Last April, “Saturday Night Live” alums Ferrell and McKay (whose feature collaborations include “Anchorman” and “Talladega Nights”), along with Henchy, an executive at the duo’s Gary Sanchez Prods. shingle, launched FunnyOrDie.com, a comedy website that the trio viewed as “a little clubhouse,” says McKay, where like-minded funny people could forge relationships and show off their talent via sketch videos.
Their beginnings were humble: no publicity launch and virtually no staff. The first month, McKay and Henchy managed the site from L.A. “using clip art to do the design,” jokes McKay (though he’s not joking).
Then came “The Landlord,” and the site went “from zero to 100 in three days,” he adds.
The sketch, in which Ferrell’s character is harangued by his alcoholic landlord, Pearl — played by McKay’s 2-year-old daughter — became an instant hit, scoring more than 7 million views in its first 24 hours online, forcing FunnyOrDie.com to do the opposite of roll over.
The site’s L.A. staff has now grown to six; offshoot sites, such as ShredOrDie.com, have joined the family; and the FunnyOrDie.com standup tour kicks off in the spring. A new partner, Judd Apatow, was also recently brought onboard, meaning the funny has only just begun.
Point of view
“The site is just another way to get us back in the center of the comedy scene,” McKay says. “When you start doing movies, you can start to drift away from the center — this keeps us right in the mix.”