Over the years, TV viewers have seen many talk shows, as well as a few sketch comedies, come and go. Yet, the new web series THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW may be the first (at least online) to combine the two genres. Produced by Austin Frosch and Josh Pereira, the series recently debuted its first season of 8 episodes on Youtube. THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW features (who else) Morgan Gonzales as the host of a wacky talk show/sketch comedy hybrid gone totally haywire; one with offbeat skits and host segments filled with edgy, dark humor. Gonzales portrays a character that Frosch describes as “probably the most different from how he actually is; a very unreal version of himself.”

Gonzales finds himself accidentally placed in the role of emcee of his eponymous program, and soon finds himself in way over his head thanks to a rotating group of characters – each of whom personally hate his guts. As is often the case, he tries (and often fails) to keep order among the group, each of whom play exaggerated versions of themselves: Frosch plays Austin, a twisted sociopath who continually tries to upstage Morgan’s show and does his best to make himself the host.

Evan Sica appears as Evan, who also tries to unseat Gonzales from his host chair (and sometimes ends up breaking the 4th wall between viewer and performer). Jared Rovira portrays Jared, a kind, yet misguided character who belies a darker side, while Pereira appears in various roles throughout the series, in addition to his behind the scenes work. Mason Spong plays Chandler Roe (a.k.a. ‘Cheez’), and Peter Harvey portrays Peter, a guy who’s still owed money by Morgan but who ends up being a part of his show – only because he’s got nothing better to do. Rounding out the cast is Jeremy Collins (as himself), a former friend of Austin’s who constantly schemes to get Morgan’s show off TigerTV (Louisiana State University’s online video streaming network). As Frosch explains, TigerTV has supposedly been “airing” THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW for two decades. (In reality, though, the series may or may not actually air on that platform, he says).

THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW originally began its life as a one-off special, developed while Pereira and Frosch attended high school. There, they became part of The Guerrilla Wolves, the school’s student film/video club. Many of the cast members of the series came from that group, and it was there that they began to produce their own skits. “I was one of the people running the club, at least during the first semester. I wanted to do something different for the Christmas episode (of Guerrilla Wolves). It was going to constantly promote Pizza in a Can (a fake product featuring ready-to-eat pizza in a can) as some joke on the meaning of Christmas being only about getting stuff. I don’t think there ended up being a Christmas episode, due to it all being too much before the break. After that, I knew I wanted to make a show with more structure and without having to censor what we did. I may have gone too far,” he says.

Inspired heavily by the offbeat adult humor of shows like TIM AND ERIC, and THE ERIC ANDRE SHOW, both featured on Cartoon Network’s late night block [adult swim], Frosch feels that THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW stands out not just by the sheer amount of content it’s produced (in a relatively short time), but also by the fact that it’s willing to poke fun at itself. “I haven’t seen a web series like this, though I haven’t seen that many. I think it’s set apart by its blatant acknowledgement of itself. We always reference that we’re on a show that sucks and nobody wants to be on it. We’re constantly tearing each other down. Plus the amount of content we generated is astounding. 8 episodes that are on average about 25-30 minutes each made in 6 months. That’s like 4 hours of material. Also, the show doesn’t really try to gain an audience; in fact, it’s usually alienating the audience or just trying to make them feel uncomfortable or plain disturbed,” he says.

Having already won over viewers, Frosch hopes to achieve greater success with THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW. “The sky’s the limit in terms of what I want to accomplish. It may just end up being a series on YouTube with a few thousand views, or it could lead to better things. Obviously the ideal situation is it ends up on [adultswim] at 4 am. The whole point of the show is constantly saying that it’s not funny and it’s totally unprofessional and bad. We were making fun of all of the stereotypical ‘college student’ productions we see. All of the news shows, sketch shows, that sort of thing. A good majority of the technical errors on the show were on purpose,” he says.

THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW is an edgy, offbeat yet unique sketch comedy show that takes its humor seriously – but not itself. Pereira sums up that approach this way: “If you asked me before production about the show, I would have said, ‘It will never work.’ It didn’t work, but in a way that’s it’s greatest strength: it knows it doesn’t work. And that’s funny.”

In some ways THE MORGAN GONZALES SHOW defines what might be the largest segment of web series programming being made today. It’s content for the sake of content, it exists because it was fun to make the show with friends. Success as defined in monetary or career terms is a lesser goal because for many creators success is in simply creation itself.

(Note: the series is not currently closed-captioned or subtitled.)

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/user/peenutjelly