The "night shift" is, at its simplest, exactly what it sounds like: a specific period of time in early cappdom, inhabited by largely the same group of laborers- uh, of course, meaning cappers. But unlike a grueling, sweaty factory job, the Night Shift was much, much more. No official hours were ever set, but requirements usually included darkness. Say, from around 10pm to 6 or 7am, Eastern time - whenever the infomercials stopped and the daily dreck resumed. Even then, the party wasn't over until the last capper dropped. From 1996 through roughly 1999, the Night Shift was an aspect of Caption This! that few newbies wandered into. It was very much a virtual bar, inhabited by its loyal regulars.
The cap fodder on at this time was, overall, predictable: a special movie or mini-series presentation; the occasional marathon, perhaps; followed either by another, and/or the beginning of older shows' reruns; and ultimately wrapping up with anywhere from two to three hours of overly-exciteable yet substantially bereft informercial hosts. On early Saturday mornings through 1998, it also included a typically two-hour stretch of anime movies. It took a dedicated breed of insomniac to turn this reliable content into galleries both fresh and riotous.
In general, a Night Shift captioneer possessed the stamina to cap all night long, and maintain his/her funny. The early population was predominantly male, but was far from exclusively so. The steady streams of horror films and infovillains broadcast in the aforementioned timeslot enabled- nay, encourged - a no-punch-pulled comedic atmosphere. Where and when else could one discuss Satan's penis without public reprocussions?
A partial (and open to revision) roster of Night Shift cappers: AAAron333, AgentQ, amycamus, Angel_Noir, Artanas, Bosko, Dairai*, E_B_A, GotMilk, GuloGulo, Hippie, Jazzsoda, JediClone, keogh, MadSigntist, MildredPierce, Occupant, Seltaeb, Shandi, SunSinner, Travis_Bickle
Cappers usually seen in the daylight hours often graced the Night Shift with their presence; but on a typical night shift, you could pop into CT!, and these are the cappers you were most likely to see.
The old school night-shift saw a slight resurgence starting in March 2006, with a weekly descent upon Inventing Situations on Saturday nights.
- because I'm writing this, and if I can remember this many cappers at once, I count. It's not my fault I wasn't as funny. Harumph. And to the cappers I've doubtlessly left off the list, I'm the one to blame.