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For those that don’t know, Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have taken their humor to the Internet, and they’re letting the Internet community join in.
Ferrell and McKay, who have worked together on such films as “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” and “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” have created an online streaming video Web site. It is called Funny or Die and it is a place for people to submit comedy videos.
The initial idea for Funny or Die was the product of Mark Kvamme, the CEO of Sequoia Capital, and his son. The two approached Ferrell’s and McKay’s production company, Gary Sanchez Productions, to create the Web site. Sequoia has also provided venture capital for such Web sites as Google, YouTube and PayPal.
The premise behind the site is fairly simple. Members of Funny or Die can submit videos and other members vote on how funny they think the videos are. There are five different ranks a video can achieve based on the number of votes it receives. Those deemed the funniest achieve “immortal status.”
“[Videos] that reach immortal status shall make people laugh forever (even ten thousand years from now when mankind becomes floating orbs of energy. If they can laugh, those future orbs will be laughing at your video),” Funny or Die’s “about” page read.
If a video is found to be severely lacking in comedic qualities, it is sent to “the Crypt.” Once a video is in the Crypt, it can only be resurrected by generating enough positive votes to deem itself worthy of returning to the realm of the other videos.
There are three other ranks between immortal status and the Crypt videos can achieve. Here is Funny or Die’s breakdown of the video ranking system:
Immortal: This video shall live forever like Thor or The Fonz.
Walking Tall: In great shape. Runs five miles a day and eats very few carbs. The comedy-short equivalent of Lorenzo Llamas in his prime.
Kinda Cute: Worth a chuckle or perhaps a guffaw. Sort of like an episode of Family Ties.
Uh-Oh: Not doing so good. Health is poor and the crypt is beckoning. This video is eating a lot of bacon and smoking Kools.
The Crypt: This video flat lined. It was watering its garden like Brando at the end of The Godfather and then fell over while the hose kept spraying.
Funny or Die accepts submissions from anyone including professional comedians and actors. One of Funny or Die’s featured videos, The Landlordstars Ferrell, McKay and McKay’s two-year-old daughter, Pearl. The video received over 18 million views and features a particularly foul-mouthed Pearl playing the role of a landlord demanding rent from Ferrell.
“The Landlord” appeared briefly on YouTube but has since been taken down.
Whether watching two-year-olds cussing out famous comedians, or Dora the Explorer receiving a nasty voicemail from Alec Baldwin, Funny or Die already offers a wide variety of comedy videos. It has only been active on the Web since April 13, but already has a catalogue of over 1,300 videos.
In addition to member voting and comments, Funny or Die also features a column on the homepage displaying the favorites of the Funny or Die staff, which includes the zany input of Ferrell and McKay.
Ferrell said of a video entitled “Al Queda pitch to Tara Reid”: “The reason I like it is in the title. ‘Al Queda pitches to Tara Reid.’ Come on. That’s funny and wrong.”
Funny or Die is still in its beta phase and changes are still being made. One of the most recent changes is the decision to raise the amount of votes needed for a video to achieve immortal status to 50,000.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Jon Swihart at firstname.lastname@example.org