@midnight (A.K.A. @midnight with Chris Hardwick) is an American late-night Internet-based combination scripted, rehearsed and improv panel game show hosted by podcaster and stand-up comedian Chris Hardwick. It airs on Comedy Central.
Each episode features three comedians competing against one another in a series of Internet-inspired games (some of which require improvisation, but also allow for some prepared jokes), which vary from episode to episode.
Host Chris Hardwick begins each game by introducing some Internet meme trending that day, and asks the panel of comedians to craft a funny response or choose the correct answer among multiple choices. Contestants are awarded points by Hardwick (who loudly announces "Points!") for each funny or correct answer. The "points" system is ultimately arbitrary.
This continues through about five segments, after which the third-place contestant is usually eliminated from the game and is doused in red light. During a special episode, Hardwick may keep all three contestants in the game after the fifth segment (if the third-place contestant is lucky enough). Hardwick then introduces the final game – "FTW" (For The Win) – and tosses to a commercial break, during which the remaining two contestants craft their responses.
After returning from commercial, Hardwick "wipes" the remaining comedians' scores and reads each of their (anonymous) answers in turn. The comedian whose response generates the most laughter/applause from the studio audience "wins the Internet".
Each episode includes a segment called "Hashtag Wars", in which the contestants must make up jokes based on a simple premise that could be a trending internet hashtag topic (i.e. #DrunkBroadway, #SadToys, or #CheapBooks). Fans of the show are invited to contribute their own hashtags via Twitter, tagging @midnight in order to be considered. Each episode declares an online winner for the previous episode's game. This game often features entries from well-known performers and comedians, including Frank Conniff.
Show Airing History
- The show first premiered on October 21, 2013, before being renewed for a 40-week second season on November 14 that same year. *The second season first aired on January 6, 2014.
- A third season renewal was announced on July 7, 2015 and is set to air throughout 2016 as stated.
- The show aired at 11pm during a brief hiatus of "The Daily Show", which normally airs at that time.
- On July 18th, 2017, Comedy Central announced that Mr. Hardwick and the network had agreed to discontinue the show. New episodes would be produced until August 4th.
Awards and Critical Reception
- The show received a nomination for Outstanding Interactive Program at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.
- Hardwick, a long-time fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, had Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett as the guests for the episode that aired on June 9, 2015.
- In recognition of Season 11 debuting on Netflix, the April 18th, 2017 episode of @midnight featured Felicia Day, Jonah Ray, and Hampton Yount. The Hashtag Wars topic was #RuinSciFi.