Funny or Die lays off 37, shutters Silicon Valley engineering office

Just a few days after throwing its annual bash in Montreal for the comedy industry gathered at Just For Laughs, Funny or Die announced today it’d lay off 37 jobs — 30 percent of its workforce — and close the office in San Mateo, Calif., where the comedy company’s engineers worked.

Here’s the official statement from Funny or Die:

“While Funny Or Die has grown as a company over the last several years, we’ve remained committed to creating premium comedy. As we move into the future, we’ve decided to double-down and re-focus on making the kind of content that made us a household name in the first place. To accomplish that, we’ve had to reorganize and reduce our staff. This isn’t an easy process for any of us. As necessary as these steps may be, we value every single one of the contributors we’ve had to part ways with. They’ve been integral in making us the company we are today, and we thank them for their dedication and friendship.”

Founded with venture capital investments from Sequoia Capital and by Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy), Funny or Die began with a viral video from Ferrell, and has developed celebrity-heavy and branded comedy videos and webseries into TV series, from Comedy Central’s Drunk History to the upcoming Brockmire on IFC. It also produces @midnight for Comedy Central, Billy on the Street for truTV and The Chris Gethard Show for Fusion. They’ve also won an Emmy Award for Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, interviewing President Barack Obama, and produced a web-exclusive movie parodying Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” starring Johnny Depp.

And they’re behind the annual all-star Oddball comedy festival that tours outdoor amphitheaters each of the past few summers.

Funny or Die has editorial offices in West Hollywood and New York City.

No word has come forward about layoffs impacting either of those content-driven offices.

UPDATE: The NYC office did suffer a few of those layoffs. Sources told me FoD laid off a developer, video editor and three writers in NYC (note that one of the writer positions had been vacant and wasn’t replaced).

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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