Yahoo! rebranding and relaunching its comedy channel, with content from Funny or Die?

Less than a week after shuttering its four entertainment blogs and firing the staff, Yahoo! announced today that it would be launching the Yahoo! Comedy Channel in February 2012.

The launch coincides with Yahoo!’s first exclusive free online broadcast of a stand-up special, “CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley,” on Feb. 23, 2012 from the San Jose Performing Arts Center.

Not that there isn’t already a comedy site on Yahoo. Because there is. Just ask Butterfinger. At

But forget what you know about that and let’s let the press release quotes explain themselves.

From Bill Maher: “I’m excited to be doing something new in bringing a live stand up show to a web giant like Yahoo! It is my goal to make people say “Oh no he di’nt” in every medium on earth.ˇ

From Yahoo: “Bill Maher’s special is a groundbreaking event, not only for Yahoo! and Bill but for the internet as the first ever, live, free broadcast online. We are focusing on fresh, original voices like Bill and our other original programs with the Yahoo! Comedy Channel to continue to provide our consumers and advertisers with the best premium content on the Web,ˇ said Erin McPherson, vice president & head of Video at Yahoo!. “The Yahoo! Comedy Channel continues to build our leadership position and show our commitment to premium video content.ˇ

YCC, as I’m already calling it, announced four “original” projects that will be part of its programming. One of them is an existing webseries — Mike O’Brien’s “7 Minutes in Heaven” — and another is from an existing comedy channel — Funny or Die. Hmmm.

The Funny or Die series, “First Dates with Toby Harris,” will star Seth Morris as Harris, and the premise follows the titular character on, you guessed it, first dates.

The other two YCC projects announced today are “Sketchy,” a weekly series produced by Electus and Principato-Young, and “HACKERAZZI,” which will base its humor on attaching celebrity heads to the actors in its sketches.

Color me skeptical, especially since it’ll go up against YouTube’s big launch of its own original programming reboot. But we’ll see soon enough, won’t we?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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