Doug Walker as the Nostalgia Critic
|Genre||Physical comedy, reviews, satire|
|Created by||Michael Michaud
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||106 (As the Nostalgia Critic, as of 16 March 2010)|
|Running time||Various, usually 5-20 mins.|
|Original run||April 6, 2008 – present|
That Guy with the Glasses is a website that showcases original entertainment for an audience including video game enthusiasts and movie buffs. It primarily stars Chicago native Douglas Darien "Doug" Walker aka "That Guy with the Glasses." The founder and administrator of the site is Michael Michaud, in addition to being the 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 episodic series, starring Douglas Walker and others. The main Douglas Walker series are 5 Second Movies (hyper-edited feature films), The Nostalgia Critic (reviews of 1980-90s films and television), Ask That Guy with the Glasses (comedy question and answer show) and Bum Reviews with Chester A. Bum (plot summaries of current 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.
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. The series drew complaints from major studios like 20th Century Fox and Lions Gate over alleged copyright infringement. Despite Walker explaining in his videos that his videos are satirical, and thus protected by the "fair use" copyright clause, pressure from the studios resulted in his Youtube Channels and 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 Internet 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. The site later expanded to feature content from various other contributors. 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 show averages 100,000 to 200,000 viewers per week, and the site as a whole has 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 with $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 videogame content) and InkedReality (anime and comic books). Mike 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.
After contracting with Live Universe, Revver's earnings from July 2008 onwards were still "pending", meaning that Revver had delayed payments to unspecified date. On December 9, 2008, Revver sent a message to all its users saying that earnings from June were transferred, and the other earnings would be transferred as soon as possible. However, many people still have yet to receive these payments.
Several of their most popular content providers, including ScrewAttack and That Guy with the Glasses, have also publicly posted complaints of Revver owing them vast amounts of money on their websites and began moving their content over to Blip.TV
On December 5, 2009, Doug Walker, 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 & 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. Walker has recently announced that there will be a second charity drive in July, 2010.
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 link on the front page was removed during the site's January 2010 renovation. After his videos were taken down from Youtube, Walker made a video that parodied Chris Crocker's "Leave Britney Alone!" video, entitled "Leave 5 Second Movies Alone!" Today, 5 Second Movies is something of an internet phenomenon with several fan-made videos on YouTube.
Along with the 5 Second Movies, The Nostalgia Critic is the most popular video series created by Walker, in which he plays the titular Nostalgia Critic, a grumpy and easily aggravated character who mostly reviews entertainment from the 1980s and 1990s. His catch-phrase, "I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it, so you don't have to," usually opens and ends each video. Not all reviews are negative, such as the reviews of the live-action Transformers, (his first review), Double Dare, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Gargoyles. He also does Top 11 countdowns ("Why Top 11? Because I like to go one step beyond.") and "Old vs. New" comparisons between two movies that share source material.
In August 2008, the Nostalgia Critic sponsored a contest to find someone to play the "Nostalgia Chick", who would act as his female foil and answer requests he received to review female-targeted shows and movies. The contest ended in a three-way tie between Lindsay Ellis (who reviewed Disney's Pocahontas), That Chick with the Goggles (who reviewed Sailor Moon), and MarzGurl (who reviewed The Last Unicorn). The Critic ended up giving the title to Ellis, who later adopted the moniker "The Dudette", but still allowed That Chick with the Goggles and MarzGurl to post videos on the site.
Walker gained even more fame when he, as The Nostalgia Critic, launched a satirical attack on fellow web comedian The Angry Video Game Nerd (played by James D. Rolfe). This fictional feud has been covered by Internet Superstar host Martin Sargent, who interviewed Douglas Walker's character.
In June 2008, the Critic went to the Nerd in person at a video game convention in Clifton, New Jersey, exchanged satirical fighting words leading to a fake brawl in the parking lot, along with another Internet personality, Captain S. The Nerd agreed to review a bad film (the low-budget spoof film Ricky 1), as long as the Critic reviewed a poor video game (the video game version of the animated film Bébé's Kids). The mock feud culminated in "The Final Battle," a lengthy fight scene parodying popular films and cliches. Later "Geek Fight," a collectible card game based on the feud and things on their respective websites, was released.
On May 10, 2009, Critic and the Nerd starred in "TGWTG Team Brawl", which was filmed on location in Chicago, IL, and celebrated That Guy With the Glasses' one-year 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 battle featured numerous references to videos of all the Internet personalities. Eventually, Ask That Guy put a stop to the fight by suggesting the two sides create crossovers (ironically, by the end of the video, neither the Nerd nor the Critic even remember why they began feuding in the first place). This resulted in many video crossovers among the That Guy With the Glasses personalities. The last of these crossover videos 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 together. After the review, the two reviewers resume their rivalry.
The segment involves Walker, wearing a blue robe, red ascot and carrying a pipe and book, answering questions from his fans. He starts out each segment by saying "Hello, didn't hear you come in" (saying hello in a different language each time), followed by "Greetings and Welcome to Ask That Guy with the Glasses". He proceeds to initially respond to the first question with "That's a very good question", regardless of how insane it may be. The narrator reads each question and Walker responds with a comedic answer, sometimes commenting on the person who asked it. He ends each video with, "This is That Guy With the Glasses saying, there's no such thing as a stupid question until you ask it." followed with a wink. "That Guy" is portrayed as an upper-class, yet perverted and mentally disturbed person who is all-knowing (it is said in several episodes that he is really a woman). He also sometimes says "yes" after answering a question to confirm what he just said. According to him, he also works part-time for Satan.
In "Ask That Guy Episode 30", That Guy with the Glasses asked his own set of questions and invited viewers to submit their own answers. Some of them were later featured in "Ask That Guy: User Edition".
Chester Alfred Bum (sometimes simply referred to as 'the Bum'), is a character created by Walker to review current and new film releases (usually the film opening with the widest release that weekend). The character was created after the Nostalgia Critic's review of Cloverfield and Walker loved the voice of his impersonation of Hud from the film so much that he created Chester out of it, though the origins of the character came from Doug's review of Transformers. His first review was released in early May 2008 on the movie Speed Racer. It is mentioned several times that he uses drugs, which seem to be the source of some of his erratic comments ("Submarines are not monkeys, they are human beings!" or claiming that he used to live in a pie), though he later claims to be a Mormon. On some occasions when he sees an extremely strange film, he thinks he might have been on drugs at the time (such as Hellboy 2). He also frequently voices his disgust about him being a bum, and will comment on a movie being good, because "it was shown in a warm, warm, building!" .
Each episode opens with a minuet by Boccherini, creating a refined setting which is soon broken because Chester starts off most of his reviews shouting "Oh, my God! This is the greatest movie I've ever seen in my life!", regardless of Walker's actual opinion of the movie. Throughout the review, he questions many aspects in the film and even compares them to himself. His reviews consist of detailed plot explanations, usually spoiling the films' endings (although in more recent episodes, he has stated that there are spoilers as such). They also follow a non linear structure, in which he will sometimes talk about something completely unrelated or go off screen. He is also prone to shout the word "Hooray!" when he is pleased with something.
He typically ends every review with his final verdict and a plea for some change in his Styrofoam cup (shouting out, "Change! You got change? Oh, come on help a guy out will ya?, Come on, change!" in a manner similar to the bum played by Vance Colvig in UHF). Walker's actual opinion of the film is presented in the end credits card (e.g. "Seriously though, Indiana Jones was okay." or "Seriously though, Watchmen was, um, weird.").
In one episode of "The Nostalgia Critic," reviewing Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird, the Critic cannot continue, having too many fond memories of Sesame Street. He walks off screen and gets Chester A. Bum to finish the review by recapping the movie in his usual fast-paced style.
Like many of Doug Walker's characters, Chester A. Bum cannot get killed off as demonstrated in both the TGWTG Brawl when he was shot point blank range by Ma-Ti with the Angry Video Game Nerd's Superscope gun. Also in the Alone in the Dark movie review when he was one of the people being shot during a strobe light shootout sequence parodying a scene in the film.
Recently, Chester A. Bum accuses Seth McFarlane of stealing his joke on Star Trek review on an episode of Family Guy aired shortly after the review is released. The accusation is aired on video form around the time Sarah Palin is angered about the show itself.
Video game Confessions features a British bartender named Dominic (played by Walker) who works at the Pixel Palace, a restaurant for video game characters. The show consists of Dominic talking about his recent encounters with the characters who attend the restaurant. His recollections, however, show that the characters partake in actions far less clean than in their games. For example, in episode one, Dominic talks about Mario and his marital problems with Princess Peach (mainly caused by her obsession with kink and a fetish of hers for dragons and being rescued by them), and in episode two, he brings to light Sonic the Hedgehog's drug-like addiction to Power Rings (and later crystal meth rings). Dominic illustrates for us these experiences by drawing illustrations of them as he tells the story. At the end of each video he observes, "You see a lot of strange things as a bartender. You see a lot of strange things at the Pixel Palace. So, I see a lot of strange things as a bartender at the Pixel Palace. And that ain't no lie. Swear to it". The show has become quite popular since it first started and Walker seems to be committed to making more.
The idea of a "Nostalgia Chick" to complement the existing "Nostalgia Critic" (Douglas 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 female host to review female-targeted nostalgic films and television.
The competition was won by Lindsay Ellis, then using the name "The Dudette", as announced on the site in "Nostalgia Chick Winner!" (September 15, 2008). During the competition, Ellis actually believed that the winner would be Krissy Diggs, who was eventually one of two runners up and joined the site as "That Chick with the Goggles."
The costume of the Nostalgia Chick initially included a pair of glasses and a bow tie worn as a choker. Ellis wore the glasses to disguise the tired appearance of her eyes in her submission. They were never real and their appearances diminished due to losing them. The glasses were eventually stolen from Ellis' car in Brooklyn and no longer appear in the show. 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 include 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"). Ellis eventually dropped this as it seemed anti-feminist; it gave the impression that the subject was being reviewed by a woman because it was not important enough to be reviewed by a man. After requesting submissions for a new catchphrase, Ellis decided against using any catchphrase in her work.
Later episodes have been delayed by Ellis' enrollment in a master's degree program at the University of Southern California and her subsequent traveling between New York and Los Angeles. At the time of the competition for a Nostalgia Chick, Ellis was unemployed and had not received confirmation of a place at USC. She has stated that, due to the work load, she would not have entered the competition if she had known she would be going to USC.
Ellis comes from Tennessee and moved to New York when she was 18. She now lives in Los Angeles (during term time) and New York. Despite the subject and tone of the series, Ellis has stated that she likes some of the films, such as Labyrinth, although she honestly does not like Disney's Pocahontas, the subject of her initial submission.
In addition to the Nostalgia Chick series, she also stars in Thanks For The Feedback! which is based on comments left on the site relating to the main series. She appeared alongside the Nostalgia Critic in his review of FernGully: The Last Rainforest and in specials such as the "TGWTG Team Brawl" and the visit to "Urkel House" from Family Matters.
Blistered Thumbs is a subdivision of That Guy with the Glasses focusing on video games. They produce comedy/spoofs/sketches, review video games and produce a weekly podcast called Transmission Awesome. The subdivision is intended to be spun off into its own website in the future.
Inked Reality is a subdivision of That Guy with the Glasses focusing on comics, anime and animation. The subdivision is intended to be spun off into its own website in the future.
The most recent subdivision of ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com that includes reviews on general topics, and other miscellaneous material by different contributors.