "a-holes". He describes Tosh.0 as "a TV show about the Internet, literally and thematically", with a hilarious use of cruelty "as black as the online soul, and as fleeting and ephemeral", yielding a "blundering exploration of race, class, gender, life".
Kenny Herzog of The A. V. Club praised the show's "high-wire act of being hysterically vicious and accurate in mocking oblivious exhibitionists without purely bullying" and that the show's "strongest moments of pure hilarity come from its extended, performed material". He describes the show as "continually playing Steal the Bacon for unexploited scraps against the absorbent blob that is viral culture".
On June 12, 2012, Tosh.0: Hoodies was released on DVD and Blu-ray containing the first 10 episodes of Tosh.0 season one. Another DVD and Blu-ray release entitled Tosh.0: Deep V's was released on December 21, 2012. Additionally, the entire series is available for download via the iTunes Store with new episodes available after each air date.