Since 1998, Evan and Gregg Spiridellis, known collectively as the JibJab Brothers or Grevan, have struggled to build an Internet empire based on nothing but humor and flash animation. After weathering the dot-com bust of 2000, Gregg, a Wharton MBA and former Investment Banker, and Evan, an award-winning animator, continued to crank out Internet videos and ads.
The two became 2004 viral superstars with the release of This Land , a two-and-a-half minute political parody sung by animated caricatures of George W Bush and John Kerry. Set to the tune of the old Woody Guthrie Song, accolades and even a Jay Leno appearance followed. Since then the brothers have made it their mission to build JibJab into a clearinghouse for funny online videos, featuring their own work of course, where users can upload whatever they think makes people laugh, like this…
JibJab features its own videos, which lean heavily towards political humor and are set to songs usually heard on Flag Day. Their version of The Star-Spangled Banner, features the lyrics mouthed by a procession of edited ex-presidents, and was nominated by TV Guide as one of the funniest online videos of 2006. What We Call The News is a parody of the degenerating values of TV News. The animation style uses photographed heads, which flap open as if on hinges, reminiscent of South Park characters and of a surprisingly professional animation and production value for topical humor that expires after each major election.
JibJab wants to be the place to find online humor (similar to FunnyOrDie) and encourages user uploads in its Jokebox section, divided into Hottest, Newest, Painfully Funny and other categories too numerous to mention. Voters can vote whether the video is rated a Jib or a Jab. They hope to be the source for Comedy Nerds everywhere with uploads like Thanksgiving Turkey Is Not Your Friend and What? No Second Date. There is even a section Starring You! where one can insert his or her own head into pre-animated sequences.
Something awesome? In 2-0-5, the animated W. Bush sings along to the disasters of his presidency in what was possibly his worst year ever. Hearing every colossal foul-up in a row – Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, Tax Cuts – makes this piece as much of a tragedy as it is comedy.