Many of the big late night programs–Conan, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live, etc.–have thriving YouTube channels, where highlights from previous episodes are posted for the world to see. Pete Holmes, who recently began hosting The Pete Holmes Show on TBS, doesn’t have quite the same following (yet), but he’s the best example of a TV host who is treating YouTube not as an ancillary platform but a complementary one.
Holmes owes much is his fame to the Internet. Before he became a regular TV host, his most well-known acting gig was his leading role in Badman, the series of hysterical Batman parodies released by CollegeHumor (fun fact: he is also the voice of the E-Trade baby.)
Since taking to TV, Holmes has continued to include plenty of internet-friendly sketches. The Ex-Men series, where Holmes plays an obnoxious Professor X who fires his most worthless mutant associates, feels similar to Badman. It’s a riff on superhero logic, an excuse to do silly voices, and ultimately very funny. The latest episode, where Xavier cans Rogue, is another hit:
Holmes and his writers understand that sketches like these work well on the Internet (with Lonely Island serving as the best example), and it’s refreshing to see a late night host who is primarily interested in pleasing his online audience. Case in point: A few weeks ago, the Ex-Men episode featuring Angel drew criticism for its use of a laugh track. Holmes responded by instantly removing the laugh track from future episodes, because he cares about the Internet.
Right now, Holmes’ channel has 93,000 subscribers. If he keeps paying equal heed to YouTube and TV, that number is going to soar very high very soon.