Interesting Similarities between Comedy Central's 'Tosh.0' and 'Download'

July 8, 2009

I recently saw a pilot for a new show on Comedy Central called Tosh.0, with 10 episodes so far starting in June. It's hosted by comedian Daniel Tosh, who highlights and makes fun of the latest internet videos every Thursday night at 10 pm.

While watching an episode, I had an extremely weird feeling that I'd seen this before. Then I remembered, his show looks eerily similar to a pilot called 'Download' I saw two years ago in New York City, created and hosted by comedian Eliot Chang.  Look at this link and this link.  Chang's earlier pilot was bootstrapped and looks less polished compared to Comedy Central's mainstream version, but notice any interesting similarities?

This to me seems like another possible case of Whitewashing, replacing an idea or work by an Asian with a white person. There have certainly been instances of AA creators whose work was propositioned to be bought and distributed if they changed the Asian ethnicities of their characters to white. In this case, I'm not sure if Eliot sold his idea, or simply had it stolen.

Contrary to what some AA writers have argued previously, I don't believe AA artists/actors simply don't have enough talent to make it mainstream. Eliot Chang and other comedians, and actors, and musicians, are talented enough but they aren't being given a chance by mainstream media gatekeepers. Twenty five years ago, Michael Jackson's breakthrough video "Thriller" wasn't even initially played by MTV, until his agent accused the station of racism.

Also, there are at least a half dozen talented AA comedians and musical artists on Youtube, with millions of Youtube views or subscribers. For example, Youtube musician David Choi has more subscribers than Miley Cyrus. There isn't a convincing commercial answer as to why other, less popular Youtube musicians and comedians get deals with record companies or television networks, while none of these Asian Americans do.

So what do you think?  Is this just an interesting coincidence for this new Tosh.0 show to be so similar to  Eliot Chang's Download pilot?  Also, why in 2009 is there still Whitewashing or replacement of Asians for media roles, and what can Asian Americans do about it?


Alvin Lin


Alvin Lin was born in Taipei, Taiwan and hails from New England. He blogs about Asian American pop culture, film, music, literature and politics, as well as relevant news around the world. He also writes for Imprint Talk. Alvin has degrees from Cornell and MIT.



Yes, the programs are similar, just like all of the late shows follow the same format. The Colbert report looks just like the Daily Show. Did anyone notice the the Black Dave Chappelle Show was replaced by the Latino Mind of Mencia. Wow, white guys copying white guys and latinos ripping off blacks. What a bullsh!t thing to get upset over. Daniel Tosh is leaps and bounds funnier than the Asian comedian, first off, delivery counts in comedy. Oh, by the way, Chang's show was a ripoff of a show that was done by a WHITE guy on E!. Quit your b!tch!ng. Even Bobby Lee (an Asian) on MADTV ripped off old skits done by Steve Park (an Asian) on In Living Color. I can point to countless instances of this occurring. There was no whitewashing. Daniel Tosh has been blown over at least three times for sitcom pilots in favor of friggin' cartoons. If you want real tragedy, check out what Norm Macdonald had to go through. Way to try to stir the pot, I'm sure you've been thoroughly oppressed your entire life and denied opportunities because you're Asian. Oh wait, you haven't. It must be so hurtful for people to assume you are a brilliant, hard-working person who is devoted to family, strictly based on your race. What a stereotype, I bet Blacks are so happy that their stereotype looks like a thug. Being Italian, I am ecstatic that the Sopranos, Goodfellas, The Godfather, etc have given us such a good stereotype to fit into. The Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Florida State Seminoles, and the Washington Redskins make Native Americans happy.You are like some prissy girl complaining that she can't find flattering jeans since she is so slender, all the while there is a thick girl sitting in the dressing room next door who wants to vomit. You really need a reality check. Be thankful for what you have, I know the victim culture is in vogue right now, and everybody wants to claim they have been wronged in order to take advantage of their aggrieved status, but come on. So the best advice I can give the Asian community, especially Guy Aoki wannabes like you is to take your misperceived racism elsewhere, because we're all stocked up around here.
Dang Alvin, I think this is like your first troll. I've noticed a couple of these pop out on Hyphen every once in a while.