Mar 24 Daniel Tosh: Viral Video Infamy
Before the debut of his breakthrough television show, Daniel Tosh had been carving a name for himself like most stand-up comics; working the club circuits hoping to catch a break. After building some momentum as an up and coming comedian, Tosh landed a performance on David Letterman’s Late Show in 2001. Subsequently he managed to appear on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Comedy Central’s Premium Blend. While solidifying himself as a notable stand-up comedian, Daniel Tosh’s fame, or infamy depending on your opinion of his brand of humor, came in June 2009 after Comedy Central unleashed Tosh.0. Tosh’s TV show is primarily based on funny, sometimes bizarre viral videos found in the many tubes of the interwebs.
If You Upload it, They Will Come… and Laugh at it
The premise of Tosh.0 is quite simple. Find a handful of humorous, strange and shocking internet videos and make fun of them in front of an audience. The brilliance of the show, now in its third season on Comedy Central, is that the majority of the core content is already out there for free. Tosh and his staff rely on the millions of internet users who continue to upload their own videos through channels such as YouTube for the rest of us to find and inevitably laugh at.
Tosh then provides stand-up-like commentary on each of the videos selected for the show, but often times he goes a step further by either contacting a video’s creator for a real-time interview, usually via Skype, or by bringing them to Los Angeles where the show is taped in order to produce a more elaborate skit or bit for the show. While the subject matter and content of the videos featured on the show along with Tosh’s comedic style may raise a few eyebrows, the level of success his show has reached in a short time raises even more.
Two-Way Television Through Social Networking
Sporting just under 4.5 million Facebook fans and over 1.6 million Twitter followers, Daniel Tosh and his team have shown that they know how to put their social marketing tools to good use by actively engaging their audience. Instead of simply using these social avenues as a means to post updates and news flashes, Tosh and his staff communicate directly to the audience as a whole as well as individually. This has created an interactive, two-way street that connects the viewers directly to the show, which has helped catapult Tosh.0 to the top of Comedy Central’s viewership garnering as high as 2.7 million viewers an episode.
Benefiting from a massive fan base on Facebook, Daniel Tosh and the Tosh.0 crew interact with their viewers by posting multiple times a day, usually with posts referring to updates on the show’s official website and blog hosted by Comedy Central. These posts are anything from a heads up about an upcoming episode to time related content such as a Happy St. Patty’s Day video as well as plenty of content that never makes it to the televised show. The extra content not used in the show serves as a means to keep fans interested on a daily basis, giving them a look at material that keeps them entertained while proving a constant reminder of the shows airings and Tosh related announcements. With each post generating thousands of likes and hundreds of comments, the engagement rates of the Facebook updates are quite high, helping to continue spreading Tosh.0’s popularity.
Tosh’s Facebook page performs quite well, but it does tend to function mostly as a means to direct people to his blog while allowing fans to interact with each other. His Twitter account is where Daniel personally interacts with his followers, bringing them even closer to his humor and the show itself. During each live broadcast of Tosh.0 in the Eastern time zone, Daniel live chats with followers who post comments to his page. By replying back, Tosh establishes a direct interaction that extends far beyond the show itself, making followers feel appreciated while also adding a personal touch to the experience of watching the show.
Often times Tosh’s blog will also feature fan Tweets throughout the show, based on comments from certain blog posts, further strengthening his social connections while boosting the role of Tosh.0’s audience. There is also a section of Tosh.0’s blog called “What You’re Saying” that features follower Tweets directed at Daniel. Almost every day a new follower Tweet is selected and pictured on the blog along with a response. This is yet another great example of how Daniel and the team behind Tosh.0 are making the most out of their social connections with their audience as they reach out and make the viewers important contributors.
Harnessing the Power of the Interwebs
Comedy Central not only has a runaway hit show on its airwaves, they also have a group of social media friendly individuals who understand the importance of not just marketing to the audience but also getting them involved and allowing them to factor into the show itself. Tosh.0 is highly efficiently produced thanks to the basis of its content stemming from pre-existing viral videos and its effectiveness is bolstered by the types of social networking being fostered by Daniel and his staff of writers. The power of the internet has provided users with entertaining content for years and Daniel Tosh was able to harness that experience, taking it a few steps further by adding a heavy dose of his comic flavor and some well played social interactions with the millions of fans who can’t get enough of what the world wide web has to offer.