This past weekend, nerd king Chris Hardwick premiered his new show on BBC America, The Nerdist (which is now available for download on iTunes and Amazon) based on his extremely awesome and successful pocast of the same name. This new version of the podcast is a variety talk show that features Hardwick himself, as well as his co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira.
To no one’s surprise, the video version of the podcast was great in just about every way. Hardwick & Co. is just the second entity to successfully transfer a hit podcast to the small screen after Ricky Gervais, which brings us to a new question – are there any other podcasts that would be able to make a similar venture into the small screen? Well, I think there are at least five. Check them out after the break.
The only criteria for this list is that the essence of the show would have to be transferable, and not just the host(s).
Walking The Room
The bar by which all podca–podcuddles should be judged, Walking The Room is audio bliss…if your idea of bliss is having the spikes of a cactus jammed into your ears…I kid. In actuality, Walking The Room is almost too ripe for television adaptation for one simple reason, it has already set up the world a television version would be set in.
Hosts Greg Behrendt and Dave Anthony have created an entire universe and dictionaryfor the show, full of characters including orange-stealing “hobotangs” and cricket-eating vaginas. If that doesn’t have “edgy basic cable sitcom” written all over it, then I don’t know what does. But then again, what does a clown from the neck down know?
If Walking The Room had a illegitimate, evil sister, it would be TOFOP. Not as elaborate as Walking The Roombut Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen hop on the mic every week and deliver an hour of comedy that makes the world seem so much more bittersweet, and thus a lot more fun.
I see a TOFOP television show as similar to what the The Nerdist show ended up being this past week, some dudes in front of a bitchin’ set and a live audience talking about various levels of awesome shit.
The Smartest Man In The World
Whose Line is it Anywayfunnyman and stand-up genius Greg Proops is, as his title proclaims, The Smartest Man in the World. His unique one man show is simply a stand-up show of complete and pure creativity and zero boundaries. If it were ever adapted, that’s what I’d want to see on the small screen.
I picture Greg, a desk and a single spotlight on stage, his continuous, Aaron Sorkian-like rants recorded in a single shot like a perfectly crafted stage play. I know that it would probably never happen (as of right now, in the current state of the television business) but it’s certainly a nice thought.
The Tobolowsky Files
A masterful story teller with more of them to tell than the meatiest parts of the bible, Stephen Tobolowsky’s podcast The Tobolowsky Files would make for excellent television in similar form to The Smartest Man In The World. A dude (or two in this case along with /Film’s David Chen), a mic, a stage, and a spotlight.
One take, one story, one episode at a time. Tobolowsky is one of the best speakers on the planet and one of the best character actors that the world has to offer. This is a guy who would be great at leading his own self-based story telling show and I defy as much as one person to prove me wrong on that.
The Titus Podcast
A personal favorite of mine in the comedy world, Christopher Titus’ self titled pocast sounds like the perfect base for a television program. Every episode begins with Titus’ “Armageddon update” which leads into a long and ever-changing discussion with his girlfriend Bombshell Rae and the even hotter Stuntman Tommy, with the addition of part-time contributor Willie. Some segments in the discussion include “Douche of The Week” and “Hero of The Week.”
If all of that doesn’t sound like a perfectly crafted variety show, then what does? Every week, Titus comes out in front of a green screen, does his update, and then walks across the stage for a roundtable discussion with his fellow co-hosts. Now that would just be cool.
Oh, and an Honorable Mention to the list: Reject Radio (I’m contractually obligated to include this or Cole Abaius will force me to watch The Human Centipede II).
Podcasts are an ever-changing and ever-expanding medium. In many ways, it’s better than both television and film combined for the simple fact that restrictions are completely lifted and only the truly passionate give a crap about doing them. But, if someone were to approach a podcast creator and ask them “any interest in bringing it to the small screen?” with the added guarantee of zero restrictions, then I would hope at the very least the creator would give it a real thinking over before deciding.
To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast (which would probably also make for great TV…on public access), The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.