You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘iSteve,’ Funny or Die’s First Long Form…Too Long?

Just how many people will sit through a 79-minute Funny or Die clip?

Quips about a deceased person — particularly when said online — often garner a chorus of “TOO SOON!” from the Internet community, cringing and waving their holier-than-thou flag back at the source of the unscrupulous remark.

With the passing of Steve Jobs now a fading image in the news industry’s rear view mirror, the tech mogul’s forthcoming biopic starring Ashton Kutcher — simply titled “Jobs” — has already made waves in showbiz after debuting at Sundance this year.

It is the first Jobs biopic — or, was supposed to be, anyways.

Too soon to parody a movie that hasn’t even come out yet about a dead tech icon?

Not so! says the team at Funny or Die, who put together the site’s first effort at long form storytelling for the occasion.

“iSteve,” starring Justin Long as Jobs, offers a low budget, comedic take on his life and clocks in at 78 minutes and 55 seconds, a whopping chunk of time when compared to Funny or Die’s bread and butter clips that at times barely scrape past the five minute mark.

“We might not be the best, but we will be the first,” joked “iSteve” scribe and director Ryan Perez to the New York Times.

Popular on Variety

Of course, the Funny or Die fan base — who flock to clips like the three-and-a-half minute “Rachel Bilson’s Deleted Sex Scene” — would be hard pressed to shout “Too soon!” at “iSteve.”

So, what are they already saying?

“Too long!”

iSteve” — which was written in three days and shot in five — has its funny moments. But the stumbling block that Funny or Die must contend with since the pic’s midnight release is how its loyal audience relates with the website’s content.

Were “iSteve” to land a theatrical release as a quirky indie spoof, this brand of comedy would be welcomed by auds willing to shell out ten bucks or so and log 90 minutes in a movie theater chair. The issue that arises with the long-form’s debut on Funny or Die’s site, however, is that its viewers have grown accustomed to the fast, slapstick, in-your-face guffaws of the short clips.

“iSteve’s” more drawn out approach to comedy has strong merits and should not be discounted. But, the fact is, by the three-minute mark “iSteve” has landed a few smirks and chuckles where Will Ferrell’s short Funny or Die clip “The Landlord” had online auds crying from laughter in the same amount of time.

And while this could be chalked up to mere psychological reflexes on the part of viewers accustomed to certain pacing from Funny or Die, it’s still a relevant point to address given how consumers have different expectations of online platforms when it comes to their content.

Shortly put: in a noisy Internet space where viewers have a hard time watching a pithy two-minute YouTube clip to its completion, this kind of storytelling patience isn’t a luxury all content creators can afford.

Should Funny or Die continue its foray in long-form storytelling, the creative team will have two options: continue with a slow burn comedic tone and wait for auds to adjust, or front load louder jokes in the films to hook viewers that can easily be distracted by the site’s other shorter clips.

Either way, if you’re looking for a quick, hearty laugh that doesn’t require much investment of your time, “iSteve” will not be the place to find it. That is, unless you scroll down to the user comments, some of which are golden (and spelled in context):

Fernando Rodas writes, “you want me to watch 78:55 minute long clip?? you’re fucking out of ur mind, i ant got time for this shit”

And back to “The Landlord” he goes.

More Digital

  • YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

    YouTube CEO to Burned-Out Creators: Data Shows It's OK to Take a Break From Posting

    Stressed-out YouTube creators anxious that their channels will take a traffic hit if they take a mental-health break shouldn’t worry, according to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki: She says a data analysis showed that, on average, YouTubers get even more views when they return after a hiatus. In a Nov. 21 open letter to creators, Wojcicki [...]

  • Apple Computers Logo Placeholder

    Apple Eliminates Customer Reviews and Ratings From Online Store

    Apple has disabled the ability for customers to comment on and rate products on its online store — and the tech giant pulled down all the reviews and ratings that were previously left on the site. It’s not clear why Apple made the decision to kill off user reviews in its ecommerce storefronts. Some observers [...]

  • Google headquartersGoogle headquarters, Dublin, Ireland -

    Google Streamlines Movie Ticket Purchases With Its Assistant

    Google wants to make it easier to buy movie tickets on the web: The search giant has teamed up with Fandango, MovieTickets.com, AMC, MJR Theaters and others to streamline ticket buying across their sites. To do this, Google is making use of its Assistant, which automatically pops up when Android users search for a movie. [...]

  • Harmony-Korine-Duck-Duck-Snapchat-Spectacles

    Harmony Korine Shot a Short Film Entirely With Snap's Spectacles (EXCLUSIVE)

    Director Harmony Korine donned a pair of Snap’s high-end Spectacles 3 camera-enabled glasses to make an experimental short film — transforming Miami into a psychedelic swirl of colors, music and characters. It’s a proof-of-concept project: Snap enlisted the filmmaker to create the 10-minute short, called “Duck Duck,” to showcase the new Spectacles 3 hardware, which [...]

  • Eko - Wizard School Dropout

    Eko Launches Four Interactive Video Series, Including Two to Push Walmart Shopping

    Eko is launching its most ambitious bet yet to close the loop between interactive entertainment and ecommerce, with partner and investor Walmart. The interactive-video platform company debuted four original scripted series Thursday (Nov. 21). Two of them — EffinFunny’s “Wizard School Dropout” (pictured above), set in a Harry Potter-esque world, and “Timeline” from Olive Bridge [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content