Comedy has been a cornerstone of online video since YouTube’s inception. Early experimentation propelled the virality of Will Ferrell’s hilarious “Landlord
” skit and Zach Galifianakis’ acerbic “Between Two Ferns
” series, while Andy Samberg’s edgy “D*ck in a Box
” video thrust the previously little-known SNL player onto the digital A-list. Now, online comedy is moving beyond quick giggles, with top talent taking to the web to deliver premium content to the humor-hungry masses.
Louis C.K.: Live at the Beacon Theater:
Fresh off the cult success of his FX series Louie
, the irreverent comic (née Louis Szekely) broke barriers in December when he bypassed traditional distribution channels and offered his latest stand-up act exclusively on his own website for $5 per download. Without the support of offline promotion, the special grossed $1 million in its first eight days in release
. (For any doubters out there, he took to the airwaves to prove it
.) Then, Louis went viral by posting his PayPal statements, asserting that he’d split up the million and give six-figure shares to charity and his employees...and, in a stroke of refreshing transparency, admitting he’d keep the rest for himself.
CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley:
Taking the concept of “New Rules
” to new heights, the star of “Real Time with Bill Maher
” will travel to the belly of the Internet beast, specifically the San Jose Performing Arts Center, in partnership with Yahoo! for a first-of-its-kind free, live, uninterrupted stand-up concert on Thursday, February 23rd. For those Luddites still attached to “Must See TV,” Maher’s full act will be available for viewing on Yahoo! Screen
– the web giant’s spanking new video platform – for 30 days following the live stream, and clips from the show will pop up throughout the Yahoo! network of sites in the months that follow. This is your warning, Ann Coulter
Funny or Die/Klout Collaboration:
The pioneering online comedy channel (birthplace of the aforementioned Ferrell and Galifianakis bits) has joined forces with the first-to-market arbiter of social media influence to bring exclusive comedy content to avid social media sharers. The joint venture offers special content and comedy events to those with high Klout
scores, and FoD
is now the exclusive comedy publisher offering targeted “Klout Perks
” (curated experiences for serious social influencers). With FoD pulling more than 11 million uniques per month and Klout having scored more than 100 million people by tracking the 12 most-trafficked social media platforms, this cool collab is, in the business sense only, no laughing matter.