Ken’s Comments: Friday’s premiere of ‘The Grace Helbig Show’

McKenna Ferguson

Something magical happened Friday night.

The Grace Helbig Show - Season 1
Grace Helbig (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

After slowly taking over the Internet throughout the past seven years with YouTube channels “Daily Grace” and the more current “It’s Grace,” comedian Grace Helbig was given her own late night talk show on E!. Fans, including myself, have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the show since it was first announced in January.

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The wait was (finally) over Friday night with the premiere of “The Grace Helbig Show.”

Now that the show is officially up and running, and Grace has one episode under her belt, the most obvious question seems to be, “How’d she do?”

And to that I say, pretty alright.

First off, it’s important to note that this is very clearly not your average late night show. There is no live studio audience. It’s all filmed beforehand in a controlled environment, and edited much more closely than what you might be used to on shows like “The Tonight Show” or “Late Night.”

Additionally, there are bits that were planned ahead, meaning the show loses a bit of the fun, chaotic and unexpected feeling you get from watching something like Emma Stone destroying Jimmy Fallon in a seemingly impromptu Lip Sync Battle.

On the flip side, this unique set up allows for a more intimate venue — Grace’s not-actually-her-house-but-they-call-it-her-house — that encourages her guests to feel like they’re just kickin’ it at Grace’s for the night. It also means that she has not had to alter her persona in any way — she’s still the same delightfully awkward goofball she is online, but now it’s in higher definition on a fancier set.

Grace’s first guest was Aisha Tyler, who you might know from “Archer,” “Whose Line is it Anyway?,” or from being that cool, brilliant paleontologist Ross dated for a bit on “Friends.”

A comedian herself, Tyler was an energetic first guest, making Grace laugh to the point of tears when she told a story about projectile vomiting during the recording of a recent podcast.

One thing that particularly stood out was Tyler’s point about the format of stand up performances compared to the format of something like this show:

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“I find (this show) terrifying because I feel the great thing about stand up is that you get immediate feedback. … But, for you, you don’t know what you’re going to get back from the other side.”

So true. The format is not without flaws. I’m not going to lie to you, it is a bit strange to watch a late night talk show and have your host make an obvious joke and not hear any response besides your own chuckle in your otherwise silent dorm room.

However, it does seem that this is a problem that only exists during the opening “monologue” — Grace commenting on current events “Weekend Update“-style in a segment entitled “Let’s Browse” — and during the first interview.

By the time the second segment featuring Grace’s real-life best friend and fellow YouTube star Mamrie Hart arrived, it didn’t seem so strange anymore.

The two besties sat down for the first official game of the series, “Deal,” in which they showed each other “some of the dumbest videos (they’ve) been able to find on the Internet.” The rules are simple: if you laugh, you must take a shot — a “punishment” that seems hilarious to anyone who is familiar with these ladies’ works, what with Mamrie being most well known for her YouTube series “You Deserve A Drink.”

What was particularly great about this segment was that it felt like classic Grace and Mamrie. It felt like a video one of them would have put up during any old, average week (Grace actually did put it up on her channel on Saturday).

After that, Grace embarked on her first out-of-the-house segment: a car ride with YouTube musical sensation and all-around hilarious male Flula Borg. Together they created the official theme song of the show in a fun, fresh way that included classic Flula one-liners and classic Grace facial expressions.

So, how did she do, you ask?

Pretty great. For all of us pre-existing Grace fans in the world, the first episode provided a new medium to fall in love with Gracie H all over again. But will non-YouTube fans take to the completely unique hilarity that is Grace Helbig? Only time will tell.

I think the odds are looking pretty good, though.

I mean, who can resist this face?

:television animated GIF

“The Grace Helbig Show” airs Friday nights at 8:30 on E!.

Gif provided by giphy.com.

Collegian A&E Editor McKenna Ferguson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @McKennaMagazine.