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The Uncler...
February 18, 2009 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Funny Or Die seemed to be one of those start-up websites that might not have legs; a flash in the pan. Heck, it was started by two actual stars (will ferrell and adam mckay) and sometimes that spells "lack of creative interest" doom in regards to their participation. Today it's one of the best launching platforms for young comics looking to make a distinction from the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s). It's success is also noted by hollywood. What might be most encouraging it that it has become home to a litany of non-obvious tone projects and... well... some strange, interesting stuff. Witness: the surprisingly absorbing trailer for The Uncler.
posted by Lacking Subtlety (47 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, that trailer was really good.
posted by chunking express at 10:23 AM on February 18, 2009


Still, they don't seem to be making good on their name. Certainly a good portion of their offerings are funny, but the ones who fall flat on their face, well, they're still breathing...
posted by explosion at 10:28 AM on February 18, 2009


That was really poignant. I don't know what it is, but The Wrestler trailer is one of the best I have ever seen. Maybe it's because of Bruce.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:28 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was really poignant.

Just as well because it sure wasn't funny.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:38 AM on February 18, 2009


The reason why it's being noticed by Hollywood is because it's fronted by Hollywood.
posted by cavalier at 10:40 AM on February 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


To be more clear, Will Ferrell has been immensely bankable as a Hollywood star. If he was not bankable, and these were 3 guys in Oklahoma doing sketch comedy, they would not be getting the brand recognition they are getting. Not to say stuff like the landlord bit wasnt' funny, but rather, it's funny in large part due to Will.
posted by cavalier at 10:42 AM on February 18, 2009


I always thought Funny Ordie sounded like someone's drunk uncle. FWIW, this FPP has the feel of a press release.
posted by crapmatic at 10:45 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah I certainly never laughed and I'm not sure the central "joke" or satire even makes all that sense... or if it even is any of those things to begin with, but I was just struck by its surprising earnestness. Even though it is an exact replicated copy of something else, it still kind of works on its own emotional level... Which is weird as hell because more often then not there is something off about these kind of videos.... maybe it's just that the production values were top notch.

side note: The Wrestler was the best film of the year.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:50 AM on February 18, 2009


1) Good trailer.

2) FoD, despite the terrible name, has had consistently good stuff. Or at least I get forwarded the good stuff.

3) What on earth does this mean: "the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s)"
posted by DU at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2009


FWIW, this FPP has the feel of a press release.

You may well be right. Lacking Subtlety has posted four things to MeFi, 2 of which were shills for not-so-funny comedy.

His profile says he's from Los Angeles, his occupation is "Basically a laid-back entertainer," and he hasn't really been around that long.

I mean, it's probably more likely that he's just really into show business, and he posts what he knows, much like Hadjiboy's FPPs about India, but at the same time, LA/show business is just so much more Pepsi Blue.

Or perhaps my seething hatred of the city of Los Angeles is showing
posted by explosion at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Would I have had to appreciate The Wrestler in order to appreciate this? Because, thing is, I didn't see The Wrestler, and I thought this was kinda lame.

But I like FunnyOrDie.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:06 AM on February 18, 2009


I popped into FoD last week to try and find something and I was shocked by how much of the content is just. YouTube/Ebaum stuff. There's a smattering of well produced, original content, but a lot of it feels redundant.
posted by GilloD at 11:08 AM on February 18, 2009


3) What on earth does this mean: "the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s)"

-basically meaning that youtubes democratic nature of posting anything for any reason, it's really difficult. Meanwhile, FoD is comedy specific; which may seem like basic logic, but remember people figured Youtube would be the launching station for just about everything. Instead, things just get lost in its "haze" of relative crap. The "youtube(s)" comment was meant to refer to other video sites that are similar to youtube.

It was convoluted yes, but meant in the spirit of brevity.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:08 AM on February 18, 2009


Too many people pretending to be drunk for my taste.
posted by orme at 11:11 AM on February 18, 2009


FWIW, this FPP has the feel of a press release.

You may well be right. Lacking Subtlety has posted four things to MeFi, 2 of which were shills for not-so-funny comedy.

His profile says he's from Los Angeles, his occupation is "Basically a laid-back entertainer," and he hasn't really been around that long.

I mean, it's probably more likely that he's just really into show business, and he posts what he knows, much like Hadjiboy's FPPs about India, but at the same time, LA/show business is just so much more Pepsi Blue.

Or perhaps my seething hatred of the city of Los Angeles is showing
posted by explosion at 10:52 AM on February 18 [+] [!]


Hey there.

I live in los angeles. I make promos for a popular cable station. I can assure you i'm not shilling for anything, nor have any interest specifically in funny or die rather than noticing its progression in certian regards. My interests and comments on mefi usually relegate to libertarianism, objectivism, the public school system, and yes entertainment/movies because it's "what I know" IE the field in which I work. The two posts are coincidental to the point where I didn't even realize it was on the same site.

...the "laid-back entertainer" is nothing more than an office (uk) reference. all my aspirations are on the page... no stage.

as for the "not so funny" thing. between two ferns is f-ing hilarious.

and lastly, Los Angeles is wonderful. I lived in Boston for a quarter of a century (which loved, but that winter crap wears on you) and living in los angeles is like being on vacation constantly. plus there is good food and I don't mind driving.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:15 AM on February 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


super lastly, i know actualy mefi peeps in the real world who could back said facts up. Sorry for the multiple comments, just clearing stuff up.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 11:16 AM on February 18, 2009


The Uncler trailer is poignant because it borrows poignant moments and poignant music from a poignant trailer for a poignant movie. It's also a bizarre allegory that doesn't hold up to just a couple seconds of thought.
posted by kcalder at 11:19 AM on February 18, 2009


That said, I like FunnyOrDie, and can attest to the importance of the website for growing and launching new comedic talent.
posted by kcalder at 11:20 AM on February 18, 2009


between two ferns is absolutely hysterical.
posted by shmegegge at 11:26 AM on February 18, 2009


3) What on earth does this mean: "the dysfunctionally democratic haze of youtube(s)"

It's just not "the doubleplusgood authoritarian stamping on your face (forever) by media conglomerates" who knows better than you as to what is entertainment.
posted by porpoise at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2009


God, the police dogs on this site can be intense.

There's precedent obviously, but can we maybe ease up on people a little?

I think it's a little too crazy when Lacking Subtlety feels the need to defend his status on metafilter in three separate comments just to keep the hounds in their cages.

Lighten up, kids - it's the fucking internet.

FWIW: this is my first exposure to Funny Or Die and I thought the Uncler was awesome.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


FoD is 5% Funny, 95% Die.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:29 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, what kinds of ferns? I mean, he doesn't say, does he?
posted by boo_radley at 11:32 AM on February 18, 2009


I find it obnoxious when wealthy celebrities do this.

Will Ferrell has money and knows everyone. If he has a funny idea, he can get it on TV or in a movie. if he can't, it must REALLY not be funny.

I'm sick of this type of slumming, and I'm sick of people pretending the internet as a medium has some inherent value. It's fine if you have no money and no connections and just want to get your work out there, but television and movie theatres are really really good at what they do.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:38 AM on February 18, 2009


Oh and that "baby" shit is not especially clever. I know plenty of unknown people in L.A. doing funnier, more original sketch stuff than that.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:40 AM on February 18, 2009


Oh and to respond to the inevitable, "oh but he's helping young struggling writers and actors get their stuff seen!!" Yeah, right.

What actually pisses me off the most is that I know people who submit to sites like this, and who consider getting "voted up" or whatever the lame term is some kind of coup. They're doing this instead of striving for a job in legit TV or film where you get money, maybe a little respect, and a union to represent you.

On sites like this, you do all the work for free and then the media writes about what a great guy Will Ferrell is.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:43 AM on February 18, 2009


but tell us, drjimmy11, how do you really feel?
posted by shmegegge at 11:45 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]



I'm sick of this type of slumming, and I'm sick of people pretending the internet as a medium has some inherent value


Yeah, it's not like anything funny on the internet ever made the jump to being sold on DVD. I mean, except for the Red vs. Blue stuff, I guess. Oh, and I think there was something that Buffy guy did with the gay teenage doctor or something? Eh, what do I know. You're probably right, the internet is no place for original production.
posted by absalom at 11:47 AM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


drjimmy11, I'd like to give you a hug. Would that be OK? For me to hug you?
posted by boo_radley at 11:47 AM on February 18, 2009


Acting with James Franco is a pretty funny series on FoD.
posted by linux at 11:50 AM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm sick of people pretending the internet as a medium has some inherent value.


.
posted by Zambrano at 12:04 PM on February 18, 2009


What's dysfunctional about youtube? I mostly get forwarded great stuff. A few recommended links from any good video are also good too.

I don't see how this differs from youtube's ratings system. Sure the rating button being bigger might attract more neutral votes. But youtube's statisticians could easily glean way more info from their infinitely larger user base.

I'd say drjimmy11 called it, google & youtube (as proxy) have vaguely benevolent intentions, but FoD doesn't by definition.
posted by jeffburdges at 12:18 PM on February 18, 2009


drjimmy11.... yeah... I don't get it.

1) Do we really need to have a short form/long form discussion?

The "baby shit" as you referred to is suited for a little sketch. It has no value as a movie or a television show. It would be the worst show ever. That being said it was astoundingly popular and perfect for a short web video. It practically launched the site.

And 2) what the heck are you talking about with the whole "comics should focus on movies/tv stuff"? That's exactly what they're doing on funny or die. They use the internet as a tool for launching themselves and then get meetings with producers to try and make tv shows, etc. I know this because I watch it happen at work almost every single freaking day. Even the ones that aren't that good. It helps them get in the door. Seriously. I watch this happen constantly.

I mean... really? I don't even get what you're saying. There's so much evidence of internet comedy going on to have some success. You obviously know how hard it is to get into television and movies. Of course the internet has no value in terms of its own medium but that's because there's no financial model... it is just a useful tool for moving onto successful financial models.

Once again, I don't get it.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:21 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did I misclick on grouch.metafilter.com and end up here? The Uncler is fantastic, and satire/comedy doesn't always involve strict laughs.

Some days I feel like the internet was created so people could talk about how much they all hate Los Angeles.
posted by incessant at 12:26 PM on February 18, 2009


What's dysfunctional about youtube? ..........
posted by jeffburdges at 12:18 PM on February 18 [+] [!]


Not saying youtube can't have good stuff, as I also get forwarded good stuff. Just saying that in my attempts to search for things/discover stuff I have to comb through a heck of a lot more completely unrelated/pointless/indulgent/bad-quality/kitten-related/badly-recorded/tv-rips/people-complaining/vid-journals/just-plain-bad videos to find what I'm looking for.... read: good.

That is the dysfunction of a website which is meant to "broadcast yourself"

Also the commentary is about as astute as failblog or as homophobic as x-box live.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:32 PM on February 18, 2009


I always thought Funny Ordie sounded like someone's drunk uncle.

No one remembers the works of the blotto, profane comic from the '70s, Arthur "Funny" Ordie?
posted by porn in the woods at 12:36 PM on February 18, 2009


The "baby shit" as you referred to is suited for a little sketch. It has no value as a movie or a television show.

In fairness, this also applies to some films that Will Ferrell has actually made.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:37 PM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Some days I feel like the internet was created so people could talk about how much they all hate Los Angeles.
posted by inigo2 at 1:00 PM on February 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Shark-Jumping!
posted by doctorschlock at 1:45 PM on February 18, 2009


Lacking Subtlety, I think a lot of people here take the self-important self-policing shit way way too seriously. Thanks for the funny links. I would have never seen them otherwise. The ucler link is fucking fantastic. Its a straight up high-quality parody.

I mean "FPP from a possible entertainer. Will ferrel sucks and is sucking the blood from our young comedians!!!!!!!'

//sigh.
posted by damn dirty ape at 3:06 PM on February 18, 2009


How could nobody have mentioned the best thing on the whole website, The Landlord? The first time I watched that video, I nearly peed my pants.
posted by Bageena at 4:27 PM on February 18, 2009


How could nobody have mentioned the best thing on the whole website, The Landlord? The first time I watched that video, I nearly peed my pants.
posted by Bageena at 4:27 PM on February 18 [+] [!]


The aforementioned "baby shit"

... which some people liked/responded too... some people found "not funny"
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 4:42 PM on February 18, 2009


I don't get it. This is the 45th post to use the "the" tag, but only the 4th to use the "or" tag.


huh
posted by jaronson at 5:11 PM on February 18, 2009


I thought I had seen some of these videos elsewhere, but my wife says no.

Nevertheless "Bill Murray in FCU: Fact Checkers Unit" is funny. It's not belly laughing omg my eyes will fall out funny. But it's well crafted, reliable funny, and reliable funny is better than gut laugh funny, because reliable is harder than awesome.

Throw in some wtf, with "Mel" eating the banana, and it's a winner. Not to mention, "montage" = funny, regardless. A montage in a horror flick makes it unintentionally funny.

Oh yeah and the hot dog guy scene. Funny. "You mean that guy?" Not all that funny, but funny.

And of course....fact checked.

BTW Bill Murray is the rare breed who ages really really fucking well. He was kinda meh in the 80s, but he has become better with time. Like an old clock. Or scotch tape. Maybe not, but I have been drinking.
posted by Xoebe at 5:13 PM on February 18, 2009


... Maybe not, but I have been drinking.
posted by Xoebe at 5:13 PM on February 18 [+] [!]


This is clear.

... and enjoyable.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 5:28 PM on February 18, 2009


So, who else watched the pilot of Eastbound and Down? I did. While this kind of "obnoxious buffoon" comedy is definitely an acquired taste, I found it entertaining and plan to continue watching.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:02 PM on February 18, 2009


"Cars" is my favorite thing on Funny or Die. The best part is it was totally done as a mere bluescreen test. Don't watch the sequels.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:01 AM on February 19, 2009


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