Rob Dyrdek is synonymous with early 2000s reality television.
The Ohio-born serial entrepreneur gained initial notoriety as a pro skateboarder, before parlaying his popularity into the MTV show “Rob & Big”, in 2006. From there, he became the figurehead for MTV's reality-based content, dominating daytime television with shows like "Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory".
He’s also the star and executive producer of one of the most-watched (or at least played) television shows of all time, MTV’s “Ridiculousness”. As television viewers dwindle, and many companies look to jump ship toward internet-based content, MTV has used Ridiculousness as their lifeboat to sustained television viewership.
Ridiculousness is a clip-based reaction show, modelled largely after the 1990s hit, "America's Funniest Home Videos". Ridiculousness showcases Rob, his co-hosts Chanel West Coast and Sterling Brim, plus a weekly celebrity panel member, who together break down viral internet videos with comedic commentary.
Initially airing in 2011, it's been one of the few shows to survive the shift from scheduled to streamed content. Not to mention holding on for dear life as clip-based social media platforms, like TikTok, rock the boat of conventional media.
Currently, Ridiculousness accounts for almost every daytime and prime-time slot on MTV's television schedule. On a recent episode of the “Impaulsive” podcast, host Logan Paul shared this image of MTV's television calendar (the orange represents Ridiculousness):
During the 2.5-hour sit-down with Logan and co-hosts Mike Majlak and George Janko, Rob shared that he just renewed with MTV for another 5-year stint on Ridiculousness. The show is currently on season 29, making it one of the longest-standing shows in the company's history, behind series like "Real World" & "The Challenge".
As the crew discussed why the show has been so successful, Mike brought up this point,
”We've moved to a culture of clip-consumption. Fast-acting, quick-hitting, short-attention-span clips. Your show was TikTok before TikTok.”
Nodding in agreement, Rob added this:
You’re right, but think about it one step wider... It found this sweet spot right in the middle of where you didn’t want to scroll through your Instagram... and you've watched everything on those streamers... it's like can I just sit and do something that takes no effort or energy to laugh at for hours at a time? It’s the in-between… that’s what allowed it to take on this second wave.
Short videos watched in succession with a panel to provide reactions for viewers -- the perfect stimuli of audio, video, and the lack of conscious thought that makes clip-based content so popular today.
So, it's no wonder the format is currently standing the test of changing times.
Logan added to the comparison, sharing that Rob's show was essentially the first reaction channel, a niche that is incredibly popular nowadays. It not only provides the content but the comments as well.
In 2022 and beyond, the trajectory of media is becoming shorter and shorter. And Rob's Ridiculousness offers a bridge between television, social media, and streaming services.
It's one of the reasons why MTV has invested so heavily in their partnership with Rob. And why at 48, and after 10 years, Rob is still at it -- gearing up to film 336 episodes in 2023.
Near the end of the podcast, tongue in cheek, Rob shared this about his affinity for filming Ridiculousness,
"It's like a weird improve form for me. But, make no mistake... it is only for the money."
Hey, I'm Hudson! I write about social media, marketing, and modern entrepreneurship. Hit follow for more stories like this one.