That Guy with the Glasses
|That Guy with the Glasses|
Type of site
|Web series (entertainment reviews and comedy)|
|Launched||April 20, 2008|
|Current status||Defunct; replaced by Channel Awesome's website.|
That Guy with the Glasses was a website showcasing satirical reviews of movies, television shows, music, comic books and video games. It featured the work of Doug Walker, a Chicago-based comedian, writer, and film critic also known as "That Guy with the Glasses". It also featured videos from other producers. The founder and administrator of the site was Michael Michaud, CEO of the parent company Channel Awesome. The site was launched April 2009 following video content being removed from YouTube due to complaints of copyright infringement. On December 3, 2014, it was announced that the site would shut down and rebrand itself as ChannelAwesome.com.
Prior to closing in December 2014, the website was home to several series starring Doug Walker and others. The main Walker series are 5 Second Movies (hyper-edited feature films), Nostalgia Critic (comedic recaps of bad movies, mainly family films), Ask That Guy with the Glasses (a comedy question and answer show) and Bum Reviews (humorous plot summaries of theatrical releases). Other videos and written articles were 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 Overview
- 3 Long-running series
- 4 Notable smaller series
- 5 Notable former series
- 6 Awards
- 7 Closing
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Doug Walker first appeared on the web on YouTube, posting several 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 reveal his real name until a video responding to the Northern Illinois University shooting. The series had its content withdrawn from YouTube following complaints from 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate over alleged copyright infringement. Walker attempted to re-upload his content by assigning each video a new, separate channel. However, due to continuing issues, Walker decided to leave YouTube 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 averaged 100,000 to 300,000 viewers per week while on the site, and as a whole it received 1 million page views per month. This was expected to increase following content-provider Blip.tv's deal with YouTube in July 2009. As of July 2009, the site earned more than $10,000 per month in advertising revenue and received more than $11,000 in online donations. 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 did 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.
The website featured content from about 50 other producers aside from Doug Walker, primarily humorous reviews of media and popular culture items.
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.
To complement the existing "Nostalgia Critic" (Doug Walker), a competition to find a female host to review female-targeted nostalgic media was announced in "The Search for the Nostalgia Chick" (August 10, 2008). A contest generated the winner, Lindsay Ellis.
The Cinema Snob
The Cinema Snob stars Brad Jones as a pretentious art critic who watches and comments on late 60's-early 90's obscure exploitation films and pornography, starting with "E.T. The Porno" (January 7, 2010). 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 Angry Joe Show
The Angry Joe Show is a webseries appearing in late 2008, Channel Awesome's leading video game review show, created by Joe Vargas, known by his stage name "Angry Joe." It generally consists of reviews by Joe stating his honest opinions of current releases of video games, mixed with sketch comedy. These include recent troubles he sees in the game releasing sphere such as title exclusivity to a certain console, cutting off previously present and willing buyers, done due to what he says is the misguided preference of console producer's money as apposed to consumer's money; and what he observes as triple A game producers taking compatible parts of what use to be a finished game only months before release, and releasing them later a DLC, to in his opinion artificially increase profit. The show has a satirical running gag of Joe fighting "The Corporate Commander" (a spoof of The Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe), a masked villain who wishes to ruin the gaming community by forcing them to pay substantial amounts of money for sub-par games. Joe is also the founder of "The Angry Army", a gaming community where hundreds of video gamers around the world can compete with each other on certain online games. He's lives in Austin, TX, where the show and army are centered because. He is the only member of the site that primarily uses Youtube, due to it's favoring of game related videos. Joe is also one of the two main reviewer of Spanish decent, next to Eric Rodriguez. Alongside his video game reviews, he also occasionally reviews movies. He made appearances on The Nostalgia Critic, including a review of The Digimon Movie and a crossover review of Man of Steel.
Atop the Fourth Wall
Hosted by Minnesota resident Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug, this is the site's leading comic book review show, and is one of the sites tamer and lighthearted shows (Lovhaug never says curse words like the f word on camera). Due to his science fiction television and film fanboy-ism, Lewis is also the biggest user of a story-line, where the same character he plays to review the books is an important agent against supernatural and scientific attacks in the TGWTG universe. The reviews and story are featured together. 1990's exaggerated and highly inaccurate to real life human artwork and faux macho and dark writing; and politically incorrect writers (mostly sexism like in to case of, in his opinion, Scott Lobdell, and racism such as in the case, in his opinion of Frank Miller), are his most prevalent topics.
Todd's Pop Song Reviews
As the title indicates, Todd Nathanson reviews what's on the Billboard Hot 100 now, and songs of the Hot 100's past in the form of one hit wonder reviews (a song that is the only one a music act is known for to this day). Todd's visual style of reviewing is in the same vein as SF Debris' and Confused Matthew's style, in that his preference towards the way he looks is to keep it anonymous. This works though, as his appearance in his videos is that of him sitting at a piano (which he knows how to play) in silhouette, which effectively plays into the pretentious nature of music. His show is one of the more downbeat of the site's, as he likes portraying himself as depressed and apathetic (his bio on Lindsay Ellis's website says it all).
Notable smaller series
The Blockbuster Buster
Eric "Erod" Rodriguez, who also has the name of the show attributed to him, specializes in reviews of bad blockbusters and mega-funded releases, but primarily is the person on the site who voices fanboys, enthusiasts of/people who've been emotionally endeared to a franchise, as he has a talent of always being able to say something informative and positive (or at least definitive) about any famous series. He applies this trade to fandom ruining adaptations, remakes, and sequels. He's even refused a proper review solely on the grounds that it would be logically redundant. He's a strong proponent of voice actor recognition, coming from his strong love of a long list of classic cartoons (Animaniacs, Ducktales, Codename: Kids Next Door).
Some Jerk with a Camera
Tony Goldmark, the son of a small recording studio and distributor owner, Kathi Kamen Goldmark, which lead to a small career for him in comedy music (his most recent album having been released in early 2014 called Goldmark After Dark), started a webseries due to his abnormally easy access to and history with Disneyland, a review show very unique to Channel Awesome (it's addition was just recent): theme parks/park rides and attractions, for two seasons. Very notable is his also unique to the site acquaintance with "Weird Al" Yankovic, as Tony got a small part in Al's Perform This Way music video, lead to the two hitting it off. Al has appeared in multiple episodes of the show, outshining other cameos/guest appearances on Channel Awesome from people such as Mara Wilson and Rob Paulsen. Geekvision describes his show's style and tone as "absurdist comedy and weird digressions at a manic, cartoony pace." Tony is currently working on a third season.
Notable former series
Should be noted, their shows are still going despite leaving.
The Spoony Experiment
The Spoony Experiment (TSE) is a series 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, playing off of his comedic, sarcastic and self-aware stick-in-the-mud opinions and attitude. A running thing between him and his fans is a belief that Noah barely likes anything. 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. Side series include talking about two things he's been big into for a lot of his life: D&D and pro wrestling.
Brows Held High
Hosted by Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren, a PBS raised expert in the inspirations and history behind film, used his knowledge and skill at studying and theorizing to be the site's "arthouse" (a term he's for a while found inaccurate) and high brow film reviewer, covering auteurs from Lars Von Trier, to Harmony Korine, to Terry Gilliam, to Gus Van Sant; generational artistic movements, and oddities that shouldn't exist, but somehow have a high brow point.
Phelous & Obscuras Lupa
Canadian native Phelan "Phelous" Porteous is the bad/generic horror movie and obscure cartoon reviewer. Was known on the site and by the fans for his very distinct self-referential, and goofy humor. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil are topics he likes using on his show. He works closely with the second most popular female reviewer on the site, Allison Pregler, who did an upbeat and cheerful job being the premier obscure, cult, so bad they're good genre movie reviewer of the group. Usually features cheapo limited release or DVD only release producers like Full Moon Features, famous movie ripoffs, supernatural genre exploitation, action exploitation, and sometimes both, such as with Vampire Cop.
On January 6, 2011, Doug Walker was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Las Vegas at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards, Mashable Awards 2010.
On December 3, 2014, an announcement came out stating the site would be officially closing, with most of its content moved over to a new official website (Channel Awesome). Reasons for the site's closing include streamlining their content's accessibility, and the fact that the character bearing the site's name, which used to have a web series of its own, has been killed off in a final episode. By December 19, the website was redirecting to the new site.
- "ChannelAwesome.com". ChannelAwesome.com. Archived from the original on December 17, 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
- Dreier, Troy. "Revver Non-Payments Have Video Makers Crying Foul". StreamingMedia. Retrieved 2009-04-14.
- Pickard, Anna (November 19, 2007). "The five-second movies and why you should watch them". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Spirrison, Brad (July 6, 2009). "Entertainers don't need TV break to hit it big". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- Meyer, Ann (July 6, 2009). "Growing breed of accidental entrepreneur has recession to thank for business creation". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-07-10.
- Daley, Jason (December 2009). "The Entrepreneur Economy". Entrepreneur. Please note that Mike Ellis and Mike Michaud have been mislabeled in the article.
- "Lost in DC: PBS Commercial Documentary". That Guy with the Glasses. February 18, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- "We have a Winner!". RiffTrax. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
- Graham, Jefferson (February 13, 2009). "Blip.tv gives videomakers a chance to be a star". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved 2009-05-12.
- Learmonth, Mke (July 28, 2009). "Blip.tv Brings Programs to YouTube, Ads to 'Channel Awesome'". Advertising Age. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "Status of the Site 6/5/09". That Guy With The Glasses. June 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
- "Blip launches production studio, seeks to expand". The Chicago Tribune. June 28, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-29.
- "Revver be Dead". That Guy With The Glasses. 2008-11-14. Retrieved 2008-11-14.
- Jenkins, Mike; Bacio, Jose (June 19, 2009). "The Man Hour". Man Hour Goes Nostalgic.
- "BtZ24: An interview with Brad Jones". Bthroughz.com. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "The Cinema Snob: Bad movies are beautiful to Brad Jones". Illinois Times. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- "FROM OUR BLOGS: The Cinema Snob movie reviewed". News Herald. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Noah Antwiler on IMDb.com
- "A Farewell to Noah Antwiler aka SpoonyOne with CA". 22 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
- "Mashable". Mashable. January 6, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-07.