How are humor websites changing the business of comedy?
Rob Huebel is an American comedian based in New York City. Huebel and fellow comedians Aziz Ansari and Paul Scheer are writers, actors, and executive producers in the MTV sketch comedy show Human Giant.
He has been a sketch character actor on shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Upright Citizens Brigade. Huebel was also nominated for an Emmy award for his work as a producer for Michael Moore's Bravo series The Awful Truth and also produced for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Huebel is noted for his appearance as a panelist on the VH1 series Best Week Ever, his NetZero "Candidate Zero" campaign during the 2004 election, and his "Inconsiderate Cell Phone Man" character, shown at movie theatres before showtime.
He also appeared on the HBO television series Curb Your Enthusiasm as well as Fox's Arrested Development. He is the comedy partner of Rob Riggle, a comedian he worked with in the improvisational comedy troupe Respecto Montalban.
Question: How are humor websites changing the comedy business?
Ron Huebel: Well, for us, you know, internet websites like College Humor, Funny or Die, and stuff like that have been huge for us because those have already sort of developed brands, you know? Those are both really strong brands, like, when people think of comedy, they think of Funny or Die so, for us, it's really valuable to be-- to just have a presence on those sites and so, you know, we're lucky that we can sort of, like, before the show comes out every week, we'll try to leak something a few days before so people will see it. The goal is to hopefully get one that'll blow up and get passed around but it's a weird sort of thing. You can't plan it, you know? Like, people think that, like, oh, well, we'll just-- no one really understands exactly how to, like, maximize the internet or how to really take advantage of it because you don't know for sure what's going to be popular. Like, for us, for example, it doesn't behoove us to put all of our sketches online right away because it's just overload, you know? It's like, why would you do that? So you just pick one strong one that you think people will connect with and you hope they'll connect with and then we try to put that out there and, hopefully, that'll, you know, blow up and become popular but not every one does. It's hard to-- you can't predict it,really. We put a couple sketches out this year that got passed around a lot. There was one at the beginning of the season that was about viral videos and, in it, I cut my dick off and, you know, I was this guy on YouTube. I cut my dick off and then I got, like, 25 million hits or something like that and then Aziz comes on and all he does on his video is he just makes, like, funny faces and he gets 80 million hits and so it was just, like, why is that guy getting more hits than me? So we're on this talk show sort of arguing and stuff and that actually came out of, like, just two real situations that we saw. We saw a guy on the internet cut his dick off and I said something to the other guy so I was, like, "That's so stupid. That guy's gonna be famous for a week and then the rest of his life, he's not gonna have a dick." You know, what an idiot. And then there's this other guy that just makes funny faces and Aziz was amused by that so we were, like, what if those two guys got together and they just hated each other? So I think-- so we put that out there and that kind of, like, that got pretty popular and, you know, it's hard to predict why I think because it was about the internet and because it's about something that people have seen, you know?
Recorded on: 4/1/08
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