×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Funny or Die Cuts 37 Jobs, Shuts Down Silicon Valley Office (EXCLUSIVE)

Funny or Die has slashed 30% of its work force and shut down its office in San Mateo, Calif., the company announced Tuesday.

Thirty-seven employees across various divisions of the comedy brand were pink-slipped, leaving the company with 95 employees, according to a rep, who provided a statement to Variety: “While Funny or Die has grown as a company over the last several years, we’ve remained committed to creating premium comedy. As we move into the future, we’ve decided to double-down and re-focus on making the kind of content that made us a household name in the first place. To accomplish that, we’ve had to reorganize and reduce our staff. This isn’t an easy process for any of us. As necessary as these steps may be, we value every single one of the contributors we’ve had to part ways with. They’ve been integral in making us the company we are today, and we thank them for their dedication and friendship.”

Funny or Die was founded by CAA and Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy; Judd Apatow also is a principal partner. The company’s investors include Time Warner and Sequoia Capital.

Popular on Variety

CEO Mike Farah, who moved up to president of Funny or Die in May, will continue to operate the company out of Los Angeles. The brand also maintains offices in New York. In addition to San Mateo, which is where most of Funny or Die’s engineers were based, all three offices saw cuts. No senior execs at the company were affected.

Much of the San Mateo office was focused on app development, an area of the company where they have since retrenched.

While Funny or Die rose to prominence about 10 years ago on the strength of comedic viral videos featuring Ferrell and other Hollywood stars, the company has diversified considerably since then, particularly into branded entertainment and long-form programming. Series currently on the air from the company include truTV’s “Billy on the Street,” Comedy Central’s “@midnight,” Fusion’s “The Chris Gethard Show,” and the upcoming IFC “Brockmire” series.

Sponsored content is the other key growth area, with hundreds of campaigns completed that paired brands and celebrities from TJ Miller and Slim Jim to Jake Johnson and  American Eagle.

Digital content can be a tough business particularly operating as an independent. Funny or Die was reportedly exploring a sale opportunity in 2014, and the cuts could conceivably help dress up the company to go on the block again. Comedy publishers  have been snapped up by larger companies recently, including the sale of The Onion to Univision in January and Cracked to E.W. Scripps in April.

Longtime CEO Dick Glover exited the company in late 2015 to become the top exec at Mandalay Sports Media.

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