That Guy with the Glasses
|Type of site||Web series (entertainment reviews and comedy)|
|Launched||April 20, 2008|
That Guy with the Glasses is a website that primarily showcases comedic reviews of movies, television shows, popular music, comics and video games. It primarily features the work of Doug Walker, a Chicago-based comedian, writer, and film critic also known as "That Guy with the Glasses". In addition to Walker, the website also features videos from other producers. The founder and administrator of the site is Michael Michaud, CEO of the parent company Channel Awesome. The site was launched in April 2008 after the original videos were removed from YouTube following complaints of copyright infringement.
The website is home to several series, starring Douglas Walker and others. The main Walker series are Nostalgia Critic (scene-by-scene reviews of films and television, later including more recent movies as well), Ask That Guy with the Glasses (a comedy question and answer show), Bum Reviews (humorous plot summaries of recently released feature films), and 5 Second Movies (hyper-edited feature films). Other videos and written articles are hosted on the site, including some minor series and sketches starring Walker. Videos are now hosted by blip.tv after problems with earlier provider Revver.
- 1 History
- 2 Events
- 3 Overview
- 4 Current long-running series
- 5 Notable former series
- 6 Awards
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Doug Walker's first appearance on the web was on the video website YouTube, in which he created satirical video reviews of films and other media entertainment of the past and present. Initially, Walker viewed making the videos as a side hobby, rarely interacting with his fans and did not even reveal his real name until a video responding to the Northern Illinois University shooting. The series drew complaints from major studios like 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate over alleged copyright infringement. This led to his video content being taken off the website. Walker attempted to re-upload his content by assigning each video a new, separate channel so that if one were deleted, the others would be left intact. However, due to continuing issues with YouTube, Walker decided to leave the website altogether and create the website That Guy with the Glasses with webmaster Mike Michaud. Michaud had created the sites' parent company, Channel Awesome, after he and two others were laid off from Circuit City in 2007. Michaud has stated, "If we didn't lose our jobs, [the business] wouldn't have happened anytime soon."
The site was re-launched in April 2008, and all of Walker's future videos would only be posted there. In the following months, the site rapidly added new contributors and series. In December 2008, Walker appeared in a commercial for the PBS documentary Make 'Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America, performing a series of brief imitations of famous comedians, from Charlie Chaplin to Stephen Colbert. In 2009, Doug and Rob Walker and Brian Heinz produced an iRiff of The Lion King for RiffTrax. In March 2009, the iRiff was chosen as the winner of the website's RiffTrax Presents contest. The performers received $1,000 and, with instruction from Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett, recorded a commentary for the film Batman Forever.
The Nostalgia Critic shows average 100,000 to 300,000 viewers per week, and the site as a whole receives 1 million page views per month. This is expected to increase following content-provider Blip.tv's deal with YouTube in July 2009. As of July 2009, the site earns more than $10,000 per month in advertising revenue and has received more than $11,000 in online donations, with the company expecting to earn $150,000 by the end of the year. In the third quarter of the 2009 Fiscal year, Walker's shows earned $53,000, including $32,000 from the Nostalgia Critic alone. This revenue was generated by run of network from Puma and Starburst. The success of his shows has allowed Walker to make a living performing and to quit his previous job as an illustrator, as well as pay the salary of co-founder/COO Mike Ellis.
Channel Awesome has plans to build on the success of That Guy with the Glasses with a network of new websites including Bar Fiesta (covering Chicago entertainment and nightlife), Blistered Thumbs (a spin off incorporating the current site's video game content) and InkedReality (anime, manga, and comic books). Michaud told the Chicago Sun-Times that he has 300 new show ideas in the works, intends to discover more performers like Walker, and has plans to increase revenue through sponsorships and merchandising.
On June 28, 2012, Channel Awesome content producers Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic), Lindsay Ellis (The Nostalgia Chick), Brad Jones (The Cinema Snob), and Todd Nathanson (Todd in the Shadows) signed exclusivity deals with Blip.tv, the video website which has directly hosted most TGWTG and Channel Awesome programming since they left Revver in 2008. The deal will not affect the appearance of the producers' videos on Channel Awesome's That Guy with the Glasses website, and would assist the increase of budget of the four series, as well as provide technical improvements. An extension of this deal is a Blip-run YouTube channel called "League of Super Critics" which also uploads the unedited videos of all four producers, with the exception of the Cinema Snob, whose videos are edited down from the original version so that the only way one can see the full video is to go to Blip.
First Anniversary: That Guy With The Glasses Team Brawl
On May 10, 2009, The Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd starred in "TGWTG Team Brawl", which was filmed in Chicago, IL, and celebrated That Guy With the Glasses' first anniversary. Various personalities from both the Critic and Nerd's sites participated in a battle between the "Reviewers", led by the Critic, and "Gamers", led by the Nerd. "The Final Brawl" was created not only as a major cross-over video, but as a meet up for the contributors. One notable crossover video was a joint review with the Nostalgia Critic and Angry Video Game Nerd who reviewed a documentary about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' "Coming Out of their Shells" concert.
TGWTG Charity Donation Drive
On December 5, 2009, Doug and Rob Walker, Noah Antwiler, Joe Vargas, Ed Glaser, Brian Heinz, Bhargav Dronamraju, Bennett White, and Victoria Turner hosted a live charity drive to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house charity. The drive was hosted on UStream, accepting donations through PayPal and offering incentives on the site such as premium memberships on the site, along with a phone call from Doug and company for any donations over $300. The drive started at 7:00 CST, and had raised over $20,000 by midnight. The drive ran for over 7 hours and ended with a grand total of $26,400. The second donation drive was held on December 5, 2010, ending with a grand total of $50,025.
Second Anniversary: Kickassia
A special marking the second anniversary of the site was filmed in the Republic of Molossia on April 9 through April 11, 2010. In addition to the site contributors, the video also features Molossia's President Kevin Baugh and his family playing parodies of themselves. The plot involves the site members invading Molossia, under the leadership of the Nostalgia Critic, renaming the micronation Kickassia, before infighting instigated by the previous ruler who had infiltrated the Kickassian government in disguise, leads to the collapse of the new state and restoration of the previous government. A DVD of the special was released in October 2010.
The series was met with mixed to positive reception.
Third Anniversary: Suburban Knights
The third anniversary special of the site, entitled Suburban Knights, aired in seven parts from June 27 to July 2 in 2011. The plot involves the reviewers going after "Malachite's Hand", a magic gauntlet hidden in suburban Illinois while cosplaying famous characters from fantasy films and video games. During their quest, they are opposed by a force of guardians that are protecting the gauntlet, and are pursued by Malachite, an ancient sorcerer who seeks the gauntlet to restore his powers and destroy the world of technology forever. Malachite overpowers the reviewers and briefly reclaims the gauntlet—which had been refashioned into a Nintendo Power Glove—but is defeated by Ma-Ti (a parody of Ma-Ti from Captain Planet) through the power of heart. Ma-Ti is killed along with Malachite and the reviewers hold his funeral, parodying that of Spock in Star Trek II.
The film was met with generally positive reception, citing a great storyline as the series' major strength.
Fourth Anniversary: To Boldly Flee
On June 27, 2012, a teaser trailer was released for the site's fourth anniversary special To Boldly Flee, an 8-part, three-hour-plus science fiction parody film. A "final" trailer was released on August 16, 2012. The site's promotion of the special caused fan speculation about the possible end of the Nostalgia Critic series.
Part 1 was released on August 23, 2012 with the other parts being released every three days thereafter. Combining elements of slapstick, black, meta, and referential humor, with in-jokes and callbacks to individual contributors' running sketches and gags (such as a lengthy sub-plot involving Linkara's archenemy clone Mechakara), it is a direct continuation of the Suburban Knights story, centering around a search across the solar system for the presumed-dead Ma-Ti and a mysterious space anomaly called the 'Plot Hole,' which spews out inconsistencies in time and logic, causing an imbalance.
In the final episode, the Nostalgia Critic enters the real world through the hole and meets the Writer (Doug Walker), learning that he is in fact a fictitious character. After the hole merges with the universe, the Critic, too, merges with the hole to keep it stable, thus supplying an "in-universe" reason for his departure. The remaining TGWTG critics, having survived the merging and accepting the fact that they now reside within a literal mistake, celebrate their victory in That Guy with the Glasses' mansion.
The film parodies and pays homage to numerous works of science fiction, including Star Wars, Star Trek, Judge Dredd, Battlefield Earth, Robocop, Aliens, The Terminator, Superman II, Metal Gear Solid and The Matrix, among many others. The film also satirizes the Stop Online Piracy Act, internet censorship and the film industry in general. The title To Boldly Flee is itself a reference to a popular Star Trek phrase.
The End and Return of the Nostalgia Critic
In August and September of 2012, Walker began laying the groundwork for a Nostalgia Critic finale. Beginning in the framing device for his video review of Scooby-Doo and culminating with the final events in the To Boldly Flee special, the Nostalgia Critic was given an official send-off. Walker confirmed his intention to end Nostalgia Critic as a series in a video news update on September 14, 2012 and provided further details about the series' end in his commentary for the Scooby-Doo review on September 19.
In January of 2013, Walker resumed the Nostalgia Critic series with an episode entitled The Review Must Go On. In the video, Walker (playing himself) has a conversation with the Nostalgia Critic (the character, also played by Walker) in which they explain their reasons for the return of the series. On February 5, 2013, Nostalgia Critic resumed weekly updates with one significant change to its previous format: reviews would no longer be limited to movies produced before the year 2000.
Fifth Year Anniversary: The Uncanny Valley
The teaser trailer for the fifth year anniversary special, entitled The Uncanny Valley, was released on July 2, 2013, and the special itself was released in installments between July 23, 2013 and July 28, 2013. Taken as a whole, the special is an anthology film all written by several contributors of the site.
|Dragonbored||A video game addict named Carl (Karl Custer, Jr.) brings his character (Doug Walker) from the ficitional
Skyguard who slowly begins to take over Carl's life.
|July 23, 2013|
|Dragged In||Sci-Fi Guy (Leo Thompson) is hired by a government agency and learns that aliens are abducting the
most popular internet topic: cats!
|July 24, 2013|
|The Reviewers||Andy (Brian Lewis) and Jeff (Jake Norvell) are two rival internet reviewers competing to get famous online.||July 25, 2013|
|Internet Dating and Me||MikeJ (Mike Jeavons) explores the world of online dating in this documentary film.||July 26, 2013|
|Darkside of the Internet||Welshy (Mat Williams) presents a documentary about the dangers of the Internet, featuring a number of Channel Awesome producers.||July 27, 2013|
|The Pointless Epilogue||Diamanda Hagan (Xaria Byron) wraps up The Uncanny Valley by attempting to get her own contribution up, but finds out it is too late and kills The Web Master (Nash Bozard) and Thomas (Rob Walker), before being asked to bring them back to life by Channel Awesome.||July 28, 2013|
The website features content from about 50 other producers aside from Doug Walker. The majority of the content is humorous reviews of various media and popular culture items, though some content does not consist of reviews or is not primarily humorous.
Current long-running series
The Cinema Snob
The Cinema Snob stars Brad Jones as a pretentious film critic who watches and comments on late 60's-early 90's obscure exploitation films and pornography. Like many other shows on "That Guy with the Glasses", Jones started his show on YouTube until he was confronted with a copyright claim from the filmmakers of Nail Gun Massacre. The first episode on the site was "E.T. The Porno" (January 7, 2010).
The idea of a "Nostalgia Chick" to complement the existing "Nostalgia Critic" (Doug Walker) was announced on the That Guy with the Glasses website in "The Search for the Nostalgia Chick" (August 10, 2008). The idea was for a female host to review female-targeted nostalgic films and television. A contest generated the winner, Lindsay Ellis.
The Nostalgia Critic is the most popular video series created by Walker, in which he plays the titular reviewer. The show is written by him and his brother Rob Walker. The series was initially launched on YouTube before moving to Blip TV. It is the flagship show for Channel Awesome, which has since built on it with additional content, additional websites and the spin-off show Nostalgia Chick.
Todd in the Shadows
Todd in the Shadows is a weekly show that reviews current popular music in "Todd's Pop Song Reviews" and discusses the brief stints in popularity of past songs in the show "One Hit Wonders." It is hosted by Todd Nathanson.
Notable former series
The Spoony Experiment
The Spoony Experiment (TSE) is a series starring by Noah Antwiler (born December 27, 1980) as "The Spoony One" or "Spoony". The series was hosted on both its own site of the same name, and That Guy with the Glasses. The primary format of the series is humorous reviews of video games and movies. From 2010, it has also incorporated some games journalism at trade shows such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo. The mascot of the series is "Burton the Robot", a robot puppet made by Antwiler. On June 21, 2012, following controversial comments made by Antwiler on Twitter, TGWTG.com announced Antwiler's intention to leave the site to pursue his own goals.
On January 6, 2011, Doug Walker was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Las Vegas at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards, Mashable Awards 2010.
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