×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Listen: How Far Funny Or Die Has Come From Its Viral-Video Days

It was hysterical short videos like “The Landlord” that made the Funny Or Die brand an overnight household name when it began 11 years ago. But its business has since evolved tremendously, explains CEO Mike Farah, as evidenced by the 20 TV series the company currently has in various stages of production or development, including Hulu’s “I Love You, America with Sarah Silverman” and Netflix’s “American Vandal.”

On the latest episode of the Variety podcast “Strictly Business,” Farah details how the focus on long-form TV production is balanced out by a digital strategy that has broadened out to everything from custom campaigns with brand partners to digital-marketing services for both the company’s own shows and those from other producers.

“There’s a ton of content out there, you need to be able to peg it to something,” said Farah, a 10-year company veteran who rose to the CEO post in 2016. “And because we have this audience, and this relationship and credibility with them, a show like ‘American Vandal’ has really benefited from that.”

Funny Or Die’s famous co-principals — Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Judd Apatow, to name a few — are still very active in their company. “They are always so willing to help out,” said Farah, who noted he was on the way to lunch with Ferrell after the podcast to discuss the possibility of bringing his Cord Hosenbeck character back for faux Rose Bowl parade coverage (which Funny Or Die produced for Amazon earlier this year) in 2019.

“Strictly Business” is Variety‘s weekly podcast featuring conversations with industry leaders about the business of entertainment. Listen to the podcast below for the full interview, or check out previous “Strictly Business” episodes featuring comedian/actor/producer Kevin Hart, ICM Partners agent Esther Newberg, and HBO chairman/CEO Richard Plepler. A new episode debuts each Tuesday and can be downloaded on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

More Digital

  • HTC Vive Headset

    Doctors Look to Virtual Reality to Treat Chronic Pain

    Virtual reality is a technology with seemingly limitless potential, not just in the gaming space, but across a range of industries. The health field, in particular, is interested in the potential applications of VR tech to assist patients suffering from chronic pain. In his talk at GDC, David Putrino, Ph.D., walked through his organization’s efforts [...]

  • Game Industry Has Mixed Reactions to

    Game Industry Has Mixed Reactions to Google Stadia

    Google’s new game streaming platform Stadia made its debut at GDC. Although still missing some intangible details (namely, pricing or a launch date), publishers and developers still have thoughts on this ambitious attempt at bringing streaming to the mainstream. Stadia debuted with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed as a key franchise for the platform. Ubisoft co-founder Yves [...]

  • EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager,

    Google Fined $1.7 Billion by E.U. for Blocking Rival Online Advertisers

    The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion ($1.7 billion) for breaching E.U. antitrust rules by preventing rivals from placing their search advertisements on third-party websites. The Alphabet unit has now been hit with nearly $9.4 billion in fines by the E.U. antitrust regulator within the past two years. The regulator said Wednesday that Google, [...]

  • FilMart: Viu Uploads 'No Sleep, No

    FilMart: Viu Uploads 'No Sleep, No FOMO' Reality Show for Millennials

    “No Sleep No FOMO” is an eight-episode pan-regional travelog show that Asian streaming firm Viu hopes will help it win over more millennial generation audiences. It harnesses the potential of local social media celebrities and their 12 million followers. The show features “Running Man” star Kim Jong-kook, Korean musician Eric Nam and Singapore actor Paul [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

  • Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content

    Beleaguered Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content for Expansion Into Southeast Asia

    One of the most surprising first-time attendees at FilMart is Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has come to Hong Kong to acquire the video content it needs to support its strategy of expansion into Southeast Asia. The company is currently embroiled in a PR nightmare as it defends itself against accusations that its equipment could [...]

  • Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes

    Canadian Animation Shop Guru Studio Makes Moves in China

    Guru Studio, an award-winning Toronto-based studio, is keen to get a slice of China’s animation market, which has been growing quickly. “China has the single biggest TV audience in the world and is the second big economy. It’s a natural move for us to build a brand in China,” said Louise Jones, Guru VP of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content