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SnagFilms, the streaming video platform for documentaries and independent films, is making its foray into original content with the June 26 debut of comedy portal Thundershorts.
The new website will launch with seven series, becoming a hub for SnagFilm’s short-form, ad-supported comedy content. The shows, which feature comedians such as up-and-comer Kumail Nanjiani and Wet Hot American Summer scribe Michael Showalter, will also be available on the Thundershorts YouTube channel and across multiple devices via the the SnagFilms app.
“We wanted to find material that was going to be funny for a broad audience,” SnagFilms CEO Rick Allen tells THR. “We’re really excited about it, because it compliments the kinds of content that we provide.”
Thundershorts is helmed by SnagFilms managing editor Michael Pielocik, formerly head writer for Onion Digital Studios. Allen says Pielocik helped guide SnagFilms in selecting a slate of shows featuring smart, edgy comedy and rising talent.
The Thundershorts slate includes four SnagFilms originals, which will debut new episodes each week:
American Viral — The five-episode series from creator-directors Shandor Garrison, AnnaRose King and Jennifer Suhr follows a dysfunctional family led by a patriarch (Showalter) who will stop at nothing to exploit those around him. The series co-stars Zandy Hartig (They Came Together) and features Janeane Garofalo and David Wain.
Teachers Lounge — Starring comedians Ted Alexandro and Hollis James, the 10-episode series follows a music teacher and janitor at a New York elementary school as they interact with co-workers including the principal (Lewis Black) and computer science instructor (Judah Friedlander). Guest stars include Jim Gaffigan and Garofalo.
Gabe & Max Need Help — The series tells the story of two longtime friends, comedians Gabe Delahaye and Max Silvestri, who begin attending couples counseling together. Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) stars at the therapist in the four-episode series.
Don’t Walk — This nine-episode mini-sitcom takes place on the streets of New York while the “Don’t Walk” sign is illuminated. The series, created and written by Kemp Baldwin, Gates Bradley and Mike Laskasky, stars Silvestri as a Midwestern transplant scared of jaywalking.
SnagFilms has also acquired three exclusive series — Timeless Seasons, Augie Alone and Loo Makes It Big. The first season of each show will be made available all at once on June 26.
These series aren’t big-budget dramas like those produced at competitors such as Netflix and Amazon, but Allen says there’s a place for SnagFilms’ short-form content in the expanding online video space.
“Individuals love to have a lot of choice,” he says. “They want to have the highest-quality stuff that they can watch and have it be a really entertaining experience.”
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