Now that Tosh.O has established dominance over the elder programs of late night Comedy Central (The Daily Show and The Colbert Report), the cable station has announced the intention to debut Dwaynebook, a green screen show featuring Dwayne Perkins poking fun at social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.
As much a fan as I am of these simple programs, I fear this may lead to the second Dot Com bust in the last two decades. Accountants will love the low cost of production (get an empty room, a green screen, and a likeable personality and you have a show), but if this becomes a trend watch out for the backlash. Right or not, consumers hate the idea of being force fed a purposely cheap product, unless its fast food.
Dwaynebook will be the fifth green screen program (I believe) and I am not sure I want to see too many more. If every subject (reality television, YouTube, social media, etc) has its own quirky personality the experience of even a good green screen comedy will be cheapened. Think of it like this, if you love football and the NFL does that mean you want to see a league with a team for every minute urban market? Of course not, as a fan you recognize how much that would cheapen the league and your favorite team (assuming you live near an NFL franchise).
Still, I checked out a few Dwayne Perkins clips on YouTube and yes, the guy is funny. He also brings a different comedy style to the table than Daniel Tosh.
Anyone who has seen Tosh.O or has every purchased Daniel Tosh tickets knows that he has a sarcastic, almost abrasive style. He is able to pull off because he looks as physically intimidating as gangly sixth grader not quite yet sure of his sense of balance every since he grew half a foot over the summer. He also is as tyrannical in his nature when making fun of himself as he is when hurling insults at others (and he will make fun of anyone, not matter their race, sex, creed, or disability). I think that last tidbit is the key in making his brand of humor palatable.
Perkins is a much calmer, common sense-based comedian. He is personal and quietly insightful. He may be the perfect comedian to take on a subject potentially littered with egg shells. Instead of simply calling a girl a whore and strutting around in a pink top meant for dolls, I imagine he would explain why it is ridiculous to use that party pic with a girl in a bikini chugging Keystone as the bio pic and expect to be taken seriously at work.
Do I hope Perkins’ show fails to catch on like Tosh.O? No, but I hope this is note the beginning of a trend that will over saturate the market with shows produced for the simple sake of a low production value. Also, I understand television is produced to make money and not to entertain, but I also want to make sure I am getting some decent programming after I send in my cable bill every month.