Henry R. Muñoz III, an architect and former finance chairman for the Democratic National Committee, has acquired Funny or Die, the 14-year-old comedy website and production company.
Muñoz purchased Funny Or Die from AMC Networks, WarnerMedia and Sequoia Capital, and he becomes the sole owner of the site and its video library.
Sequoia Capital had funded the initial launch of Funny or Die in 2007, fueled content-wise by a video starring Will Ferrell alongside Adam McKay’s toddler daughter as a grouchy landlady. Over the past decade, FoD has pivoted, grown and contracted, laying off staffers in 2016, overhauling its online platform in 2018, and selling off its branded-content operations just this March to Roku. All the while, FoD has continued to develop, produce and distribute TV shows and movies, which has overshadowed its initial viral video roots.
Ferrell will continue to contribute content and advice to the site as part of the deal. Funny Or Die’s executive structure also remains largely intact, with Mike Farah staying on as CEO, Michele Rosette as CFO/COO, and development exec Joe Farrell promoted to chief creative officer.
Muñoz began talks with FoD following his work with them last year on a CBS special, “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event.”
“The future of comedy and entertainment is in companies that empower talent and creative forces to make content that reflects the cultural identity of our country at this moment in our history,” Muñoz said in the official deal announcement. “Funny Or Die’s own rich history as a place of innovation and as a voice of new generations speaks for itself and our team led by Mike Farah is poised to seize this unique moment. I understand the responsibilities of owning a brand like Funny Or Die and I am excited to work with our team to make sure we have the resources we need to develop funny, original and diverse new content.”
He added: “I also understand the importance of being one of the very few Latinos in a position like this in the entertainment industry and I will do my best to make my community, our industry and our country proud as we move forward.”