EXCLUSIVE: Marlon Wayans and FunnyOrDie.com co-founder Randy Adams have officially unveiled WhatTheFunny.com, an urban-skewing comedy site that now sports more than 1 million unique visitors since a November soft launch. Wayans and Adams’ Sunset Gower-based WTF Studios is behind the venture, which already has more than a dozen original series and 160 episodes of original content in development.
The site and multi-platform strategy that eventually will include Smart TV access is a departure from the usual YouTube channel route, though several YouTube hitmakers are involved in the content, joining Wayans and established Hollywood pals like Damon Wayans Jr and Omar Epps. (Even NFL bad boy Terrell Owens was a good sport and pitched in, starring in a fake Bud Light commercial.) “YouTube is a great way for emerging artists to garner an audience, but a very difficult place to build a sustainable business,” Adams said. “We are helping YouTube artists actually make money by sharing higher advertising revenue with them and giving them and off-YouTube destination for their content.”
Marlon Wayans has been busy, with Open Road set to release the sequel A Haunted House 2 on April 18; Wayans stars and co-wrote the spoof movies, the first one of which made $40 million domestically last winter. (The trailer for Haunted 2 is prominently displayed on WhatTheFunny.) He was also just set to host TBS’ Funniest Wins, an eight-episode competition series planned for this year that focuses on a search for the funniest comedian. One of the top prizes is a series on the comedy site.