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Look, It’s The “Jonah’s Arcade” Pilot

Once upon a time, a fine television program was created, nurtured, and lovingly crafted by a crack team of experts. They worked long and hard on making it the best television show it could be, and when they were finished, they knew that they could be proud of what they did. And that would have to do, because the network brutally rejected the show. The End.

But not the end, not in this age of the YouTubery. Thus, you may now see the pilot for Jonah Ray’s Jonah’s Arcade, produced for Comedy Central and starring the aforementioned Jonah Ray of Nerdist Podcast fame, alomg with Kumail Nanjiani of The Indoor Kids fame, Eddie Pepitone of Puddin’ fame, and Johnny Pemberton of MTV’s MegaDrive fame.

And here it is, in all its unbleeped glory (yes, that means this one is NSFW unless you’re wearing headphones):

The credits:
Created by: Matt Kirsch & Jonah Ray
Executive Producers: Matt Kirsch, Brad Stevens, Boyd Vico
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Writers: Kumail Nanjiani, Tom Segura, Paul Bonanno
Producer: Paul Bonanno
Editor: Al Levine
Featuring: Johnny Pemberton, Kumail Nanjiani, Eddie Pepitone
Song by The Mae Shi

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109 comments

  • Cool video, thanks for sharing Jonah. But being honest here, based off of the pilot alone, which I know base an entire show on, would I watch this show religiously, probably not but I would if I was flipping and I came across it. What I WOULD watch is a show where Jonah is doing sketches and his comedy and being his snarkey/hispter/asshat self because that is gold my friends. Keep up the good work sir!

    P.S. Completely agree that Johan looks odd without the facial hair and hipster clothes.

  • I am not a fan of Jonah. His low self esteem which leads to his mean spirited humor grates on my nerves. So I really wanted to hate this. The first bit where he cussed at the politician on the screen didn’t disappoint, it was a groan-er. However, then it got really funny and stayed consistently funny to the end. I would have watched it over that show where the guys are pot-smoking telemarketers and I am certain this would have cost a fraction of that show to produce.

  • Jonah, read your reply to my post and I didn’t know comedy central asked for the pilot and obviously doing something like that takes you out of your element, I certainly couldn’t do it. It wasn’t bad and you should be proud of what you did. I never said I thought the show was bad, I said it was funny.

    It seems like any time you write anything even slightly negative on a website it is always taken the wrong way. As I said in my post I wasn’t trying to come across as harsh and I wasn’t trying to ‘help’ with my criticism like you said. I was only giving my opinion on what was posted, which is what I thought these boxes were for.

    If we are only allowed to post completely positive feedback on this site then please feel free to delete what I wrote and I will only post sunshine and lollipops on here from now on.

    Honestly, best of luck in whatever you decide to work on next. I am still a big fan and I’m sorry you were unhappy with my post.

  • I really enjoyed this pilot Jonah, and as everyone said it had legs and it could’ve turned out to be an awesome show if CC had picked it up. Don’t worry I’m sure an opportunity will arise to do something similar. I’m very happy you let us see it. The X-Box Dating, the Van, and Eddies bit with Kinect were great. Btw can’t wait for the new 7 inch vinyl!

  • Thanks for sharing your Pilot. Is it weird though to compare it to sharing an abortion? Like Comedy Central was like, ” we want this baby”, then you make it, and they say, “kill the bastard.” The only thing I was thinking through this was, could this last an entire season? Again, that’s something CC should have considered before going forward and producing the pilot. You definitely gave it your all Jonah, and like they say, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” I’m sure your mom told you that after she found out they didn’t pick up the pilot.

  • Rough in some parts, really good in others. Definitely a lot of potential. Did you ever think of doing a weekly 1o to 15 minute YouTube version of the show?

  • Okay, I thought I’d watch a little of that because I haven’t played a video game since Atari 2600 (unless Plants vs. Zombies counts), and I thought most of it would go over my head. Instead I ended up watching and laughing through all of it–especially the sketches. Thanks for putting it up for us to see, that was very cool of you.

  • Admittedly, I don’t play a lot of video games, but I found the show and its humor very easy to follow. Especially loved the boot camp segment.

    If TV execs didn’t get it, Jonah, it just means you probably did something right.

  • Yeah, definitely with Jonah here in terms of criticism – the first episode of any show is not going to be outstanding (especially a clip show), and Tosh.0, which I freely admit to liking, was never this good in its first season – he had to reach a rhythm, just like any host does, and he honestly seemed to be fine after like a minute or two. Even though this was literally better than half the crap Comedy Central ever shows, at least we got to see the pilot – thanks Jonah.

    I would have watched this show for sure, though. Seriously it had so much potential (and was already really funny). The XBL stuff literally had me on the floor, though this is probably because my last roommate was totally That Guy.

    The fact that G4 didn’t pick this up (though since it was made for CC or whatever they may not have been able to) is kind of a crime – would have been great between two-hour blocks of COPS and six hours of everything but video games.

    I really don’t get why they didn’t pick this up. I am literally its target demo (male 18-35, video game player, “Niche” consumer, semi-disposable income) and would choose this over just about all of their programs in an instant.

    Random question you won’t answer: what direction would you have ideally taken this in? Less sketches or more? Recurring? Full green-screen? 8-bit animations or something?

  • This show deserves to be put on the air. I could even see this going to Spike or G4….Maybe not G4 so much due to the Web Soup similarities, but still. This show would still fucking rock!!

  • i think jonah you are funniest when you are that asshole persona(?) that is horrible to matt on the podcast. you could have been a new type of host, MY TYPE OF HOST. maybe you did fight for that, just saying, they totally could’ve had a good show.

    ‘asshole’ could be the new ‘nerd’!

  • Pretty funny until you follow two skits about bigotry with a gross generalization about a specific region of the country that feeds on negative stereotypes. Still the show should have been given a chance because Jonah is a funny guy.

  • Oh if only I could see you next time on Jonah’s Arcade. Very strong, I liked it a lot. Obviously it wasn’t super polished that’s why it’s an effin pilot. You should consider making this a web series. I would totally subscribe to that.

    On a related note, Mira booey mira booey mira booey

  • That was so f-ing funny! It made me cry tears of blood. I didn’t know what to expect at first but I absolutely loved the part were you jump out of the Van and say suprise Ass hol….

  • I thought it was hilarious (although had a momentary feeling of uncontrollable rage when I saw the taunting Duck Hunt dog). The jokes and bits were great, in addition to Jonah apparently graduating valedictorian of the Steve Kmetko School of TV Show Hosting. You came across extremely comfortable and kept a good flow to the show. Bummed Comedy Central dropped the ball but hopefully there are other avenues to get more of these out there. And don’t think we didn’t notice you briefly alter the direction of your part about mid way through you chameleon you….. Awesome job!

  • SC, I would invite you to watch the Tosh.0 pilot. pretty horrid. The dude literally has no idea what line is coming up on the prompter.

    also, we didn’t pitch this to Comedy Central.
    Comedy Central had us make this for them, a lot of the look and format of the show comes from what they wanted.

    Also, as far as being comfortable on camera. Yeah, I wasn’t too fluid. at 28 I haven’t had that much performing time in my life. And, doing something like this takes you completely out of your element. Especially when they asked me to shave, change my glasses, wear different types of clothes and act a certain way. Now, I coulda fought for what I thought I should be and look like. But I really was trying to work well with others.

    I know you feel giving your criticism on here helps things. It doesn’t. The pilot already didn’t get picked up.

    thanks everybody for the kind wishes and liking it. I just put it online because that’s usually what i do when I make videos.

  • I really don’t want to come across as harsh, a lot of this was funny. I guess I can just see why comedy central would pass on this. It’s too close to the format of Tosh and honestly Jonah doesn’t seem to have the same flow that keeps people watching Tosh. Jonah just never looks completely comfortable on camera and that’s a big problem for a show like this. I can understand the idea that people like this format and I am not trying to say Tosh invented it by any means, but making the same show with video games as the topic just doesn’t seem like it’s going to work on the same network, lightning usually doesn’t strike twice. I guess all I am trying to say is that I can see why comedy central passed and I think somewhere like G4 would have been a much better fit for this.

    I feel like a dick writing all this as I am a big nerdist fan and love Jonah’s input on the podcast. Sorry Jonah!

  • I do kinda agree with Zakariah about it starting off kinda cold, but i think that was in due part to the audience being somewhat dead. I totally would have watched this though. Funny jokes, awesome guest, and gaming humor, what more can you ask for. Also turning one of Kumail Nanjiani’s bits into a sketch was a great idea. Jonah should start a web show or pitch it to another station(I don’t know how tv works from a buisness perspective). Either way it was great and thanks for letting us watch it.

    Also Jonah is my favorite asshole as well.