Refusing to relent to the fact that its main purpose is to host adorable videos of kittens, YouTube is fortifying its $100 million bet on original programming with the release of “My Damn Channel Live,” a daily live comedy show debuting next week.
My Damn Channel is an entertainment website that’s been around since 2007 and was named one of TIME’s 50 Best Websites in 2011. “My Damn Channel Live” is their first foray into live daily comedy, and serves as yet another example of comedy’s migration from TV to Internet. Comedy has recently established itself as the entertainment genre most likely to take risks in the name of innovation, as Louis C.K. and Aziz Ansari have demonstrated.
What makes “My Damn Channel Live” interesting is its dedication to the marriage of network-quality programming with real-time social media. The show’s host, Beth Hoyt, will run original videos produced by My Damn Channel’s stable of successful YouTube stars, interview celebrities and answer questions culled from YouTube and Twitter live.
The concept isn’t a novel idea–YouTube has been hosting live shows since 2010–but “My Damn Channel Live” will be the first live comedy show on YouTube. The site itself already boasts 30 new original comedy series in production.
Judging from the introduction video, the show could go one of two ways–offbeat hilarity that garners a cult-like following, or grating trytoohardy-ness that eventually fizzles out. The show’s success is mostly up to Ms. Hoyt, who has a ton of comedy experience under her belt. Many of her past projects have weirdly aggressive titles like “Shut Up, Beth!” and “Big Effing Deal!”, so she’s basically perfect for a show called “My Damn Channel Live(!).”