What the hell is FunnyOrDie?  An internet-video production studio? An aggregator of “funny” videos?   A hollow offshoot of the Will Farrel brand?

The video company with a muddled mandate and a big name partner has managed to associate itself with some admittedly interesting content.  Now, the company’s apparent success – 3.2 million unique visitors per month – has enticed HBO, Variety reports.

HBO bought a “less than 10%” stake in FunnyorDie, and the two companies will collaborate long-term on wide-ranging projects from original programming to comedy tours. 

Says Dick Glover, CEO of FunnyorDie.com and Or Die Networks, “The goal is to leverage the best of what both parties bring to the table. We bring a brand and a voice, and access to a lot of new and unusual talent in comedy. HBO brings the premium TV channel and brand, great distribution and production resources.”

I’m still confused.  I thought the only thing that made FunnyOrDie popular was its access to established talent for web content.  Now, instead of dealing directly with, say, Judd Apatow or Will Ferrel, HBO will deal with their “internet” company? 

On the other hand, HBO does need a stronger presence in this whole internet-video thing – they’ve only dipped their frightened toe into the waters of open content – and Ferrel and co do have experience on the medium.  Perhaps their “spitballing” style and platform ripe with budding artists is just what HBO needs.

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