Late-night comedy got more crowded last month with the debut of two new series vying for eyeballs at midnight.
“The Pete Holmes Show” (Mon.-Thu., TBS) and “@midnight” (Mon.-Thu., Comedy Central) both feature affable hosts in comedians Pete Holmes, above, and Chris Hardwick.
Holmes’ show is more traditional, with a monologue, a sketch and an interview. The twist is that the show is all about Holmes. His monologue is not topical and feels more like quick hits from his stand-up (something other hosts should consider). And his interviews, which have mostly been with his comedian friends, are as much about him as the guest. This could come off as self-indulgent, but as someone most of America doesn’t know, it all helps to give viewers a sense of who he is.
“@midnight” is a pseudo game show that manages to do the impossible: make Twitter work on TV. A rotating panel of three comics earns points by telling the difference between real tweets and fake ones, making up hashtags and writing fake Yelp reviews. It’s all very silly and fleeting, but the way it translates how comedians act online to on screen — without sacrificing laughs — is revolutionary.