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 satirical 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 5 Second Movies (hyper-edited feature films), 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) and Bum Reviews (humorous plot summaries of recently released 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 See also
- 8 References
- 9 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), 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 three series, as well as provide technical improvements. An extension of this deal is a Blip-run YouTube channel called "League of Super Critics" which features truncated versions of recent videos from the three producers.
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.
While Walker's intention was to officially end the show, it was kept as a secret from fans until after the premiere of Part 8, in which Walker confirmed, in a separate video, that the Nostalgia Critic regular series had reached its end (although he would later decide to bring back the show). The series finale of the Nostalgia Critic was a review of the 2002 film Scooby-Doo, which parodied the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation and was selected by fans. Walker claimed that he had not retired the Nostalgia Critic entirely, as he would return in cameos for Linkara and the Nostalgia Chick.
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 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.
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 its 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 That Guy with the Glasses 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, such as films, television series, comic books, anime, music, video games, food, and toys. However, there are several shows on the site which are neither reviews (such as Nash Bozard's What the Fuck is Wrong with You? and Stuart Ashen's Ashens Tech Dump), nor are intended to be primarily humorous (the majority of these are analytical-style review series, such as Leon Thomas' Renegade Cut).
Channel Awesome contributors tend to vary in approach between humor and serious analysis, often representing a balance of the two. Contributors are generally known by their cybernyms, some even creating fictional personas when appearing in their videos.
Current long-running series
Atop the Fourth Wall
Lewis Lovhaug, aka "Linkara", hosts a series in which he reviews bad comic books. Of particular note are those by Rob Leifeld and Gary Brodsky, as well as Frank Miller after his prime. The series started on the site with "Top 15 WTF Moments in Comics" (November 29, 2008). Every November, Linkara reviews golden age and silver age comics in a segment he calls "Secret Origins Month". Another segment is "PSA Hell", in which he reviews public service announcement comics. In particular, May of 2010 was themed as "PSA Hell Month". Linkara is admittedly a Pokémon fan, Star Trek fan, conservative, Doctor Who fan, and feminist. He also hosts a show documenting the history of the Power Rangers, of which he is a major fan. Among his strong dislikes are the Spider-Man comic One More Day (which he reviewed for his 200th episode, despite saying years earlier that it was one of the comics he would never review), and 1990s artwork, particularly that of Youngblood, in which characters are meant to look edgier to the extent where it almost appears that the characters lack visible eyes (a style which he has come to label "Youngblood's disease"). On occasion, Linkara will upload live reviews from conventions. Linkara also briefly narrated a show known as "Comics in Five Panels", in which he summarized entire comic books into five panels.
The Blockbuster Buster
E-Rod "The Blockbuster Buster" is a reviewer of bad, high-budget films in contrast to Nostalgia Critic's reviews of theatrical films regardless of budget. E-Rod has a major dislike of Michael Bay movies and is a major fan of the Darkwing Duck animated cartoon series. One major element of the show is E-Rod gaining his powers through a claw hammer, à la Mjölnir on Thor. In the original opening to his show, he is shown specifically attacking a VHS copy of Star Wars Episode I: the Phantom Menace. The original opening also begins with an "in a world" narration, in which he makes it apparent that he will "avenge the world of remakes and sequels".
Bad Movie Beatdown
Bad Movie Beatdown is a series hosted by Mathew Buck (born December 1, 1990) from Swindon, United Kingdom as "Film Brain". The series serves as a means of reviewing movies that were considered outside the normal demographic of Walker's Nostalgia Critic. Buck primarily reviews action and science fiction films, as well as rip-offs; he less frequently reviews romantic comedies, the majority of which are from the 2000s (though he has reviewed some more obscure films from the 1980s/90s, primarily British or made-for-TV films) to avoid interfering with Walker's demographic. Buck primarily looks at his material with an immense attention to research, incorporating comments from actors or crew about their respective work. Like other reviewers, he has one theme month per year, which have included the films of Sylvester Stallone, Steven Seagal, Wesley Snipes, and prominent WWE wrestlers.
Brows Held High
Kyle "Oancitizen" Kallgren is a reviewer of art house cinema. The first episode of Brows Held High on the site was "Shakespeare, Film and Kenneth Branagh - A Retrospective" (April 27, 2011). Kallgren takes a very analytical view of the films and finds the symbolism in many portions of the movies, though in a tongue-in-cheek manner that deconstructs the underlying pretensions of much of the films that he reviews. He is also known for his passion for literature and his style wherein his reviews sometimes reflect the nature of the film itself. Particularly notable examples are his review of The Man Who Fell To Earth, where the script of the entire video is sung to the tune of several songs by David Bowie, who starred in the film; and his review of Melancholia, where the film's exploration of depression is mirrored by the downward arc of the reviewer's on-camera mood and recovery.
Todd In The Shadows
Todd Nathanson is a reviewer of pop music. His moniker comes from his character gimmick of always filming his episodes in the dark. As a result, his face is never seen, and in crossovers and public appearances he compensates for the brighter lighting by wearing a hoodie and partial face mask. Todd's review style tends to focus on analysis of the lyrics, often mocking them if they are ridiculous and/or badly constructed. While his reviews typically focus on the specific song in question rather than the artist's whole body of work, there are sometimes exceptions, such as his review of Chris Brown's "Turn Up The Music", which he purposefully derailed into an analysis over Brown's domestic violence incident, and the response by the media, Brown's fanbase, and Brown himself.
In addition to his reviews of current songs, Todd has another series called One-Hit Wonderland, where he looks over the career of the so-called "one-hit wonders" and gives his opinion about their famous song and if their artist deserves a second chance. He is in a relationship with Lindsay Ellis, who also reviews on TGWTG as "The Nostalgia Chick". This is parodied in their videos by depicting the Nostalgia Chick as an obsessed stalker of Todd, who refuses her advances and is himself an obsessed stalker of Obscurus Lupa, another female reviewer in the site.
Bum Reviews features a crazy, drug-addicted homeless man named "Chester A. Bum" (portrayed by Walker) reviewing movies in an over-excited, random manner. Because he is so happy to be in a warm room, Chester likes every movie he sees regardless of its actual quality. The intro mocks such programs as Masterpiece Theatre. The Bum begins all his reviews with "Oh my God, this is the greatest movie I've ever seen in my life!" and always ends by shouting "Change! Ya got change?!" while holding a styrofoam cup at the viewer. The first episode was "Speed Racer" (May 11, 2008). The character is portrayed as a hyperactive, drug-addicted tramp and cinema-goer. He was created after the Nostalgia Critic's review of Cloverfield. Walker loved his impersonation of Hud from the film so much, that he used it as a basis for Chester, though the origins of the character came from Walker's review of Transformers.
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. 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 07, 2010).
Prior to the Cinema Snob, Brad Jones is also an independent filmmaker, whose independent films are on his site and TGWTG for viewing. As of December 2013 he is currently developing a new anthology movie called Shot on Shitteo.
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 (born November 24, 1984). The first episode of her series was Disney's "Pocahontas" (September 16, 2008).
Originally her episodes followed a similar style as The Nostalgia Critic's, with Lindsay recapping the movie while making jokes and criticisms along the way, but her style eventually began to diverge. Lindsay eventually abandoned the recap style in favor of discussing the movie's themes and flaws out of plot order, and also brought along a supporting cast, consisting of her friends Antonella "Nella" Inserra, Elisa Hansen, and guest appearances from her boyfriend Todd "In The Shadows" Nathanson.
The costume of the Nostalgia Chick initially included a pair of glasses and a bow tie, but they stopped appearing on the show after they were stolen. The bow tie was left over from Ellis' appearance in a production of Cabaret while studying at New York University (she played the accordion). Early episodes included the closing catchphrase "I remember it because the dudes don't" (based on the Nostalgia Critic's "I remember it so you don't have to").
In 2013, the second part of Lindsay's review of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was linked by Ian McKellen's Facebook page. Lindsay's review of Matilda also included the lead actress Mara Wilson herself, building off her previous appearance in the Critic's review of A Simple Wish.
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.
Notable former series
5 Second Movies
Walker is a figure in the "hyperediting" trend. Currently, 5 Second Movies has had a total of 131 episodes. After the 101st episode, Walker said he will only make them if he thinks of a very funny idea, because he has almost run out of ideas and he does not want to run the series into the ground and grow stale.
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, TGWTG.com announced Antwiler's intention to leave the site to pursue his own goals. He nevertheless remains on good terms with the producers of the websites and frequently collaborates with them.
On January 6, 2011, Doug Walker was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in Las Vegas at the 4th Annual Mashable Awards, Mashable Awards 2010.
- 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.
- Michaud, Mike (2010-12-06). "Charity Drive 2010 Aftermath". That Guy with the Glasses.
- "Invasion!". Khamsin Molossia News. Molossia.org. 12 April 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-15.
- "Kickassia the DVD!". That Guy with the Glasses. 2010-10-17.
- "Suburban Knights Part 1". Thatguywiththeglasses.com. 2011-06-26. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Columbia College, IL Q&A Session". That Guy With The Glasses. Retrieved 2009-01-20.
- "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.
- Jenkins, Mike; Bacio, Jose (June 19, 2009). "The Man Hour". Man Hour Goes Nostalgic.
- Ian McKellen
- Rob Walker on IMDb.com
- Whitwell, Tom (May 3, 2008). "Times Online – Microtrends: Hyperediting". Times Online (London). Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Interview between Handsome Tom of The Game Heroes and That Guy with the Glasses
- 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.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Nostalgia Critic|
- The Nostalgia Critic at the Internet Movie Database
- 5 Second Movies at the Internet Movie Database