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Yahoo Sets Comedy Binge with ‘SNL,’ Jack Black, John Stamos and Others

Portal borrows page from Netflix to debut nearly all episodes of original series Sept. 9

Yahoo will bow eight short-form comedy series Sept. 9, taking a page from Netflix’s playbook in debuting nearly all eps at once to tap into binge-viewing behavior, built around 38-year archive of sketches from “Saturday Night Live.”

New skeins include “Ghost Ghirls” from Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite and Shine America, featuring guest appearances from Black and Val Kilmer (pictured, above) among others; “Tiny Commando” from Ed Helms and Jacob Fleisher; and “Losing It with John Stamos,” featuring thesp’s interviews with celebs about their first times having sex.

Portal plans to draw users with the collection of nearly 5,000 SNL sketches and musical perfs, then guide them to other high-value video content. Yahoo struck pact for “SNL” with Broadway Video earlier this year; NBC and Hulu retain online rights to full episodes of show.

Yahoo’s binge-drop is the first time an ad-supported distribution platform will launch a large amount of content — about 1,000 hours in all — in a fell swoop.

“The water cooler has changed for this digital audience,” said Erin McPherson, Yahoo veep and head of video. “It’s more gradual and it builds across social networks, and we anticipate this will enhance that effect.”

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Yahoo has tried its hand at comedy before, including a smaller block last year headlined by a live standup perf by Bill Maher. As far as original entertainment programming, which includes a smattering of lifestyle shows, one of Yahoo’s few hits has been “Burning Love,” a scripted spoof of reality dating genre that notched 11 million views for the first season last year and was picked up by the E! cable network.

Yahoo’s fall comedy lineup, which company presented in April at a Digital NewFronts event in New York, includes five new shows and three returning skeins:

  • “Losing It with John Stamos”: Stamos chats up celebs, including Alan Cumming, Olivia Munn, Michael Rapaport, Bob Saget and Matt Stone, about losing their virginity (produced by Warrior Poets)
  • Tiny Commando”: Four-inch-tall former Navy SEAL (Zachary Levi) uses fleet of remote-control vehicles to battle his foe Cesar Pequeño (Ed Helms) (Principato-Young Entertainment)
  •  “Ghost Ghirls”: Two paranormal investigators (Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci) attempt to solve otherworldly cases; show created and helmed by Jeremy Konner of Comedy Central’s “Drunk History” (Jack Black’s Electric Dynamite and Shine America)
  • “We Need Help”: Cheryl Hines and Rachael Harris (both of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) mistreat their 23-year-old personal assistant (Vuguru and Principato-Young Entertainment)
  •  “The Fuzz”: Scripted buddy-cop comedy in world where humans live alongside puppet counterparts — and puppet crime is rampant (Vuguru and 3 Arts Entertainment)
  • “The Flip Side” (season 2): Explores comedic possibilities of social norms turned on their heads (e.g., if women hit on the men in bars) (Altermotion Media)
  • “Sports Friends” (season 2): Animated skein parodies conversations among professional athletes (Mutsack)
  • “SketchY!” (season 3): Rotating roster of comedians perform sketch bits (Principato-Young Entertainment)

Watch trailers for “Ghost Ghirls,” “Losing It with John Stamos” and “Tiny Commando”:

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