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Summary:

Will Ferrell is an internet video star without even trying. Screwing around on camera with business parter Adam McKay, Ferrell took 45 minutes to create a hilarious short that was an instant hit on a brand-new site, with little to no promotion. Since being posted last […]

Will Ferrell is an internet video star without even trying. Screwing around on camera with business parter Adam McKay, Ferrell took 45 minutes to create a hilarious short that was an instant hit on a brand-new site, with little to no promotion. Since being posted last week, “The Landlord,” in which McKay’s toddler daughter berates Ferrell for being late on his rent, has been seen more than 2.5 million times.

But can Will Ferrell be an internet video mogul without even trying? That remains to be seen. He and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions, facilitated by talent agency CAA and funded by YouTube’s VC firm, Sequoia Capital, have launched Funny or Die, a comedy video-sharing site, according to various reports. The site, unfortunately, is pretty poorly designed and doesn’t allow embeds (so don’t try to click on the image to the left, it’s just a screen shot).

But the spirit of the venture is right. “It’s just us,” McKay told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s the fun — this isn’t brought to you by GE or Viacom or whoever.”

Funny or Die, which calls itself a “collaborative effort of people in Silicon Valley and in Hollywood,” promises to promote videos based on popularity votes (and banish those its audience doesn’t like). It also says it will feature established comics.

Prior reading: We’d also been fans of Jack Black’s efforts at web video, Acceptable.tv.

  1. Taylor McKnight Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    First comment didn’t show up (do they have to be approved?) so I’m reposting this:

    Actually they do allow embeds for everything

    Check:
    http://sjl.funnyordie.com/v1/view_video.php?viewkey=f68f89b29639786cb62e

    And up till yesterday you could embed the Landlord video too but I guess it’s costing them too much bandwidth and/or they want people to come directly to their site so it looks like they disabled it just for that video.

    The design is pretty awful but it’s interesting that these actors/comedians are trying to launch their own stuff lately. I’d be much more interested in a Will/Adam video blog which I’d reckon would be hugely and immediately successful.

  2. Thanks Taylor — the first comment must have gotten swallowed by the system, cause I don’t see it.

  3. NewTeeVee » Jerry Zucker Launches PodTech Show Sunday, May 6, 2007

    [...] about its investment in Funny or Die, the web comedy aggregator that has Will Ferrell on board (see our coverage). Sequoia partner Mark Kvamme says the site won 4.4 million page views in its first week based on [...]

  4. NewTeeVee » Would a Strike Force Talent Online? Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    [...] with Church of Scientology money for online distribution while on strike, but something like Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s project “Funny or Die” is certainly realistic — and could provide a model for how such [...]

  5. NewTeeVee Worldwide Biggies Raises $9M « Monday, August 6, 2007

    [...] we’ve covered involving big media makers jumping online — such as My Damn Channel, Funny Or Die, Vuguru, 60Frames, and to some extent Next New Networks — in that it’s been out for a [...]

  6. Usersky Daily News Network » JibJab Raises $3m More For Video Content Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    [...] for example. Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die raised millions from Google backers Sequia and launched in April. Media analyst Jeff Jarvis invested in Black20, a small comedy video troup, in May. And venture [...]

  7. NTV Rerun: Funny or Die to Make Movies? « NewTeeVee Friday, April 18, 2008

    [...] Rerun: Funny or Die to Make Movies? It was a year ago this week that a bottle-wielding toddler demanded rent money from Will Ferrell and kicked off a [...]

  8. Damon Wayans Makes His Way Off the Web « NewTeeVee Sunday, August 17, 2008

    [...] of incubating shows from the drama, action, and animation genres as well. And of course it was yet another new tech venture fronted by a [...]

  9. did Will Ferrell do this landlord skit specifically for online viewing?

  10. Funny or Die Presents on HBO: Offline and Off-Kilter – NewTeeVee Station Monday, February 22, 2010

    [...] sense. Why single out one guy’s work instead of championing the FOD house style (evolved over nearly four years) to which LOL clearly [...]

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