Yahoo to Launch Original Comedy Channel With Bill Maher Stand-Up Performance

8:49 AM PST 12/08/2011 by Georg Szalai
Janet Van Ham/HBO



The online company will in February present Maher in the first-ever, live, free broadcast online as it continues to push into original video programming with such comedians as Mike O’Brien and Seth Morris.


NEW YORK - Yahoo said Thursday it would launch the Yahoo Comedy Channel with a slate of original comedy video content featuring such comedians as Mike O’Brien, writer on Saturday Night Live, and Seth Morris (No Strings Attached, Step Brothers) in the company’s latest sign of commitment to the premium content space.

The channel will launch with a Bill Maher stand-up performance entitled CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley, available exclusively on Yahoo. The performance, which the firm said will be the first-ever, live, free broadcast online, will take place on Feb. 23, 2012 at the San Jose Performing Arts Center.



The comedy news comes off the heels of Yahoo’s launch of a women-focused programming slate, which had nearly 10 million streams in its first month. Yahoo, which has been exploring its options, said it is the top destination online for comedy with 1 billion streams of its original programming to-date.



“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,” said Erin McPherson, vp & head of Video at Yahoo. 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.”
 


“I'm excited to be doing something new in bringing a live stand up show to a web giant like Yahoo,” said Maher. “It is my goal to make people say "Oh no he di'nt" in every medium on earth.”



Yahoo’s production partners in the comedy channel include Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Electus, David Morgasen and Principato-Young, among others. 

Among its planned programming are:

- Funny Or Die Presents First Dates with Toby Harris:
Starring Seth Morris, the LA-based series shows ill-fated first dates with the always single Toby Harris. “Each episode centers around a different woman and issue that will leave the audience bickering amongst themselves who was right and who was wrong, and how they would have handled it better,” Yahoo said.

- 7 Minutes in Heaven: Hosted by Mike O'Brien, the show invites celebrities into his closet for an intimate conversation. 



- Sketchy: A weekly video series featuring comedy shorts written, directed and starring Principato-Young Entertainment, whose roster includes Ed Helms, Justin Long, Anthony Anderson, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Rachel Harris, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and others. 


- Hackerazzi: From  Morgasen, the director known for viral videos like the “David Blaine Street Magic” spoofs and “Obama-McCain Dance-off,” as well as work on Jimmy Kimmel Live. The show attaches celebrity heads to actors to reach comedic effects.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai
 

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