Google's Hidden 'Silicon Valley' Joke Draws Reply From Show's Producer
The search giant tipped its hat to 'Silicon Valley's' fictional tech behemoth in its blog post announcing the creation of holding company Alphabet.
Amid the news that Google plans to restructure to create a new holding company called Alphabet, the search giant managed to poke a little fun at itself, too.
Hidden in co-founder and CEO Larry Page's Monday blog post about the corporate changes was a wink to Hooli, the fictional Google-esque tech behemoth prominently featured in HBO's Silicon Valley.
The Easter egg — as pointed out on Twitter by Politico's Alex Weprin — appears about two-thirds of the way down the blog post in a paragraph that details some of Google's more ambitious projects, including the Google X lab where the company pioneered Google Glass, the self-driving car, drone delivery and more. The period at the end of that sentence is actually a link to a Silicon Valley gag website for Hooli.
It's widely believed that Hooli is a parody of Google and its villainous founder Gavin Belson (Matt Ross) is an amalgamation of founders Page and Sergey Brin, among other well-known Bay Area entrepreneurs.
But the similarities don't end there. During Silicon Valley's second season, Hooli announced the creation of a "moonshot lab" called Hooli XYZ that is very similar to Google's real-life X lab. The joke runs so deep that Silicon Valley created a fake website for the company at the address Hooli.xyz. Google also has established a new web address for itself with the xyz domain: ABC.xyz.
Google has yet to acknowledge the joke, but Silicon Valley executive producer Alec Berg is taking credit. "Years ago when we founded Google as a setup for this one clever joke, we had to tell ourselves to be patient," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm pleased to say that today, for the very first time, it is all finally worth it."
Bryn Sandberg contributed to this article.