Comedy Central premiered its third season of online videos from sister website Atom.com overnight at 2:30 a.m., this time with a slightly new format, offering rotating hosts each week — Paul F. Tompkins hosted the season premiere and screened his zombie short with Rich Sommer. Other hosts this season will include Team Tiger Awesome, Jacob Fleisher, Zach Selwyn, Jay Larson, and Riegel and Blatt.
Think of it as Funny Or Die Presents, just without all of the hype, the big-name comedians and the ability to avoid censors on HBO. Not that PFT isn't big. But these videos, which first showed up online and now get a chance to be seen on bigger smaller screens of old-school television, aren't typically produced or sponsored by A-list celebrities like Funny or Die's are. Airing weekly at 2:30 a.m., which Comedy Central is calling "Super Late Fun Time," I get the feeling that this must be the new "late-night" as discovered by someone in the research department, crunching the numbers on the network's key demos and determining that teen boys and college-aged men are glued to the tube at this hour. Or they just know when I'm up.
Atom TV also is promoting its own "tournament" which offers up to $1,500 and the possibility of TV airtime for user-submitted videos to Atom.com. Last night's Atom Tournament winners that made the leap from Web to TV included Facebooked – Episode 1: Friend Request and
Texting While Walking PSA. This week's current online champ comes from L.A. sketch group The Birthday Boys, and their trailer for the documentary spoof, Pooljumpers. Take that, Dogtown Z-Boy skateboard punks! These guys, changing the way you looked at swimming pools. Roll it.
In related news…this year, it appears as though Atom.com actually wants us to know ahead of time which comedians they've signed up with to produce original content and webseries. I know! So instead of just going to a "funny video" site online and wondering where the funny videos are, now they're helping us find them in advance. Stunning concept.
So, what do we have to look forward to at Atom.com later this year?
Well, how about M'Larky, a vice squad show created by Dan Fogler and Josh Warren, and featuring Jeffrey Ross, Gilbert Gottfried and Lennon Parham, among others. Here's the first episode:
What else is on tap for Atom?
‚ÄúJohnny B. Homeless‚Äù: (9 episodes, starting June 15) ‚Äì Saga of the ultimate partying couch surfer won the 2009 People‚Äôs Choice Award for best pilot at the New York Television Festival. Created by and starring Al Thompson and co-starring Kenan Thompson.
‚ÄúLegend of Neil ‚Äì Season 3‚Äù: (7 episodes, summer) ‚Äì The Streamy Award-nominated and hit Atom.com series returns for its third and final season. Season 3 follows Neil (aka Link), as he navigates through the latter stages of the classic video game ‚ÄúLegend of Zelda‚Ñ¢‚Äù in an attempt to save the princess. Created by Sandeep Parikh and staring Tony Janning, Mike Rose, Scott Chernoff and Felicia Day.
‚ÄúMunchie the Agent‚Äù: (8 episodes, summer) ‚Äì The world‚Äôs worst Hollywood agent, a cat, shreds his celebrity clients when they come in to gripe about their careers, personal lives and his services. Each episode features a different guest star, including Tom Arnold, Rick Yune, and Eric Roberts. Created by David Weinstein, former writer at ‚ÄúJimmy Kimmel Live!‚Äù
‚ÄúDan Levy‚Äôs: Laugh Track Mashups‚Äù: (4 episodes, summer) ‚Äì Dan Levy mashes up familiar sitcoms from the golden era of TV such as ‚ÄúFresh Prince of Bel-Air‚Äù and ‚ÄúMr. Belvedere.‚Äù
‚ÄúScott Gairdner Sketch Comedy‚Äù: (5 episodes, summer) ‚Äì Gairdner (seen here earlier for his "Juggalo News" spoof) comes to Atom as ‚Äúcomedian in residence,‚Äù offering a steady stream of exclusive videos and blog posts.
‚ÄúRahzel‚Äôs Rap Minute‚Äù: (6 episodes, fall 2010) ‚Äì Rahzel of The Roots brings us the latest in the most ridiculous music news through his beatboxing and celebrity impersonations.
‚ÄúTommy Wiseau Untitled Horror Parody‚Äù: (3 episodes, fall 2010) ‚Äì A comedy starring cult horror director Tommy Wiseau (‚ÄúThe Room‚Äù). But will it be horrible?
Additional upcoming Atom releases, currently unscheduled, include: ‚ÄúAngry Old Man and Gay Teenage Runaway‚Äù ‚Äì Featuring Lonny Ross and Fred Melamed; ‚ÄúHam Sandwich Time Machine‚Äù ‚Äì Written and directed by David Green; Hit of the Party ‚Äì Created by Archie Gips and Dennis Anderson; ‚ÄúJason Nash Is Married‚Äù ‚Äì Created by and starring Jason Nash; ‚ÄúPatriot Dog‚Äù ‚Äì Created by and starring Natasha Leggero and directed and co-written by Duncan Trussel; ‚ÄúStay At Home Dad‚Äù ‚Äì From David Title; ‚ÄúThe Fuzz‚Äù ‚Äì Created and written by Waverly Films; ‚ÄúTop Rope‚Äù; and an untitled video mashup series from former Conan staffer Scott Chernoff.
Atom also has commissioned additional videos from past contributors Dan Meth, the Selwyn Brothers, 12 Angry Mascots, Sidecar Comedy, Jake Fleisher, Team Tiger Awesome, Riegel & Blatt, Jay Larson, Joe DeRosa and Mike Rotman.