“Videos After Dark” is perhaps Bob Saget’s driest return to television possible. He makes his comeback as the host of this show after hosting “America’s Funniest Home Videos” for eight years, from 1989 to 1997.
For a show that marketed itself as a home videos compilation show “for adults,” one of the only true differences that separated this show from its predecessor “AFV” was the creepy undertone that accompanied the sound of Bob Saget’s voice providing commentary for sexually-revealing slapstick humor. After each commercial break, Saget was re-introduced with a wholly unnecessary and vaguely discomforting sexual remark by a female MC, such as “here again is a man who loves making people laugh, and he can do it without the use of his hands.” The most enjoyable part of the pilot was when Saget brought out Dave Koz, an American saxophonist, to imitate fart noises. While the fart noises were not particularly entertaining, the part where Koz showcases his saxophone abilities distracted from Saget’s forced commentary and the saddening fact that Koz was about to waste his talent on bodily humor.
Saget poorly attempts stand-up comedy in between video compilations, which results in crickets from the audience. At some point, he tries to make a pun about the show’s reboot, saying “I love rebooting. I put on my boots three times today, and they fell off, but I learned a valuable lesson. Don’t try to wear your boots on your penis.” If that doesn’t sway you away from the show automatically, I don’t know what will.
Even for viewers that enjoy slapstick and bodily humor, the pilot lacked range in the videos it showed. There was nothing shocking or unique about these compilations, which took away from the show’s attempt to be edgy and reach out to a mature audience. The only factor that made this show mature was the increase in blurred genitalia and falling strippers, but apart from that, the episode struggled to differentiate itself from a weak episode of “AFV.” The comedic value of each video seemed to decrease through Saget’s commentary, and his lame attempts at foreign accents and imitation of the people in each video felt like overkill next to videos that are not even funny. The energy of the live audience noticeably diminished over time, and by the end of the pilot the laughter was forced and even Saget wasn’t enjoying his time hosting.
While it is possible that the series lacks heart from only having a pilot episode thus far, it shows no real potential for running as long as AFV has (29 seasons). With the increase of video distribution platforms on social media, shows like these seem unnecessary, especially if they have nothing particularly unique to offer. Videos displayed throughout the pilot episode can easily be found on Instagram or Facebook, where it at least has an obvious demand and potential for virality. Saget’s lack of energy and overall discomforting vibe kills the minimal potential the show had from its intrigue, and the creators might benefit from a switch in both the host and his supporting team of comedy writers if it wants any chance in staying in the running for renewal. If you like slapstick humor, you can get your fix within the first five minutes of this show. Anything after that would most likely be a slap to your own face.