In this video interview with Social Times, CollegeHumor co-founder Ricky Van Veen explains how the site -- and in essence, other online destinations -- can earn money (aka monetize) from making funny videos.
Van Veen talks about the evolving mood of the collective online audience, as we're now more willing to watch (or put up with) pre-roll, post-roll and other ads in videos, and how he thinks we'll eventually be willing to pay and/or subscribe for them. He also reveals how and why CollegeHumor launched a T-shirt business, Busted Tees.
Want to learn more of the history of CollegeHumor? Here's video of Van Veen explaining how they got into the game early. Web 1.0, people. And how have they stayed relevant to today's college kids in Web 2.011...
This video is just for fun. Matt McCarthy plays a substitute teacher who has to deal with a classroom of high-school students in which jeggings is only the least of his worries.
It's safe for work, but only thanks to pixels and CollegeHumor. Roll it!
Oh, hi, Jermaine Fowler.
Two new Foursquare comedy videos are online this week. One of them is completely real, though. Let's see what we've got.
First up, it's My4SquareAlibi:
Now how about Foursquare for Sex (NSFW):
Time's up. The real one is My4SquareAlibi.com. Those may be comedians in the "testimonials," but the site is real! The sexy one is simply a figment of the imaginations of CollegeHumor.
Do you know how to act in public? More importantly, perhaps: Do you know how to act in a public bathroom? I didn't think so. Adam Carolla definitely knows you don't, which is why he has made this short public service announcement with CollegeHumor to remind you. Oh, and also to tell you to buy his new book. Put down the phone, Will Hines, and watch this PSA.
In the follow-up to their hugely popular series, "Learning Guitar to Get You Laid," CollegeHumor has turned to young musical comedian Bo Burnham to teach you similar skills on the piano. Burnham's CD and DVD, "Words Words Words," comes out tomorrow. A review is forthcoming.
Until then, watch this. It's safe for work. Not safe for ladies.
How was your Fourth of July weekend? Did you enjoy it? Did you have an outdoor BBQ? Of course you did. Probably. Regardless, the CollegeHumor players (is that the name of their comedy troupe?) have constructed a heaping plate of allegory, or is it metaphors, showing how everything at President Barack Obama's make-believe BBQ has another political meaning. Starring comedian Jordan Carlos (last seen, albeit briefly, on Last Comic Standing) as Obama. Roll it.
As Dave Itzkoff at the New York Times reminds us all, the boys-to-men of Robot Chicken have been playing with their Star Wars action figures on our Cartoon Network Adult Swim TV channel for years now. That still doesn't make his report today any less unsettling: George Lucas is planning a Star Wars comedy series.
Please, dear Lord of the Force. Make it stop. This isn't a matter of me being too old and not getting it anymore as much as it Lucas himself being too old and not getting it anymore. We've all had our Star Wars fix. It's fixed. We're done. No mas. We've had our fun. We've had our fill. If Seth Green and Matthew Senreich still want to play with their action figures, that's their call. And as long as there are kids who want to watch cartoons, Lucas is going to continue making millions from his minions who churn out new toons based on the series. But this is past the point of ridiculous. Right? Are there really that many people who want to see the Star Wars characters in a new sitcom?
In completely coincidental news, the grown-up kids at CollegeHumor released a Star Wars Google parody today. Timely!? Roll it if you must.
Movie stars on the red carpet get asked plenty of silly questions. Would they like to play a game? (If you say that last sentence as a talking Radio Shack TRS-80, you get bonus points in everyone's books)
So when CollegeHumor's Jeff and Streeter had the chance to visit both SXSW in Austin, as well as the MacGruber movie premiere screening featuring SNL's Will Forte and Kristen Wiig, well, why not test their puzzle skills with a game? They say the famous comedians are better at the game than the public, but what was that in the beginning about "randomly" setting the timer? Hmmm. Anyhow. Still worth a minute or two to waste your time. Roll it!
Remember how recently someone posted a video of the popular CBS sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, but removed the audience's laughter from the scene in an attempt to point out how the jokes in the scene might not have been so funny? That inspired some different opinions on the nature of sitcoms and laugh tracks. Well, it was only a matter of time before the comedy community turned its eyes toward the even more popular CBS sitcom, Two and a Half Men. Especially since most people I run into in comedy are not fans of the show that stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer and an ever-growing kid, and way too many sexual innuendos as punchlines week after week.
So. The grown-up kids at CollegeHumor took aim on the show by examining this opening scene from an episode without the laugh track, telling us what you probably really heard from a cranky audience member. Ready for that? Roll the clip! Then discuss and debate how the most basic jokes about sex have appealed to wide audiences for generations upon generations.
This video remix comes courtesy of CollegeHumor, who shows us how several TV sitcoms all seem to think that the funniest way to say goodbye is to get all sad and lonely in a room where nobody else is around. We sure had fun, though, didn't we? How and why did this become a cliche? Roll it!
Hooray for Hollywood! That's a saying, right? I bet these people are saying things like that this week, even if they're nowhere near Los Angeles, because the show business is making their TV projects into TV realities, and sometimes reality TV projects. They include:
Bob Saget is going on a great American road trip for A&E in his upcoming seven-episode series, Bob Saget's Strange Days. He had made the cable net's pilot list back in May, and now he has his order -- series sounds a little bit like Dave Attell's Insomniac, only not constrained to the overnight hours and instead seeking out "oddball" American culture wherever Saget can find it and riff about it. Money quote: "Bob Saget has been a part of the television landscape for years, but now we'll be seeing him in a completely different light as he travels the country to explore ways of living that most of us know nothing about," said Robert Sharenow, A&E senior veep of nonfiction and alternative programming. Production begins in early 2010. (via Variety)
Remember way back when John Oliver taped six episodes last month of a stand-up showcase for Comedy Central? You do, of course. So it's kinda anticlimactic that Comedy Central put out a press release announcing it had ordered the series. What if they didn't? That'd be awkward. Anyhow. Congrats! Oliver's hourlong show -- featuring performances by Paul F. Tompkins, Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, Brian Posehn, Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman, plus Maria Bamford, Greg Fitzsimmons, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Nick Kroll, Matt Braunger, Hannibal Buress, Pete Holmes, Amy Schumer, Chris Hardwick, Matt McCarthy and Hari Kondabolu -- will debut as a series on Jan. 8, 2010, at 11 p.m.
Wondering what Ricky Van Veen is up to since leaving CollegeHumor to launch a spinoff company called Notional? The new video production arm of IAC, which already produces Chopped for the Food Network and Don't Sweat It for HGTV (neither of which make you scream College or Humor), unveiled a slate of new projects for all sorts of video platforms (TV, Internets, inside your head?!), all of them game-showy, with titles including: Ready, Set Dance!; You Vs. America; Chase The Money; and Love Taxi. Here's a money quote from Van Veen: "We are thrilled to be up and running so quickly, with a few shows already on the air and some great ideas ready to bring to market. We are particularly excited about 'Ready, Set, Dance!' because it's an innovative show format that truly combines our unique television and online expertise. This is exactly what we set out to do in building off of CollegeHumor."
Streeter Seidell and Amir Blumenfeld have been pranking each other for years now, only their pranks are big-budget and seen by millions on the Internets, because Streeter and Amir work for CollegeHumor.com. You can find Streeter and Amir's full Prank War collection here. This time they've reached new heights, literally and figuratively, as the latest prank involved sky-diving, and also debuted on TV on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live. Streeter and Amir explained it all to Kimmel. Doing shots of limoncello with Danny DeVito is merely a bonus, right? But is their best effort yet? Well, there is the element of death involved. I don't know. I'm going to need some Axe body spray money to make up my mind. In the meantime, here is their TV appearance in two parts, followed by the full CollegeHumor version. Roll the clips!
What do you mean this isn't a real thing? The truth is out there. And sometimes the truth hurts. What is truth, exactly? CollegeHumor plays off of FOX's recent night to honor Seth MacFarlane -- which really is every Sunday at this point -- and figures out the secret of his success. Usually, when you make a hit TV show, others are quick to copy you. MacFarlane already has beaten you to the punch. Yield to Zod. (Seth is Zod, and I am Kal-El? Get that Kryptonite away from me!)
And yet. Watching this makes you wonder if this formula is so successful for a reason. The Cleveland Show = American Dad = Family Guy = Seth MacFarlane Animation Domination. Will it always be funny? My head hurts just thinking about it. Am I laughing at this or with this? Satire confuses me today. Roll the clip!
Did I mention Halloween is coming, and with it, more comedy? I did, didn't I? Surprise, surprise, Atom.com just launched a new online series called Intercourse With A Vampire, and it's very NSFW, as if you could not ascertain by the word "Intercourse" in the title. Watch, if you dare!
So this makes how many different types of vampire videos, at this point? I stopped counting a while ago. Thankfully, the kids at CollegeHumor have kept count on the draculas and choculas and other batty immortals. And they brought them all together for a Vampire Reunion! Roll it.
I'm not the only one who is a fan of NYC-based sketch group Pangea 3000. These guys are regulars at the UCB Theatre (nevermind their current show run title of "Pangea 3000 Sucks"), and on Oct. 22, they'll be part of the UCB-NY's Best of Sketch Showcase, as well as "The Best Sketch in NY Showcase" held there on Nov. 5 during the New York Comedy Festival. Coincidentally, they have uploaded a new CollegeHumor-enhanced version of one of their stage sketches today. Can you spell farts?
And this really is coincidental, as this is Pangea 3000's "Whisper Experts" sketch as performed at a recent CollegeHumor Live show at the UCB:
Furthermore: See older videos from the guys on their Pangea 3000 YouTube channel.
Comedians love to point out the absurdities in the world around us, and mock celebrities, politicians and other powerful people who deserve to be brought down a notch or two or thirty-seven. But when comedians target other comedians for mockery, it always feels a little weird to me (and that's a little weird, too, isn't it?). Which brings us to CollegeHumor's new original video "Unfunny People," which is a take-off of Judd Apatow's summer movie, Funny People, but with jabs at prop comics instead of stand-ups, putting Gallagher and Carrot Top in their crosshairs (in the roles played in the movie by Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen):
Previously, CollegeHumor produced a music video called "Stop Carlos Mencia" featuring a number of working NYC-based comedians:
Are you looking to become rich and famous by posting your very own Internet videos? Well, good luck with that!
That's the message I could have given you before attending this afternoon's "The Web: Comedy's New Wild West" panel at Montreal's Just For Laughs Comedy Conference, and it's still the message after sitting through the hourlong chat-em-ups. At least this panel seemed a little more forthcoming than others -- listening to TV and film writers talk, you sometimes get the feeling that they have all of the secrets to success but don't want to give them away, and they also don't want to share too much and piss any of their current or potential employers off. All of which doesn't exactly lead to compelling testimony to pass along. But here are some morsels and quotes that I think you'll find interesting. You have Qs. I have As. Ready. Set. Next paragraph.
If it's May, then it's college finals, and the kids over at CollegeHumor are helping you cope by pulling an all-nighter themselves -- right now, between 9 p.m. EDT Thursday and 9 a.m. Friday -- streaming live video chatting here and posting a new "Hardly Working" video every hour. So now you know. Here's one of their latest productions, in which they react to eating a batch of special brownies: