Comedy superstar Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay’s website FunnyOrDie.com has partnered with HBO in a synergistic effort to develop new series for the cable network and highlight its existing properties online.
“HBO just bought into the company,” McKay, Ferrell’s partner in Gary Sanchez Productions and the director of his films Talladega Nights and Step Brothers, told Hollywood.com. “They bought a share of it and now we’re going to do a lot of joint productions with them and the idea is that we have FunnyOrDie shows on there, and we use their material on our site, like Flight of the Conchords and stuff like that, so yeah, it’s pretty exciting.”
The website – which blew up big in 2007 thanks to the viral success of the video short “The Landlord,” in which Ferrell is berated by his drunken, potty-mouthed landlord, played by McKay’s two-year-old daughter Pearl – features original online shorts starring Ferrell and celebrity friends including John C. Reilly, Larry David, James Franco, Shia LaBeouf, Will Arnett and Jack McBrayer along with clips submitted by its users.
“We were approached by a group from [Palo Alto] that wanted to do a comedy website, and we just figured it would be a fun way to do sketches like we did on SNL and have a place for our friends to goof around and stuff, so that was a different approach,” said McKay.
McKay also said that some of FunnyOrDie’s original creations may also be developed as feature films, no matter how absurd they seem – like “The Green Team,” which features Ferrell, Reilly and McKay as a trio of surprisingly brutal environmentalists.
“Why not? Maybe we can get that going, yeah,” said McKay. “We’ll pitch it: sadistic environmentalists who go around beating people up – it’s very sellable.”
Reilly’s enthusiastic about the idea: “I want to ride a killer whale in it,” he insisted. “With a trident.”