Funny or Die is getting into the comedy podcasting business, and they've picked one of their most popular video producers to help them do it.
As of September 2011, Earwolf will become the exclusive sole provider and producer of Funny or Die podcasts, with new shows added to the existing comedy podcast network and available via iTunes, Earwolf.com and funnyordie.com. In the agreement, FoD also will license Earwolf's existing back catalogue and offer them on their site.
"We’re pumped to have a podcast partner-in-crime and one with such a large and loyal following. We’re doubly pumped to bring more great comedy from today’s best comedic minds to the 11-million/month Funny Or Die visitors. We’re triply pumped to for Earwolf fans to get more of what they love, too."
As referenced up top, this partnership is not exactly surprising.
Earwolf was co-created by Scott Aukerman, host of the popular live show and podcast, Comedy Bang Bang (formerly Comedy Death-Ray), and producer of Funny or Die's "Between Two Ferns" series with Zach Galifianakis, which enjoys some of the most viewed videos of all time on the site.
Zach Galifianakis finally gets Will Ferrell to sit down for a chat "Between Two Ferns" in this new installment of his Webby Award-winning series.
Watch them eat cherries and cherry tomatoes. What's Jon Hamm doing here? Don't worry. That's not a spoiler. Nothing could spoil this.
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Speaking of Funny or Die, here's a new Webseries starring 30 Rock's Sue Galloway and Pam Murphy, written by Galloway and directed by Becky Drysdale. It's called "Namedroppers." Need I explain more?
Roll the first two episodes, please!
Here's something you haven't seen before. Funny or Die's CEO, Dick Glover, on film. Talking about the site and how FoD has adapted to social media by adding buttons atop each video to encourage viewers to share their vids through Reddit, StumbleUpon and the usual suspects of Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook -- and also how FoD has found a win-win in controlling who comments on their videos and how.
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Why is former President George W. Bush making an official announcement about Osama bin Laden while serving himself food from a buffet restaurant? Oh, wait. It's Will Ferrell from Funny or Die. OK. It all makes sense now.
Let's proceed. Fun facts for you comedy nerds: This is co-written by Adam McKay and new FoD hire Chris Kelly. Also cameos by Billy Merritt and Colton Dunn. Roll the clip!
Dan Abramson used to work as the "associate comedy editor" at The Huffington Post. Now he fills a similar role at Funny or Die. And today, Abramson supplies this flowchart to help you decide whether you should join the class-action lawsuit against HuffPo.
This meme is all growns up now, as the "twin baby boys have a conversation" has been reimagined by Funny or Die as a sequel decades later, with Michael Chiklis and Patton Oswalt as the twins. For continuity's sake, I guess, they're still wearing diapers?
You have to watch it through to the end. It's not what you think. Unless you were thinking it might be Not Safe For Work. In which case, roll it!
If you didn't see the original video that spawned millions of YouTube visits, then visit twin baby boys have a conversation.
This is an actual joke contest hosted by Bobby Bottleservice (aka Nick Kroll) on behalf of Malaria No More.
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Details? Enter the Bobby Bottleservice Joke Contest for the chance to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to see Hollywood Bites Back! at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on April 16, a live comedy show featuring Conan O’Brien, Sarah Silverman and more to benefit the nonprofit Malaria No More. All you have to do is create a short YouTube video finishing the joke “Why did the mosquito cross the road?” Then, submit your YouTube URL to www.MalariaNoMore.org/Joke. See your video posted with other submissions at www.YouTube.com/MosquitoJoke. Winner will be announced by April 8, and if the joke is good enough, you might be invited to tell it on stage at the show! For official contest rules, go to:www.MalariaNoMore.org/official-contest-rules
The tragic events in Japan, and Gilbert Gottfried's jokes about them on Twitter, prompted Aflac to fire him as the insurance company's talking spokesduck.
Well, Gottfried has apologized publicly about his jokes, but now he's responded as a comedian with this Funny or Die video, in which he reminds everyone that he has made cruel and unusually too soon jokes about every tragic event through history. Roll the clip!
This is silly.
Todd Barry had a nice part in Darren Aronofsky's film, The Wrestler. But what if it turned out that his deli manager was supposed to get a sequel, and that sequel turned out to be Black Swan? Well, that's what this Funny or Die video imagines.
Funny or Die is expanding in two different ways that help currently working comedians.
Yesterday, the site announced its first Funny or Die Sketch Comedy Challenge. And no, you cannot enter the challenge, because they've already selected the three sketch troupes competing for cash and prizes from T-Mobile, plus a chance to shoot more videos with the FoD production team. Competing for your votes are The Birthday Boys, Cream, and Tremendosaur. Sponsored by T-Mobile, the groups are challenged to film sketches inspired by the word “connected.”
Here's a video from the comedians explaining their challenge:
A winner will be announced March 21. You can vote between now and then.
Today we learned that Funny or Die also is planning to launch its own book imprint. They'll be publishing humor books. On paper. And also electronic books. Groovy!
Mike Farah, FoD's head of production, told Vulture: “Well, we like books, and we like reading. And we’re fortunate enough to be able to expand from the engine that is currently driving us. We felt like this would be a fun and logical space to get into. But we’re going to take it slowly, learning as we go.”
How will it work, though? The site will solicit original proposals, sculpt them with help from CAA and a newly-hired editor and consultant, then shop them to publishers just like everyone else in the book world does. They'll also look at e-books that add original videos into the mix.
They already have one e-book in the works, written by Mike Sacks and his cohorts who authored Sex: Our Bodies, Our Junk, to debut this summer.
Maybe your book idea could be next? You'll have to get in line behind me. And all of the comedians who currently work for and with Funny or Die.
If you're looking for a critical look at Funny or Die, then Katie Couric's profile on CBS Sunday Morning isn't going to fill the bill for you.
Couric says the site has become profitable, but how exactly? Is it by being on TV? Yes, it's by being on TV. They have their HBO series, plus working on a TV series for TBS based on Jewel's undercover karaoke video. What about by being on the Internet? And does anyone watch a Funny or Die video that doesn't star a big star or celebutard? I know. I know. Me and my boring journalist questions. Especially since I know and enjoy many of the funny comedians who are employed by FoD. And I'm no Katie Couric.
But then again, what would you expect Couric to do, considering she also just so happened to star in her own Funny or Die video spoof today?
Couric also sat down with Mike Farah and Jake Szymanski for an extended half-hour interview on her own online page within CBS News. Among the shots fired: Farah claimed that FoD was the best place for a young comedian to work, saying,
"It's definitely become the place to be, and to work, in Hollywood. I would argue that to start off at Funny or Die is even better than starting off at SNL or on a TV show. Because, in two years of working at Funny or Die, I mean, Jake's reel is a perfect example of it. To be able to work with the talent we're able to work with, in this short-form comedy, for the Internet, and this branded stuff. You can't really get that anywhere else."
About seven minutes into this half-hour interview, Couric does ask Farah about the only word that seems to matter in online business: "monetization." Ack! Ugly business talk! Let's move on.
Did you know that Funny or Die has their very own version of Ricky Gervais' Karl Pilkington? His name is Sean Boyle. Let's hear it for Seans!
Oh, and here is Katie Couric's investigative report on "the sillies," produced by Farah, directed by Szymanski and written by Seth Morris. Roll it!
Are you going to an Oscar party tonight? Are you in the Oscars? Are you nominated for an Oscar? If so, are you just reading this to take your mind off of the Oscars? Oops.
Here's a timely sketch about an Oscar party. Warning: Includes profanities, as well as arguments about the endings of Inception and Blade Runner. Starring Eliza Skinner and Greg Burke, and featuring Sara Jo Allocco, Elaine Carroll, Greg Tuculescu and Joe Spellman.
Finally, the ghost of Tom Carvel has his own talk-show, and a real topless woman as his sidekick, too. His first guest, Andy Richter, doesn't seem to know what he's walked into, however.
Surprise! Zach Galifianakis and his Hangover sequel hairdo have re-emerged with a brand-new episode of Between Two Ferns, his hysterically popular Funny or Die series produced by Scott Aukerman and friends. In today's episode Galifianakis welcomes two guests. The first is Tila Tequlia. I know, right? The second is Jennifer Aniston, who had hoped to promote her new film with Adam Sandler, Just Go With It, but she didn't seem to want to go with it as Galifianakis focused on Tequila instead.
Also, say hi to Brody Stevens as a larger-than-life Speed Stick.
I don't know how you feel about Sarah Palin, and I'm not sure I want to know. But if Palin were replaced by Gina Gershon, I hope you'd agree with me that life would be a much better place. In this clip for Funny or Die, Gershon as Palin imagines life without constant media attention. It's funny because it's true. Also because Gershon's still got it!
Roll the clip. (Note: NSFW)
Previously: Gina Gershon in a bikini as Sarah Palin in 2008.
In 2010, we saw a wave of new beverages that combined high-octane alcohol with caffeine and other energy ingredients and put them together in colorful cans. Four Loko dominated the trend, both with the kids (who shouldn't be drinking alcohol) and with the media (who love a scandal that scares parents). By 2011, Four Loko (and others?) had vowed to take the drinks off of store shelves and replace them with colorful cans without the caffeine and taurine. Still 12 percent booze, though! All better now?
Sorry to throw so much news upfront there. You just wanted to see Don Johnson lead a tour of the Four Loko "Vineyards." Here you go!
Written and directed by Owen Burke for Funny or Die.
It's not quite a sequel to the 2009 film, I Love You, Man, so call this scene an extended bonus happy ending, as Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) gets a special birthday present from his BFF, Sydney Fife (Jason Segel): all-access passes to a Rush concert. They go backstage afterward into the hard-rockin' Canadian band's green room to meet the trio and more. Did I say happy ending? Will it be? You'll have to watch this Funny or Die exclusive to find out.
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Looks like the jury at the Sundance Film Festival has the same sense of humor as the folks at Funny or Die, because for the second straight year, they've picked a short from FoD's Funny or Die Presents on HBO series as the best of the fest.
Last year, it was "Drunk History" with Will Ferrell, Don Cheadle and Zooey Deschanel re-enacting the story of Lincoln and Douglass as told by a drunken Jen Kirkman.
This year, it's the "Brick Novax's Diary" series that took the U.S. Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking, handed out last night in Park City, Utah. Or rather, the first two of four episodes of the series directed by Matt Piedmont. Using action figures and small-scale models, the series recounts Novax's life as voiced by Marc Evan Jackson. From the official description: "Penniless in a seedy motel room with only weeks to live, international superlegend Brick Novax records his amazing tales as an astronaut, movie star, corporate CEO, and famous musician to preserve his legacy as the coolest guy in the history of the world."
The first part of the Novax diaries aired on the second-season premiere of the HBO FoD series on Jan. 14, with another installment coming on Jan. 28.
Weird but true: This teaser clip only had a 25% approval rate from Funny or Die's viewers as of today. Good thing they weren't on the jury?