@midnight (or "At Midnight" in your TiVo listings) is a new "game show" hosted by Chris Hardwick that airs after The Colbert Report M-Th on Comedy Central. I put "game show" in quotes because the contestants are all comedians, Hardwick hands out points capriciously and everybody wins by getting TV exposure. And that's why I love it.
Don't get me wrong, it's a fun show to watch whether you're a comedy nerd, a Nerdist nerd or just a stoned college kid. It's now entering its third week and every episode gets more comfortable and hilarious than the last. The Halloween edition with Moshe Kasher, Natasha Leggero and Steve Agee really was the best yet.
The game show format has certain standard segments - like Hashtag Wars, where Hardwick gives a hashtag and the comedians have to come up with as many funny tweets that fit the tag as they can - and some that rotate, such as writing fake Yelp or Amazon reviews for ridiculous things. More than shows like "I Heart the 90's" or "Best Week Ever", @midnight gives comedians a chance to really show off their personalities and for audiences to connect to the essence of each comic. Mostly because it's considerably less scripted than any of those talking head shows - there's a writing staff but comedians tend to go with their own off-the-cuff answers.
As a social media geek, I'm also excited that Hardwick has taught America the correct pronunciation of GIF and imgur. I'm actually even happy that he's revived the hashtag game, something I had grown to loathe about a year ago. But you don't have to be a big Redditor or into Vine to enjoy the show - while the topics and structure of each round draw on social media, it's basically just the evolution of "The Match Game" and "Hollywood Squares" (ooh, +10 points to the first person who answers "making whoopie" for something!), so even the last mom without a Facebook account can follow along.
If you're a Hardwick hater, you may not be able to get behind this show, but I'm honestly not sure since I don't quite understand what's behind the hate in the first place. But if it helps, about 2/3 of the screen time is the other comedians.
So, TiVo the shit out of it, laugh real hard and find some new favorite comedians.
If you live in or are visiting LA, you can be a part of the @midnight studio audience.