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Summary:

Atom.com’s rebranding as a comedy destination paid off big time this week with the release of Oprah is Dead, which chronicles the terrifying future that awaits us after Oprah Winfrey leaves us for the great beyond. Chaos, anarchy, and a Thriller homage ensue. The short is […]

Atom.com’s rebranding as a comedy destination paid off big time this week with the release of Oprah is Dead, which chronicles the terrifying future that awaits us after Oprah Winfrey leaves us for the great beyond. Chaos, anarchy, and a Thriller homage ensue.

The short is the sick brainchild of Team Tiger Awesome, a Los Angeles comedy group whose first big breakout success was the Channel 101 NY series 28 Day Slater (a must-watch for anyone who grew up on Saved by the Bell reruns), and went on to produce comedy stunts for ABC TV, AniBoom, Super Deluxe and other media consortiums.

Despite that pedigree, though, they had a hard time getting funding for Oprah is Dead: “We pitched it around town,” Nick Mundy of TTA said via chat, “and people liked it, but were kinda uneasy about it…you know, with good reason.” Believing that the short would only be funny if they had the budget to support some of the more insane elements, though, they kept pushing — finally getting the interest of Ian Friedman at Atom. “We pitched to Ian and he liked it, and the higher-ups liked it and they felt we could pull it off. It was crazy how much they loved the f—ed-up-ed-ness of the whole thing.”

At last check, Oprah is Dead had racked up over 23,000 hits, and it’s only been online for two days. Given that the all-time most popular videos on the site max out at approximately a million views, this a real success. And it speaks well of a site devoted to comedy that they heard a pitch, said “this sounds insane” — and funded it anyway.

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  1. Brock LaBorde Friday, January 30, 2009

    Hats off to TTA for making that happen. It looked great and took us in so many fun directions. Atom is pretty sweet, too. Looking forward to more stuff like this.

  2. That was fucking retarded.

  3. Congrats to TTA and Atom, funny video and I like the new direction of Atom’s site – we even featured the video on our site. That said…is 23,000 views in two days the bar for a “real success”?

    Again, I don’t mean to knock their work, but that just doesn’t really seem like such a big number. Our newest episode of Geek Pad has 197,000 views in two days on Youtube…

  4. It’s no frog in a blender! That’s for sure.
    http://joecartoon.atom.com/cartoons/67-frog_in_a_blender

  5. Of course we don’t really know that it ‘paid off big time’ unless we know how much they paid to produce it and what they hoped to accomplish. I’m one of the 30k+ viewers, but it didn’t do much for me and won’t lead to me periodically check out Atom. And that number is pretty damn low – some of my personal YouTube videos approach or surpass that number as a cost of zero dollars to produce.

  6. Liz Shannon Miller Sunday, February 1, 2009

    In comparison to typical stats for a YouTube video, y’all are right in that 30k is not much. But in comparison to Atom’s biggest successes, which do not exceed two million hits, “Oprah” is definitely doing well.

    YouTube has a larger audience than Atom, and thus there’s less of a stumble-upon factor working in TTA’s favor. How much that plays into the overall success is another question, and potentially an interesting subject for a longer analysis.

  7. I do think that’s an interesting question in terms of defining success — should views on a creator/producer’s site be considered more important than views on Youtube? Obviously, there’s advertising $$ repercussions, but I personally think that eyeballs are eyeballs.

  8. Casey McKinnon Monday, February 2, 2009

    Wow, that was some kind of awesome…

  9. Tommy McGiley Monday, February 2, 2009

    Hard to see why there was so much video on this boring video clip. 23k clips over two days is not even a small blimp on the radar these days. It’s sad to see Atom fall so far behind in the video space. For a long time, they owned online video. But today, their content just cannot compete in today’s landscape and falls short of being funny. Content is flat and tries too hard to be relevant and sophisticated when they should be just trying to make people laugh.

  10. Househusbands of Hollywood’s Long Lost Comedy Tie-in Finally Gets a Release – NewTeeVee Station Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    [...] viral comedy producers Team Tiger Awesome had previously produced a series of comedy shorts to go along with Fox [...]

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