Have you ever heard of Funny or Die? It is a streaming video website where short comedy films are uploaded and voted on by users. The site was launched in April 2007 by comedians, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
Adam reported that they were approached by Sequoia, a large finance firm in Palo Alto, California. Since they did a lot of work on the Internet, they thought it was a prime place to launch a comedy – video site.
Adam McKay and Will Ferrell were both writers and actors on the very popular television show, Saturday Night Live. McKay said:
We loved working on SNL and we still have all of these ideas that fit the format. We liked the idea of just doing comedy for comedy’s sake and having a place for our friends to do it too. We went into it with a clubhouse mentality and that was basically it. We also talked about the fact that we had just started our production company, Gary Sanchez Productions, and that it would be a great opportunity to see new directors, actors, and writers.
The site is extremely popular. It is a site that combines the talents of celebrities, established and up-and-coming comedians and the funny guy from the everyday workplace who participate by submitting videos.
Funny or Die has grown into a multi-media, cross-platform comedy hub with a thriving Web portal and production company–the HBO series, Funny or Die Presents, debuted last year. The next stop is film, starting with the comedy duo Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim.
The Creative Director of Funny or Die is Andrew Steele who used to be a head writer on Saturday Night Live. He feels the success of the site stems from the fact that
“It works because everyone wants to be there.”
Besides the superstars, Funny or Die has an informal relationship with improv actors and connections to young directors, editors and cinematographers. These relationships work both ways, since Funny or Die is able to offer exposure and industry contacts to young, raw talent, even when the pay for projects is small.
Funny or Die has solid audience numbers–1.4 million followers on Twitter, over 70 million views for their very first video…. and they have continuous buzz from hundreds of user-generated videos being voted up or down
It was fun to learn that Clay Aiken was at the taping of a video for Funny or Die on Saturday. According to tweets from Tori Spelling, her home was the setting of a short video being taped for Funny or Die and she was excited that Clay Aiken was there as part of the fun. Of course, it is not known if Clay was there to watch or if he had a part in the taping. Whatever he was doing, I would imagine it was lots of fun and probably very interesting too.
If you want to see the Funny or Die Internet site, click HERE