(via The Hollywood Reporter)
Yes, Funny or Die has just got bought up by someone who will likely have buildings and streets named after them, Henry R. Muñoz III.
To a good lot of you, it’s news that Funny or Die is even still around. The undeniable hub that is YouTube and the proliferation of short form content on other platforms like Vine, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Instagram, and Twitter obviously ate into what FoD used to be the center of over the last few years.
In 2007, before viral video was a widespread term in the collective unconscious, a just launched curiosity of a site, Funny or Die, had just posted The Landlord wherein FoD co-founder Will Ferrell pleads with his landlord who just happens to be his innocent, pure-as-the-drive-snow daughter.
From there, Funny or Die become quite the go-to place for short-form edgy comedy and content. Some of the best minds in sketch comedy worked there for a spell, which made for one of our all time favorite sketches, Gungan Style. In fact, it earned such a reputation in that regard that brands big and small looked to the sharp FoD staff to create viral content for them.
With the rise of all the aforementioned places for content and too much branded content, Funny or Die’s star began to fade. They tried several things to stay relevant (remember when they tried a platform where comedians could get potentially paid for jokes they would write?), the film brother and sister companies of FoD, Gary Sanchez and Gloria Sanchez (also co-founded by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay), fared better in recent years. Additionally, as you might have noticed, Adam McKay has become a critically acclaimed satirist with his recent filmography (Vice, The Big Short) in place of being hands on at FoD.
So, that leaves us to wonder as to what Muñoz III will do exactly with the once exalted brand with Ferrell staying on in an advisory capacity. In the past decade, one can see the likes of National Lampoon and even the cult favorite Super Deluxe get revived very briefly only to left in limbo or get dissolved yet again. Muñoz III has said:
“I understand the responsibilities of owning a brand like Funny Or Die and I am excited to work with our team to make sure we have the resources we need to develop funny, original and diverse new content. I also understand the importance of being one of the very few Latinos in a position like this in the entertainment industry and I will do my best to make my community, our industry and our country proud as we move forward.”
That is encouraging to hear, but the turnover in comedy is quite quick these days (i.e. Quibi didn’t even last a year). Let’s hope that he shakes it up the way the rest of comedy is being shaken up like it very much needed to be.