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Thinking Happy Thoughts

Clean-cut Comedy Central host takes audiences to the wild side in new special

By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief

Daniel Tosh’s new special “Happy Thoughts,” airing March 6 on Comedy Central and being released March 8 on CD and DVD by Comedy Central, finds the host of the network’s web-fueled show “Tosh.0” applying his deadpan snark to masterfully calibrated material.

The premises Tosh puts out there are darkly tongue-in-cheek. He imagines the hypothetical offspring of Brad Pitt and David Beckham being so attractive, he’d want to have sex with that baby.  “Go ahead, dumb people, take exception to that joke based on a mythical premise,” Tosh challenges the audience.

Tosh undermines conservative political positions by sarcastically agreeing with them. Noting the recent successful effort to ban gay marriage in California, he wishes the opponents would live and let live at first, because after all, “it’s not like they’re going to get into heaven,” Tosh says. “We’ve got that goal-line stand there.”

As you can see, Tosh puts a lot of thought into the spin he’s going to put on his jokes, or brief pieces. Tosh builds on his clean-cut persona and appearance to shock the audience all the more when he’s going to deliver his unexpected punchlines, which barely conform to a standard punchline tone or wording.

All along, with whatever pop culture or societal topic Tosh alights on, he asks rhetorically “is that too far?” or “is that over the line?” challenging the audience as to where such a line is or if there really should be a line at all. As Tosh says, “That’s how I know I still have a line.” In other words, crossing the line is always half the fun, and Tosh makes it fun for the audience to cross it with him.




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