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November 28, 2014

Tosh.0 vs. Web Soup

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 6th 2009 11:03AM
Daniel Tosh & Miss South CarolinaI remember long ago in a cable land far away when a little show called Talk Soup started. It was clever, riffing on talk show shenanigans. We've come a long way since then, with clip shows blanketing the network. And then there's the Internet. On paper the idea of a web video iteration of The Soup, as it's now called, sounds solid enough, and G4 is a good place for it, but as Michael pointed out, Web Soup just isn't working.

Even though G4 is the place for techie stuff and they handle web videos already, Web Soup still manages to feel outdated and stodgy. And Chris Hardwick, while funny when he fills in on Attack of the Show, is almost mind-numbingly not funny hosting Web Soup. But Chris Hardwick and the gang were not alone in exploring web videos on our TVs. Comedy Central threw comedian Daniel Tosh into the mix with the webbily titled Tosh.0. But which one, if either, is better?

Web Soup (Sundays 9pm, G4)
Web Soup breaks their clips into themed segments. "The Big Upload" is supposedly the week's most viral videos. "Local News" looks at video of ... local newscasts gone wrong. He also has "That's Un-InCredible" which annoys me because another segment also uses "un-:" "Things You Can't Un-See." That said, the latter is one of the better segments, even if in the latest one it was just a weird clown, which isn't as disturbing as you'd think it would be. The reason I like it is because of the follow-up "Palette Cleanser" video of something adorable.

He looks at local commercials with "Operators Are Standing By," but often the funniest thing there is that the operator in the intro graphic says something different each time. There's "The Greatest Web Video Ever (This Week)" which isn't, and then, stealing directly from Attack of the Show!, Hardwick offers up "This Week in Fail" which is just that. Unfortunately, he can't put his whole show in that category.

Tosh.0 (Thursdays 10pm, Comedy Central)
Tosh.0 has a whole variety of ways to look at these funny clips, rather than arbitrary categories for them. How about seeing how many jokes we can come up with for a fat guy sliding down a slip-n-slide in 20 seconds? In the "Video Breakdown" Tosh works his way through the video, pausing, backing it up and looping it in a variety of ways to fully glean out every bit of funny. Possibly the best example of this is the video of the guy (not)-smashing the coconuts with his bare hands.

My favorite is "Web Redemption," where he finds the stars of some classic clips and offers them the chance to make right what once went wrong. Did you step to the edge of a coffee table and fall flat on your ass? Did you attempt to do a backflip with nunchuks and land flat on your face? Did you make an ass of yourself answering a question in a beauty pageant? Tosh tracks these people down and let's them try to redeem themselves by not falling, or whatever went wrong the first time. The segments are brilliantly edited to up the drama and hilarity.

Beyond that, there's shorter segments like the "Prank of the Week," "Celebrity Video," and the "Viewer Clip," where he encourages people to send in new content just for the show. There's a great flow to the show, with short clips sometimes helping bridge the gap between segments. It's a very fluid presentation, and Tosh is an affable and very capable host for something so silly.

Results
I have to put most of the onus of Web Soup's failure on Hardwick. He's very stiff and his off-the-cuff charm, while it works on Attack as a sometimes co-host, just gets annoying here. I'd be interested to see if Hardwick can suck the fun out of Tosh.0's format, or if Tosh can inject some life into Web Soup, just by the fact that he's generally funnier.

But Tosh.0 succeeds on more than just its host. It's a slicker produced, faster-paced and far funnier show than it's Soup brethren. It's a shame that it was overshadowed by Web Soup's association with The Soup franchise. And that both had to premiere in the same week, though that was probably by design. The bottom line is that while Web Soup has a much higher profile, Tosh.0 is far and away the superior show.

If I'm going to have to watch web clips I've already seen, I'd much rather have someone funny who can make me look at it in a whole new way, than someone who will make a bad joke and say "Up top!" to get a high five.

Which web video format is better?
Web Soup146 (16.3%)
Tosh.0658 (73.4%)
Both!22 (2.5%)
DJ & The Fro11 (1.2%)
The Internet48 (5.4%)
Other12 (1.3%)

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13 Comments

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J Lee

I completely disagree with the article.

Web Soup is definitely the better show. Chris Hardwick is energetic and engaged as a host and I always feel that he's interested in the material, which stays with me. Daniel Tosh seemed very stagey and unfunny and the clips are just boring. The 5 minutes that I saw of Tosh 2.0 were a chore. On the flipside, I never miss an episode of Web Soup if I can help it.

August 26 2009 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Spicewhale

I like both Web Soup and Tosh.0
Chris H. comes off as a more... realistic comedy.. like he watched the videos rather than read a script.. I like him more than tosh
And I was very surprised by DJ and the Fro but still Chris H. is my fav

July 25 2009 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVi7C-lnfE4
hahaeveryone watch this its hilarious its my brother after surgery and hes still high on the medicine

July 23 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YouFaceTheTick

Daniel tosh is, in my eyes, the best working stand up right now. Never seen the show and have very little interest in it though...

July 07 2009 at 9:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Hardwick

Well, Jason, think of me as black licorice: I'm bitter and I'm not for everyone.

In any case, thanks for posting about the show!

July 07 2009 at 3:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JR

I would agree that Hardwick has to work on his delivery because he is otherwise a funny guy, and Tosh.0 has an overall better and more interesting format. Overall though, I'd pick Web Soup mostly because I'm a big fan of Chris Hardwick, while Tosh comes off as a bit of a d-bag.

July 07 2009 at 2:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kingoftv

Tosh.0 is definitely the better show, just like I wrote back on June 7th. http://kingoftv.net/2009/06/07/better-youtube-filter-web-soup-or-tosh-0/

July 06 2009 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hans

I disagree with this article. Web Soup comes off as funny and Tosh.0 doesn't. Chris Hardwick is funny and charming where Tosh comes off as a bland host. The one thing that Tosh.0 has over web soup is that they bring on an internet celebrity each week but other than that it doesn't measure up. In addition to the hosts I think that Web Soup does a much better job of picking funny or interesting videos.

July 06 2009 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

Apparently I'm in the minority, since I'm enjoying Web Soup but haven't the time of day for Tosh.0. The former is being DVR'd, while I barely got through one episode of the latter and that was a chore.

To me, Chris Hardwick is the superior host, with Daniel Tosh coming off as simultaneously smarmy and dull as dishwater.

Actually, come to think of it, I even enjoy DJ and The Fro considerably more than I do Tosh.0.

July 06 2009 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

Daniel Tosh is an excellent comedian, and his excellent show shows it, much like Joel McHale and The Soup.

The Web Redemption of the table dance girl and the Video Breakdown of the commuter plan vomit girl have been the highlights thus far. Honorable mention to Tosh's play by play of the soccer ball to the face guy ("Out on you!"). This show is must see TV.

July 06 2009 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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