Sample Comedy Central's "Tosh.0" and you'll think it's just the network's take on "The Soup," E!'s venerable mashup of silly TV snippets.
After all, anyone can turbo browse YouTube and find plenty of clips worth mocking. But "Tosh.0" does so with a comic brio bordering on genius. And much of the credit goes to Daniel Tosh, the unorthodox comic at the helm.
He's handsome in a boy next door sort of way, eager to drop trou if the humorous situation demands and unafraid of the cultural taboos that prevent lesser comics from saying the funniest thing that comes to mind.
The show, now in its fourth season, has lost little of its vibrancy or snap. "Tosh.0" opens with a series of rude and ridiculous YouTube-style clips, narrated with grand cheer by Tosh. Sometimes he'll sit back and let the comedy speak for itself. But most of the time he cheers the insanity on, pelting the poor saps at the heart of the videos with a crush of put downs and snarky asides.
His batting average is remarkably high, and lest anyone think "Tosh.o" is just another "Funniest Home Videos" consider the following:
Tosh routinely flouts PC terminology to mine laughs from the material, and his aw, shucks approach somehow lets him get away with it. How long that lasts depends on which group he offends next, but it's rare to see an episode that spares all audiences.
He's quick to mock the Religious Right, but in the next breath burst the bubble of a group the media - and his fellow comics - protects. Conservatives don't mind getting roasted so long as the roaster hits the other side with equal venom. It's what makes "South Park" such an institution. No one is spared, period.
None of "Tosh.0's" antics would matter if it shocked more than entertained. That said, the series is not for the squeamish. Some of the videos include people suffering bodily harm - we assume they walk away from incidents ... right? Other clips feature scenes more gross than the thought of "Fear Factor" contestants chugging animal excretions.
Those foul moments are the exceptions to the gleefully funny rule.
"Tosh.0" isn't for everyone, but for those bored by cookie-cutter comedies unwilling to go to uncomfortable places it's the best half hour of TV each week.
"Tosh.0" airs at 10 p.m. Tuesday nights on Comedy Central.