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CollegeHumor is an internet comedy company based in Los Angeles. Aside from producing content for release on YouTube, it was also a former humor website owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC) until January 2020 when IAC withdrew funding and the website shut down. Since then, CollegeHumor has continued to release content on YouTube and on its streaming service, Dropout. The site featured daily original humor videos and articles created by its in-house writing and production team, in addition to user-submitted videos, pictures, articles and links. It was created by Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen in 1999. CollegeHumor is operated by CH Media, which also operates Dorkly.com and Dropout.tv in addition to CollegeHumor, and formerly operated Drawfee.com.
Type of site
|Owner||Sam Reich (majority), IAC|
|Alexa rank||37,374 (as of September 25, 2019[update])|
|Launched||December 7, 1999|
|Current status||Active (website defunct as of 2020)|
CH Media is also a partner of the website BustedTees, an online clothing website.
Many of its staff also operated the sister website Dorkly, centering on fandoms and video game parodies in the vein of CollegeHumor before the site ceased publication of new articles in January 2019. Like CollegeHumor, despite the website shutting down, Dorkly continues to release content on YouTube, funded by Lowbrow.
The site was created in December 1999 by Josh Abramson and Ricky Van Veen, with help from web developer Jake Lodwick. Abramson and Van Veen were high school friends from Baltimore, Maryland. The site traffic reached approximately 30,000 monthly American users.
Abramson said in an interview that they wanted to start "an advertisement-based business because at the time the advertising market was pretty hot and we'd seen other people develop Web sites that were popular making a lot of money." Their aim was to create a humor site that would appeal to the advertiser-friendly college-aged demographic.
CollegeHumor has become known for its original comedy content. The site has been nominated for the Webby Award in the humor category, and many of their individual videos have been nominated for and/or won Webby Awards. Recent winners include "Pixar Intro Parody" for Best Animation, "Web Site Story" for Best Individual Short or Episode, and Jake and Amir for Best Series. Their shorts "Awkward Rap" and "Hand Vagina" were nominated for the Webby Award for Best Comedy: Individual Short or Episode in 2008 and 2009 with other nominees and winners since.
On September 26, 2018, CollegeHumor launched Dropout, a subscription service that includes uncensored and original video series, animations, and other forms of media including comics and fictionalized chat conversations.
On January 23, 2019, CollegeHumor announced on the Dorkly homepage that they would be ceasing the publication of new articles and comics on the Dorkly site in favor of shifting to other platforms for new material, citing increased costs of the website and the decline of ad based revenue for publications such as Dorkly.
On January 8, 2020, it was announced that IAC was selling CollegeHumor to its Chief Creative Officer, Sam Reich, resulting in the job loss of nearly all employees and staff. However Sam Reich later clarified that the company would keep a skeleton crew of mostly technical staff in employment in order to continue releasing pre-recorded CollegeHumor content on its streaming platform Dropout for at least the next 6 months. The only creative left on the payroll was Brennan Lee Mulligan, DM of the Dimension 20 show.
In July 2020, a Dropout.tv newsletter noted that production is beginning on new seasons of various Dropout shows.
CollegeHumor produces original comedy videos under the CH Originals (formerly known as CHTV) banner. In addition, the site hosts a large collection of user-submitted viral videos, encompassing home movies, bizarre sports highlights, sketches, and such. These videos are released one month prior to being posted on YouTube.
As of November 2019[update], The CollegeHumor YouTube channel has reached over 7.1 billion views, and over 13.5 million subscribers.
CollegeHumor's pictures section features user-submitted photographs. Like the site's videos, CollegeHumor's pictures are of a humorous or bizarre nature. CollegeHumor also occasionally holds photo-based contests for its users. This feature has since fallen out of use and is no longer updated.
CollegeHumor posts original writing from its staff and users, including humorous essays, comics, interviews and weekly columns on sports, video games, college life, and dating. Contributing writers to the site have included notable comedians Steve Hofstetter, Christian Finnegan, Brooks Wheelan, Paul Scheer, Amir Blumenfeld, Alex Figueroa, Justin Johnson, and Judah Friedlander. Andrew Bridgman curates the articles and edits the website's front page.
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CH Originals is CollegeHumor's original comedy video section, featuring sketches and short films written and produced by the CollegeHumor staff. The site releases over ten new videos per week. CH Originals videos include sketch comedy, film and television parodies, animation, and music videos. In addition to stand-alone viral comedy shorts or "one-offs", which are usually shot on location and feature hired actors, CH Originals also produces a number of series—notably "Hardly Working", "Jake and Amir", and "Nerd Alert"—which are shot in the CH office and star the CH staff members themselves.
CollegeHumor's original videos average 20 million views per month on the site. In addition, their videos are collected on the CollegeHumor YouTube Channel, which currently has over 13.5 million subscribers, with over 27,765 new subscribers joining each week.
List of seriesEdit
CH original sketches, animations, and musicEdit
One-off comedy sketches, cartoons and music videos written and produced by the in-house staff. Written by Patrick Cassels, Emily Axford, Adam Conover, Mike Trapp, and Brian Murphy (among others), these sketches are designed to be more viral in nature than the site's other comedy content.
Dimension 20 is a tabletop role-playing game show starring Brennan Lee Mulligan as the DM. The games use Dungeons & Dragons 5e, although each season takes place in a different campaign setting. Dimension 20 also covers supplementary shows that are talk focused discussion shows about elements of role-playing (Adventure Academy) or specifics about the first season (Dimension 20 Fantasy High Extra Credit).
Dimension 20 usually features its main cast as players (Ally Beardsley, Emily Axford, Lou Wilson, Brian Murphy, Zac Oyama, and Siobhan Thompson), but for certain seasons nicknamed “side quests,” the show invites guests to play for that season. As of May 2020, Dimension 20 has two side quests: “Escape from the Bloodkeep” (featuring Matthew Mercer of “Critical Role”) and “Tiny Heist” (featuring the cast of The Adventure Zone).
The first season, titled “Fantasy High,” is set in the town of Elmville — an odd, anachronistic town resembling a high fantasy John Hughes movie. The cast of players includes Ally Beardsley, Emily Axford, Lou Wilson, Brian Murphy, Zac Oyama, and Siobhan Thompson, who collectively became the “main cast” of Dimension 20. Their group of characters, known as “The Bad Kids,” attend the Aguefort Adventuring Academy, a fictional high school designed to teach people how to become adventurers.
The strong fan response for this first season resulted in Fantasy High being renewed for a fully live season, known as Fantasy High Live:Sophomore Year. Episodes of Fantasy High Live: Sophomore Year were streamed live on Twitch, as opposed to pre-recorded, edited, and uploaded to YouTube. The season concluded with a two part finale titled “Spring Break! I Believe in You!” Part one of the finale was live-streamed on April 1, 2020, and lasted approximately 3 hours. The second part of the finale was live-streamed on April 3, 2020 and lasted approximately 5 hours. Through social media, the Dimension 20 team confirmed that they have plans to continue the story of “The Bad Kids” with a third season in the Fantasy High series.
The second season of Dimension 20, titled “Escape from the Bloodkeep,” was the show's first “side quest” season. For this campaign, Dimension 20 brought in a new cast of players (including Matt Mercer of “Critical Role”) to play a group of “vile villains” in a parody of Lord of the Rings. Throughout the course of the season, the characters try to hide the death of their Sauron-esque leader from the rest of his evil armies.
The third season, titled “The Unsleeping City”, is a modern-day campaign set in a magical version of New York. This season featured the main cast as a group of people trying to protect New York residents from knowing about the underlying magic in their city.
The fourth season, titled “Tiny Heist”, focused on a set of 'tiny people' (i.e., bugs, living toys, etc.) and their attempts to pull off a successful heist. Tiny Heist is Dimension 20's second “side quest” season, and introduced the cast of The Adventure Zone as guest players alongside CollegeHumor's Jessica Ross and Lily Du.
A fifth season, titled “A Crown of Candy”, began on April 8, 2020. The season follows the royal family of the Candy Land-inspired kingdom of Candia and features Dimension 20's main cast. Pre-recorded episodes, followed by a live after-show with the cast (known as Adventuring Party) were released every Wednesday until the season finale on August 5, 2020.
Jake and AmirEdit
A series of short sketches about two former CH writers, Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld, who often act out the odd couple act. The show depicts Jake as a regular guy constantly annoyed by Amir's idiotic antics, while Amir sincerely just wants to be good friends with Jake. The show's final episode aired in April 2015.
A series of sketches written by and starring Sarah Schneider and David Young about two coworkers and their attempts to keep their relationship hidden. Each episode usually begins with them waking up in the same bed after having one of their numerous one night stands. This series ended when Sarah Schneider left College Humor in November 2011.
An animated parody of popular TV series using the likeness of retro-style role-playing games.
Sketches shot from the point-of-view of the main character, often voiced by Vincent Peone, CollegeHumor's cinematographer. These sketches are known for realism and relatability (in a humorous manner) and are among CH's most popular videos. In most POV videos the phrase "How is that even possible?" is often used as a running gag.
A set of videos starring Josh Ruben, each of which feature six outrageous scenarios in certain situations, such as getting out of the friend zone or having "monsters" for roommates. The videos are narrated in second-person, using Ruben as an analogy for the viewer.
A series that documents the escalating pranks that are played between former CH staffers Streeter Seidell and Amir Blumenfeld. Prank War gained national notoriety after Amir staged a fake public marriage proposal from Streeter to his girlfriend Sharon at a New York Yankees game. The incident was known as "The Yankee Prankee" and was later featured on VH1's "40 Greatest Pranks Part 2". Seidell and Blumenfeld have appeared twice on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss their pranks.
An annual event started in 2007 in which the CH staff shoots and posts 12 videos in one night between 9 pm and 9 am. While doing so, they communicate with fans via Twitter and UStream.
A Series involving Kevin Corrigan and Brian Murphy, who each bet each other to do a wacky action, such as wearing progressively smaller clothes as a day goes by, or playing paintball solo against a group of US Army soldiers. The person who does these things is usually chosen at the beginning of the episode.
Stories about a never-seen narrator who gets involved in wacky situations.
Hello, My Name Is...Edit
A series starring Pat Cassels and Josh Ruben. Ruben is placed in prosthetic and make-up by their make-up artist Hannah. From the prosthetic, Ruben spontaneously creates a character which Pat then interviews.
A series that parodies of sci-fi movies and shows, particularly Star Wars. Shorts mostly focus on a pair of stormtrooper-like soldiers, Larry and Rich, and the humorous problems that arise from working for an evil interstellar empire aboard a small, moon-sized, planet-destroying space station. Features Aubrey Plaza in a guest role.
A stop-motion series released via Nintendo Video on the Nintendo 3DS/2DS. The stop-motion shorts focus on Craig the Triceratops and Todd the Apatosaurus as they work at DinoSoft Limited with co-workers Sheila the Stegosaurus, Richard the Diplodocus, various interns, and their boss Terry the Tyrannosaurus. The dinosaurs face typical office problems such as rushing to meet deadlines and trying to decide what to have for lunch while also facing less typical problems such as asteroid warnings on the news, volcano drills, and corporate takeovers.
A traditionally animated series that features a bear and a shark teaming up to eat a man named Steve, and always succeeding (though Steve always comes back), only for them to slowly develop a friendship with him. This series received its own video game in 2013 on the Nintendo eShop.
A series that parodies the Christopher Nolan Batman films. The shorts involve Batman (played by Pete Holmes), who—unlike in the movies and comics—is portrayed as oblivious and incompetent, much to the annoyance of friends and foes alike.
A series starring Josh Ruben and Very Mary-Kate star Elaine Carroll and written by Carroll and CollegeHumor's president of original content, Sam Reich. It is a parody of Honey Boo Boo. It has replaced Very Mary-Kate in the Thursday release slot of Collegehumor, and Sam Reich has announced that there will be two more episodes over the next two weeks, and more will be made imminently.
The Adventures of Kim Jong UnEdit
A cartoon series which is a parody of the Supreme Leader of North Korea and the propaganda of that country. Kim Jong-un is shown to possess various abilities and powers, which he uses to battle enemies of the state, plotting to harm True Korea. His adversaries are generally depicted as weak and foolish individuals. Typically the ending of each episode features a scene in which Kim Jong-un's recently deceased father returns from the dead in some way and violently fights with his son. His enemies are mostly shown as democratic leaders like Obama. He rides on a unicorn that flies on a flying carpet.
A cartoon series featuring anthropomorphic superheroes which won the 2014 Ursa Major award for "Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series".
If Google was a GuyEdit
Actor Brian Huskey personifies the search engine Google, who deals with a variety of people who come into his office and tells him what to search. He reacts to the search depending on the person searching and the actual question. Cameos of other website personas include Siri (Alison Becker) WebMD (Roger Anthony), the NSA (Brian Sacca), and Bing (Randall Park). Other notable guest stars include Colton Dunn, D'Arcy Carden, Milana Vayntrub, Jon Gabrus, and Mark McGrath as himself. Jewel guest starred as herself in a special animated episode released during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brian Murphy and Emily Axford attempt a lovely night out for a romantic meal, but sadly blow their chances by bringing themselves.
What the F 101Edit
A cartoon series featuring students learning about biology, history, and other subjects, usually in a gross and/or disturbing manner. The series is streamed on CollegeHumor's Dropout app.
A game show hosted by Mike Trapp in which contestants win points by correcting untrue statements about pop culture. Contestants must begin their corrections with the phrase "Um, actually...", or risk losing the point.
Previously, CH Originals produced The Michael Showalter Showalter, a Charlie Rose-style comedic interview series hosted by Michael Showalter and featuring guests such as Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg, David Cross, Zach Galifianakis, and Michael Cera. They also gained notoriety for "Street Fighter: The Later Years", which was nominated for "Best Series" by YouTube's Video Awards. In 2011, they featured Bad Dads, a series of five, three-minute shorts starring Michael Cera and Will Hines. The series was written, directed, and produced by Derek Westerman.
Also previously produced by College Humor were Bleep Bloop and Nerd Alert. Bleep Bloop was a video-game-based talk show hosted by Jeff Rubin and Patrick Cassels, featuring various guests. Many comedians were featured on the show. Some of the most memorable were Pete Holmes, Jamie Lee, Christian Finnegan, and pro skater Billy Rohan. Nerd alert was a similar show performed in the style of a talk show hosted by Jeff Rubin and Brian Murphy (who is the editor of dorkly.com). They discuss all variety of nerdy matters and end with a surprise guest.
Many members of the writing and acting staff of CollegeHumor have gone on to larger productions after their time with the website.
- Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld founded the HeadGum podcast network in 2015, which now comprises over 40 different podcasts.
- Sarah Schneider became a staff writer on Saturday Night Live in 2010, before serving as head writer for the series' 42nd season from 2016–2017. She went on to co-create the Comedy Central show The Other Two with writer Chris Kelly.
- Streeter Seidell joined the writing staff at Saturday Night Live and was a writer on the short-lived ABC show Trophy Wife
- Will Stephen joined the writing staff for Saturday Night Live in 2015
- Dan Gurewitch became a staff writer on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- Patrick Cassels became a staff writer on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- CollegeHumor and Dorkly writer Owen Parsons went on to write for The Daily Show as well as The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, before becoming a staff writer on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- CollegeHumor and Dorkly writer Ben Joseph went on to write for several animated series, including The Simpsons and Wander Over Yonder, as well as the live-action series Me, Myself & I
- Adam Conover went on to create the truTV show Adam Ruins Everything, based on the CollegeHumor series of the same name
- Brian K. Murphy and Emily Axford went on to create the Pop television series Hot Date in addition to working on Adam Ruins Everything
- David Young went on to write for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Carpool Karaoke: The Series
The CollegeHumor ShowEdit
On December 17, 2008, CollegeHumor.com announced The CollegeHumor Show, a scripted comedy that premiered on MTV on February 8, 2009. The half-hour comedy was written by and starred nine CollegeHumor editorial staff members (Ricky Van Veen, Jake Hurwitz, Amir Blumenfeld, Dan Gurewitch, Patrick Cassels, Sarah Schneider, Streeter Seidell, Sam Reich and Jeff Rubin), who played fictionalized versions of themselves.
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- The Writers of CollegeHumor.com (March 27, 2007). Faking It: How to Seem like a Better Person without Actually Improving Yourself. Dutton Adult. ISBN 0-525-94991-7.
- The Writers of CollegeHumor.com (August 15, 2011). CollegeHumor. The Website. The Book. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-82026-9.
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