Tonightly. Jason Manford. Image credit: Objective Productions.

Tonightly

A topical comedy show hosted by Jason Manford which ran on weeknights during August 2008. The aim of the show was to give new talent a platform

AKA:
The Nightly Show (Working Title)
Genre:
Satire
Broadcast:
2008  (Channel 4)
Episodes:
16 (1 series)
Starring:
Jason Manford, Andi Osho, Nathaniel Tapley, Danny Morgan, Steve Weiner, Jack Whitehall, Ingrid Oliver, Lorna Watson, David Armand, Nick Tanner, Mark Talbot
Writers:
Aiden Spackman, Nico Tatarowicz, Tim Allsop, Christine Rose, Nick Tanner, Stewart Williams, Alistair Griggs, Stuart Heritage, Dale Shaw, Chris Davies, Jack Whitehall
Production:
Objective Productions

Running for 16 weeknights during August 2008, Tonightly saw stand up comedians, sketch groups, character comics and 'plain funny people who haven't quite hit the big time' get the chance to 'strut their stuff'.

Hosted by Jason Manford, Tonightly's primary aim was to "provide an exciting platform for brand new talent, and to boost the profile of existing talent on the cusp of something big".

Joined in the studio by Andi Osho, and a range of new faces, Manford wrapped up the day's news and events. Spoof guests such as consumer conspiracy theorist Steve Lipschitz, teenage telly addict Ollie, investigative reporter Jack Whitehall and the only MP left in Parliament during summer recess Sir Ian Bowler, are on hand to present a unique take on the events of the day.

Our Review: Tonightly was a valiant effort, however it failed on a number of levels. The biggest of which was that it just didn't make enough people laugh (although reception to it did improve as the series progressed - giving weight to the opinion that it was worth trying).

Jason Manford made a likeable host with a quick wit, but we couldn't help feeling that a more experienced presenter like Carr or Deayton would have managed to extract more laughs from the same auto cue, and fill the un-scripted gaps better (Manford kept repeating the same few phrases, like: "that's good, that is").

Manford's co-presenter Andi Osho meanwhile appeared to be struggling in the confidence stakes - she often looked like a rabbit trapped in the headlights. Thankfully towards the end of the show she seemed to relax more.

As this show was all about building talent, rather than drafting in existing experience, we can't fault the presenters too much though.

As for the contributors, they all did a good job... however none really showed anything exceptional. Then again, neither Sasha Baron Cohen or Ricky Gervais' appearances on the similar 11 O'Clock Show made a huge impact at the time - and now look at them!

Overall, our conclusion is that it was great Tonightly was used as a training ground for comedians, but it is a shame that, in the main, watching this training wasn't exactly amusing for us viewers.

Tonightly will not return. C4 comedy head Andrew Newman said: "Some bits worked and some less so, but that's what you'd expect - a nightly show can never be as polished. The danger of taking risks in comedy is that you get slagged off disproportionately. If it launched today, The 11 O'Clock Show would be strangled at birth by embittered comedy bloggers."