The Cheezburger Network, which never met a meme or concept it wasn’t afraid to aggregate, has another experiment in store. Instead of captioning pictures of cats, though, the new channel tackles a genre left previously to hidden camera shows and MTV’s Jackass: reality comedy.
Bag of Misfits, which launched today, is the 53rd site to join the Cheezburger Network, and came from bringing together comedians like Tom Green, Canadian web comic Paul Telner as well as media personalities from all walks of life, including music, food and prank calling.
The Cheezburger Network’s previous attempt at doing original content, the now-defunct Super Sweet Slow Mo channel, “was a lot more work than we expected,” according to CEO Ben Huh via phone. “We don’t have the manpower to do that on a regular basis.”
But Huh wasn’t quite done with the idea of distributing original content, which lead to a partnership with Telner (from whom the idea for a reality comedy channel originally came) and other contributors unafraid of the reality comedy genre, including Green, the Rad Girls, Robotic Bees, Nadia G, Peter Coffin, Ed Bassmaster, Don Sibley, Eric Schwartz, Jack Vale, Stuckey and Murray and Sam Berns. “[Reality comedy] fits our ethos a little better, because we want to engage the community in some shape or form,” according to Huh. “It’s not a hugely produced project — any one of us could do this.”
Misfits participants are selected to become contributors and handle all aspects of their own production, while participating in revenue sharing. “It’s not user-submitted content, but its also not produced by us,” Huh said.
FAIL Blog’s YouTube channel recently became the first comedy channel on YouTube to surpass 1 billion video views, so there’s no lack of eyeballs on Cheezburger’s content. The challenge is, of course, transferring that traffic to the new site. And how much of FAIL Blog’s young male audience will be interested in crank calls?
Okay, yeah. Probably a lot of ‘em.
Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Shattering the Fourth Wall To Find Web Audiences