Is Tosh.0 Morally Superior to America's Funniest Home Videos?

More

Watch ABC's America's Funniest Home Videos and you'll see host Tom Bergeron chuckling as kids whack their grandfathers in the groin with pinata sticks. The audience chortles good-naturedly along with him.

In contrast, the laughter on Comedy Central's Tosh.0 is snide and mean-spirited. "As each clip is replayed," writes James Parker in the December 2012 Atlantic, host Daniel Tosh "tries, in a supremely idle way, to say the most merciless and terrible thing he can possibly say about it." Tosh's unabashed sadism inspires Parker to quote Samuel Taylor Coleridge's description of a “devil at the very end of hell, warming himself at the reflection of the fire in the ice."

In this video, Parker contrasts scenes from the two shows. Along the way, he argues that Bergeron's genial jibes are even more insidious than Tosh's demonic joy.


Jump to comments

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is The Atlantic's digital features editor. More

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She joined the staff full time in January 2006. Before coming to The Atlantic, Jennie was senior editor at Moment, a national magazine founded by Elie Wiesel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In