Since debuting in October, Comedy Central’s @midnight has become quite a success, earning solid ratings, and finally stabilizing the post-Colbert Report slot, which the network has had difficulty filling for years. Plenty of hilarious comedians have been on the show, and once in awhile we’ve gotten some surprise guests, such as Kevin Smith and Neko Case. But while the list of folks who have made an appearance on @midnight is getting larger, there are still plenty of talented people who haven’t joined in on the fun yet. With that in mind, we present ten talented, funny folks who we think would make fine guests on the @midnight stage.
Last year’s The Jeselnik Offensive was acclaimed by critics, but struggled in the ratings and was canceled after just one season, thanks to Jeselnik’s ultra-dark humor being an acquired taste. But what’s fascinating here is that in a July interview with Bill Simmons, Jeselnik claimed that Comedy Central had initially approached him about a four-times-a-week show that would air after Stewart and Colbert. It’s not a great stretch to think that @midnight is what that show became. Now, with Jeselnik sadly without a show, it would be fun to watch him seek revenge on the network — and possibly on Chris Hardwick — by coming through with a dominant performance, and reminding us all just how brilliant his dark take on life can be.
We’ve seen both actors and musicians on the show before, but we’re still waiting for the first professional athlete to appear on @midnight. Why would McCarthy — who pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks — be a good choice? Because he’s really freaking funny. We might have to wait for baseball season to end to make this one work, but McCarthy’s hilarious Twitter feed suggests he can handle the competition, even from some of the more experienced comics out there.
The tweeter turned Parks And Rec writer turned author is one of the most brilliant minds working today, and she’s a master of the one-liner, as her Twitter feed often illustrates. She clearly has the quick wit needed to handle the rapid fire nature of the show, and her willingness to take virtually any taboo you can think of and make it hilarious would work well with the show’s generally ribald feel. Plus, due to her reclusive nature, it would just be fun to see her in a forum outside of the internet for once.
After delivering one of the best — and most underrated — White House Correspondents Dinner speeches in 2009, we haven’t heard much from Sykes, which is a shame, because she’s hilarious. A comedy vet with a sharp wit and memorable delivery, Sykes would practically be royalty if she made her way to the @midnight stage – and the younger bucks out there would have to step their game up.
Who wouldn’t love this? First of all, after his roles on Firefly, Castle, and Dr. Horrible’s Singlong Blog, Fillion is a favorite among the nerd crowd, which means the folks who became fans of Chris Hardwick through his Nerdist podcast would definitely tune in for this one. Secondly, Fillion is just naturally funny guy, who should have no trouble holding his own against the comics. With that said, if the show decided to go all-in and do a Dr. Horrible reunion episode — with Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day as the other two guests — that would be really awesome, too.
Anyone From Odd Future/Loiter Squad (or an episode with all-Odd Future lineup)
People from the music world have appeared on the show before, and as anyone has seen Loiter Squad knows, the Odd Future dudes have already proven themselves to be pretty damn funny. Plus, even if Tyler The Creator’s boundary-pushing humor isn’t your thing, it would likely translate well to the @midnight stage, where the cruelest jokes tend to be the ones that earn the most POINTS! Plus, if an episode featured Tyler and Earl Sweatshirt is contestants, it would likely draw in a section of hip-hop fans who normally don’t follow the show, and deliver some of the highest ratings ever.
Over the past year, Comedy Central’s two biggest new shows have been @midnight and Inside Amy Schumer, which just wrapped up a brilliant second season, and appears to be one of the network’s flagship shows going forward. So, this would be a natural pairing. Plus, Schumer is just funny as hell, and if she went up against two lesser-known comics, they would have a damn-near-impossible chance of beating her.
I have no idea why this hasn’t happened yet. As Smoove has shown us throughout his career, he’s ridiculously funny, and great at delivering a one-liner. Plus, he’s a naturally outrageous personality, and would immediately liven up episode he’s featured. The sooner we get Leon from Curb on the @midnight panel, the sooner we achieve world peace! Okay, maybe not, but he still really should be on the show.
The Superchunk drummer gives hilariousness to the world every day on Twitter, and as we know from his time in the duo of Scharpling & Wurster, he has plenty of experience in the world of comedy. He’d be a logical choice for the next musician guest, and considering his friendship with Neko Case, if they ever have her back, it’d be fun to have Wurster on, too, and create a bit of friendly rivalry.
Jon Stewart/Stephen Colbert
Okay, maybe this one is a bit of wishful thinking, but it would it really kill either of them to spend one night competing for some POINTS? Especially with Colbert making the move to CBS next year, it would great to have the two compete against each other as a send-off of sorts. My guess is they would try to be super-friendly, but each of them would secretly want to humiliate the other. And who would the third guest be? Colbert replacement Larry Wilmore would be logical, but it also might be fun to have a lesser-known comic try his luck against the two comedy titans. Imagine Stewart and Colbert losing to someone you’ve barely heard of – now that would be a show!