Yahoo announced today that it is launching a Yahoo Comedy Channel in February 2012 and has inked a deal with comedian Bill Maher to kick it off with a free, live stand-up performance. The content will include short-form videos and both licensed and original programming from the likes of Funny or Die, Broadway Video, Elecuts, and Yahoo! Studios, among others. The web giant recently launched a women’s slate that it said saw almost 10 million streams in its first month. Here’s a look a the content being prepared for the comedy launch; more programming will be added going forward, Yahoo said:
— CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live from Silicon Valley – On February 23, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. PT Bill Maher will host a live comedy show exclusively broadcasted online on Yahoo!. This will be Maher’s first live online broadcast ever. For the last nineteen years, Maher has set the boundaries of where funny, political talk can go on American television. First on “Politically Incorrect on Comedy Central and ABC, and for the last nine years on HBO’s “Real Time, Maher’s combination of unflinching honesty and big laughs have garnered him twenty-seven Emmy nominations.
— Funny Or Die Presents “First Dates with Toby Harris” (Funny or Die) – starring Seth Morris, a series that takes us on a journey of ill-fated first dates with the lovable (sometimes deplorable) and always single Toby Harris. Set with Los Angeles as a back drop, 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! Love him or hate him, a date with Toby is a date you will always remember.
— 7 Minutes in Heaven (Broadway Video) – Host Mike O’Brien (Saturday Night Live) invites celebrities into his closet for an intimate conversation.
— Sketchy (Principato Young/Electus) – Sketchy is a weekly video series featuring stand alone, topical comedy shorts written, directed and starring the biggest names in comedy. Created by Electus and Principato-Young Entertainment, whose roster includes Ed Helms, Justin Long, Anthony Anderson, Rob Corddry, Rob Riggle, Rachel Harris, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer and many many others.
— HACKERAZZI (David Morgasen) – From David Morgasen, the director known for classic viral videos like the “David Blaine Street Magic spoofs and “Obama-McCain Dance-off, as well as his work on “Jimmy Kimmel Live comes HACKERAZZI. This series is basically a wikileaks of celebrity video, including hidden-camera footage of 2012 presidential candidates. It’s the only place to see New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knocking over an 8 year-old boy at an airport Cinnabon and making off with his breakfast — or Justin Bieber bitch-slapping a sound guy while taping an anti-bullying PSA — or GOP hopeful Herman Cain’s never-before-seen audition to be “Harry Potter’s Dumbledore. Using a combination of live action and state-of-the-art digital effects, HACKERAZZI attaches celebrity heads to actors, making them look very close to the real thing.