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Funny or Die Finds New Life in the Streaming Era

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Funny or Die Finds New Life in the Streaming Era


LOS ANGELES — Will Ferrell found himself seated next to Michelle Obama at a White House Christmas party in 2010 when she leaned over and began quoting lines from Funny or Die’s “The Landlord” — the viral video featuring a 2-year-old girl shouting profanities at Mr. Ferrell for not turning in his rent money on time.

“My wife and I were like, ‘Oh, this is amazing,’ ” said Mr. Ferrell, one of the creators of the website. “If Funny or Die was only going to achieve one thing, that was it. That was the moment.”

Funny or Die did more than that. Started in 2007 by Mr. Ferrell, Chris Henchy and Adam McKay — whose daughter Pearl played the landlord in the site’s breakout video — the website served as an incubator for talent and a kind of comedy version of YouTube. Billy Eichner’s “Billy on the Street” debuted there. So did Derek Waters’ “Drunk History” and the Zach Galifianakis absurdist talk show, “Between Two Ferns.”

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