Funny or Die

Funny or Die

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Added Aug 25, 2012 at 01:08AM EDT by Trollkeeper.

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Funny or Die is a comedy website founded by comedians Will Ferrell and Adam McKay that features both original and user-generated multimedia content, including videos, images and podcasts.


The site was founded by Gary Sanchez Productions owners Will Ferrell and Adam McKay in January of 2007. On April 17th that year, Funny or Die premiered its first sketch video titled β€œThe Landlord,” in which Ferrell is harassed by his two-year-old landlord played by McKay’s daughter Pearl (shown below). In the following six years, the video has received over 8.94 million views.

In December of 2007, the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital[1] provided Funny or Die with $15 million in funding.[2]In September of 2008, the website's parent company Funny Or Die Networks launched the United Kingdom spin-off Funny or Die UK.[5] In June of that year, the production house announced its premium cable TV series Funny or Die Presents in partnership with HBO, which premiered on February 19th, 2010.


Funny or Die hosts podcasts, videos, images and several notable web series. Site users are given the option of selecting "Funny" or "Die" to vote on content. If a video has received an 80% "Funny" rating after reaching 100,000 views, it is given an "Immortal" ranking. Conversely, if the content has received 20% or less "Funny" ratings after 1,000 views, it is given the ranking of "Crypt" and moved to that portion of the site. The "Chosen One" rating can only be selected by Funny or Die staff, which hides the video's score from public view.


Drunk History

On August 6th, 2007, the first episode of Drunk History was uploaded to the site, in which actor Michael Cera reenacts a historical event told by actor Mark Gagliardi while inebriated (shown below, left). In the first five years, the episode accumulated more than 1.89 million views. As of May 2013, seven episodes have been uploaded, including a reenactment by Crispin Glover and John C. Reilly of a intoxicated retelling of 19th century scientist Nikola Tesla's tragic story told by comedian Duncan Trussell (shown below, right).

Comedy Tour

In February of 2008, Funny or Die launched "Will Ferrell's Funny or Die Comedy Tour: Presented by Semi-Pro," featuring Ferrell, members of the Funny or Die staff and comedians Zach Galifianakis:, Demetri Martin, Nick Swardson, Andrea Savage, Adam McKay and Will Arnett. The tour began at the Bramlage Cliseum at Kansas State University on February 4th and continued through six other cities before ending on February 22nd at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Several video exclusives from the tour were uploaded under the "comedy tour" tag on Funny or Die (shown below).[4]

Between Two Ferns

On January 4th, 2008, the pilot episode of Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis premiered on Funny or Die, featuring the host Galifianakis rudely interviewing actor Michael Cera (shown below, left). Within the first five years, the episode received over 10.3 million views and 101,000 funny votes. As of May 2013, a total of 16 episodes have been released, the most popular of which featured actress Natalie Portman (shown below, right) with 12.8 million views.

Sorority Girl E-Mail Rant Dramatic Reading

On April 22nd, 2013, Funny or Die released a video featuring actor Michael Shannon performing a dramatic reading of the Sorority Girl's e-mail rant written by University of Maryland student Rebecca Martinson (shown below). Within one month, the video received over 3.58 million views and 60,000 funny votes.


HUVr Hoverboard Hoax

On March 3rd, a YouTube channel for a company called HUVr was launched with a promotional video in which Back to The Future actor Christopher Lloyd presents professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, electronic musician Moby and pro football player Terrell Owens riding airborne skateboards modeled after the β€œhoverboard” device from Back to the Future Part II (shown below, left). (shown below, left). The same day, HUVrTech uploaded a second video explaining how the skateboard uses a magnetic field to float in the air (shown below, right). In the first 48 hours, the video received upwards of 3.6 million and 500,000 views respectively.

On the following day, Hawk tweeted a link to the HUVrTech[10] website and an Instagram video in which he is shown riding a hovering skateboard. Within 24 hours, the tweet garnered upwards of 1,300 retweets and 600 favorites. Also on March 4th, the news blogs Elite Daily[19] and Extreme Tech[18] highlighted the videos as if they were authentic, while other major news outlets and tech blogs reported on the mysterious promo trailers with cautious skepticism.

Shortly after, Redditor Brenden105 submitted the "Belief" video to the /r/videos[17] subreddit, where Redditor terinbune commented with a screen capture of the video highlighting the shadow of a crane seen in a frame from the video (shown below).

3:28 4:32

Meanwhile, blogger Andy Baio identified actor Nelson Cheng[9] as the HUVr spokesman from the "How" video.

Also on March 4th, the tech news blog CNET[14] published an article about the viral videos, noting that costume designer Lauren Biedenharn listed a commercial for "Back to the Future HUVR BOARDS" on her online portfolio[11] with Funny or Die as the employer and producer. The line was subsequently removed from the resume. In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the videos, including UpRoxx,[12] Gawker,[13] The Verge[15] and Tech Crunch.[16]

PROFESSIONAL RESUME: updated fall 2013 FUNNY OR DIE Commercial: Back to the Future HUVR BOARDS Talent: TONY HAWK, MOBY, TERREL OWENS, SCHOOLBOY Q, CHRISTOPHER LLOYD, etc. Key Wardrobe: Lydia Bauer Assistant Wardrobe: Lauren Biedenharn Nove 2013

Dennis Quaid's Rant

On April 10th, 2015, YouTuber Fyq9715 uploaded a video titled "DENNIS QUAID FREAK OUT" which shows the well-known Hollywood actor berating a crew member for walking onto a film set in the middle of his performance. The video, which seems to have been shot covertly in vertical orientation, ends with Quaid lashing out at others and uttering "blow me!" (shown below) at everyone. The video was first picked up by TMZ[22] and labeled as a "leaked" video on April 13th.

On the following day, Redditor Ckingdom initially submitted the video to /r/PublicFreakout], shortly before cross-posting it on /r/videos[21], the latter of which soon reached Reddit's homepage after garnering more than 4,323 points and 3,275 comments within the first 24 hours. In the comments section, many Redditors immediately raised skepticism over the authenticity of the video, citing the similarity in narrative to the infamous 2008 audio recording of British actor
Christian Bale's meltdown on the set of Terminator Salvation, with some speculating that the rant may be yet another staged hoax orchestrated by the late-night talkshow host Jimmy Kimmel.

Redditor Thumpar: "It feels scripted to me, but so does every viral video since [Jimmy] Kimmel started doing his schtick. It's really messing with my mind."
Redditor AmazingMarv: "Yes. There's something too on-point about it. Like if an actor were to do something like this, it would look exactly like this. Looks planned."

Throughout the day, both the leaked video and the subsequent debate regarding its authenticity were picked up by a wide range of celebrity gossip, entertainment and internet culture news sites[23][24][25][26], while Kimmel openly denied any involvement in the video during his opening monologue that night.

On April 15th, Funny or Die[27] revealed itself as the mastermind behind the actor's rant by releasing a new video titled "Dennis Quaid's On-Set Freak Out: The Full Video," which shows crew members and other characters previously unseen in the original footage that literally correspond with the slurs uttered by the actor, including "Dopey the Dick," a group of extras in "zombie" make-up, a pile of horse dung on the floor and a family of "pussy" cats (shown below).


As of May 2013, Funny or Die holds a global Alexa[6] rank of 2,121 and a Quantcast[7] rank of 341.

Google "Sex" Ranking

On May 1st, 2013, The Verge[8] published an article about Funny or Die's "sex" topic page receiving the top ranking on Google search for the keyword "sex." The article revealed that the humor site used search-engine-optimized architecture to automatically generate topic pages that could potentially gain a high Google search ranking.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Sequoia Capital – Funny or Die

[2] Crunchbase – Funny or Die

[3] Variety – HBO joining forces with Funny or Die

[4] Funny or Die – comedy tour

[5] Funny or Die UK – Funny or Die UK

[6] Alexa – funnyordie#

[7] Quantcast – funnyordie

[8] The Verge – How Funny or Die got Googles top search result for sex

[9] Nelson Cheng – Acting

[10] HUVrTech – HUVr

[11] Google Cache – Lauren BiedenHarn Portfolio

[12] UpRoxx – Those Convincing Hoverboard Videos

[13] Gawker – Fake Hoverboard is Obviously Viral Marketing

[14] CNET – This Back to the Future hoverboard

[15] The Verge – Doc Brown and Tony Hawk show off a real-life hoverboard

[16] Tech Crunch – What are all these celebrities participating in an epic fake hoverboard troll

[17] Reddit – HUVr Tech rolls out a hoverboard

[18] Extreme Tech – HUVr The Back to the Future hoverboard is finally here

[19] Elite Daily – Introducing HUVr

[20] Reddit – Dennis Quaid loses it on set

[21] Reddit – Dennis Quaid loses it on set (x-post from /r/PublicFreakout

Loses His Mind On Set

[23] Slate – Where Does Dennis Quaid’s Instant Classic On-Set Freakout Rank Among the All-Time Greats?

[24] TIME – Dennis Quaid’s Freakout Is a Funny or Die Prank

[25] Huffington Post – Dennis Quaid Appears To Lose It On Film Set In Leaked Video

[26] Entertainment Weekly – Dennis Quaid's outburst was fake -- and Funny or Die is to blame

[27] Funny or Die – Dennis Quaid's On-Set Freak Out: The Full Video

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