Comedy Central premiered its third season of online videos from sister website Atom.com overnight at 2:30 a.m., this time with a slightly new format, offering rotating hosts each week -- Paul F. Tompkins hosted the season premiere and screened his zombie short with Rich Sommer. Other hosts this season will include Team Tiger Awesome, Jacob Fleisher, Zach Selwyn, Jay Larson, and Riegel and Blatt.
Think of it as Funny Or Die Presents, just without all of the hype, the big-name comedians and the ability to avoid censors on HBO. Not that PFT isn't big. But these videos, which first showed up online and now get a chance to be seen on bigger smaller screens of old-school television, aren't typically produced or sponsored by A-list celebrities like Funny or Die's are. Airing weekly at 2:30 a.m., which Comedy Central is calling "Super Late Fun Time," I get the feeling that this must be the new "late-night" as discovered by someone in the research department, crunching the numbers on the network's key demos and determining that teen boys and college-aged men are glued to the tube at this hour. Or they just know when I'm up.
Atom TV also is promoting its own "tournament" which offers up to $1,500 and the possibility of TV airtime for user-submitted videos to Atom.com. Last night's Atom Tournament winners that made the leap from Web to TV included Facebooked - Episode 1: Friend Request and Texting While Walking PSA. This week's current online champ comes from L.A. sketch group The Birthday Boys, and their trailer for the documentary spoof, Pooljumpers. Take that, Dogtown Z-Boy skateboard punks! These guys, changing the way you looked at swimming pools. Roll it.
In related news...this year, it appears as though Atom.com actually wants us to know ahead of time which comedians they've signed up with to produce original content and webseries. I know! So instead of just going to a "funny video" site online and wondering where the funny videos are, now they're helping us find them in advance. Stunning concept.
So, what do we have to look forward to at Atom.com later this year?