How Facebook is Killing Comedy

Funny or Die Hit With Layoffs

An important article on comedy website, analyses how Facebook is destroying comedy sites.  The article charges Facebook with running a “payola scam” and that they have re-invented the web by designing a “centrally designed internet” that serves to make profit for FB but there is actually no money for developers of content and the creative folks who are actually making funny content.  Below is a clip from this article, the link to read the entire article on Splitsider follows the clip:

Last month, in its second round of layoffs in as many years, comedy hub Funny or Die reportedly eliminated its entire editorial team following a trend of comedy websites scaling back, shutting down, or restructuring their business model away from original online content. 

Hours after CEO Mike Farah delivered the news via an internal memo, Matt Klinman took to Twitter, writing, “Mark Zuckerberg just walked into Funny or Die and laid off all my friends.” It was a strong sentiment for the longtime comedy creator, who started out at UCB and The Onion before launching Pitch, the Funny or Die-incubated joke-writing app, in 2017.

But Klinman explained in a thread: “There is simply no money in making comedy online anymore. Facebook has completely destroyed independent digital comedy and we need to fucking talk about it.”

We’re not sure about you, but that certainly piqued our interest. We sat down with Klinman to fucking talk about it (and just a note–these opinions are his, and he’s speaking for himself and not on behalf of Funny or Die).

So: What happened at Funny or Die?

Click Here to read the rest of this important story on

Charlie Hebdo Run By Radical Leftists Who Have No Humor, Just Agit-Prop

Latest Issue Is Actually Anti-Humor For Shock Value Only

The latest issue of the famed so-called humor magazine from France shows that in the final analysis, the editors actually have no sense of humor at all, they are political extremists  dishing out leftist agit-prop in the manner of the old dead Stalinist communist international.  If you look at their covers, for years you will not find a lot to laugh at.  It is just sick depictions of Muslims and Christians, among others.  Compare it to American humor magazines, like MAD Magazine.  Even in its wildest issues, Mad never crossed the line of actual depraved political propaganda.  Charlie, you ain’t funny now and you haven’t ever been funny.  A pity some stupid Muslims attacked your office.  You were on the way to propaganda bankruptcy, and suddenly wrapped yourself in victim-hood, and shoveled in millions of dollars from average folks who don’t really understand your game.  If the attack had never happened, you’d be in the unemployment line with the rest of your neo-Stalinist pals.

Hey Charlie Boys – Who You Callin’ “Nazis”?

The latest issue shows God drowning all the Texans because they are Nazis and racists.  Really?  You sick jerks in Paris really believe that?  And you think the whole Hurricane Harvey is funny?

Here’s something that would really be funny:  Watch the fun if a couple of Charlie Hebdo execs show up in Houston to pass out their rag to those in an evacuation center. Ha!  Lights out for the agit-prop boys.  And watch out for them gators as you’re trying to swim away from all those angry “Nazis”!

Here’s what the folks in the evacuation centers really look like:  Americans. I don’t see any Nazis here.  The Charlie boys in Paris must be smokin’ some powerful fear-weed to come up with this one.

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Mort Sahl – Last Man Standing

Mort Sahl’s New Book Just Released!

Available Now on

On December 22, 1953, Mort Sahl took the stage at San Francisco’s hungry i and changed comedy forever. Before him, standup was about everything but hard news and politics. In his wake, a new generation of smart comics emerged―Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen, and the Smothers Brothers, among others. He opened up jazz-inflected satire to a loose network of clubs, cut the first modern comedy album, and appeared on the cover of Time surrounded by caricatures of some of his frequent targets such as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Adlai Stevenson, and John F. Kennedy. Through the extraordinary details of Sahl’s life, author James Curtis deftly illustrates why Sahl was dubbed by Steve Allen as “the only real political philosopher we have in modern comedy.”

Sahl came on the scene the same year Eisenhower and Nixon entered the White House, the year Playboy first hit the nation’s newsstands. Clad in an open collar and pullover sweater, he adopted the persona of a graduate student ruminating on current events. “It was like nothing I’d ever seen,” said Woody Allen, “and I’ve never seen anything like it after.” Sahl was billed, variously, as the Nation’s Conscience, America’s Only Working Philosopher, and, most tellingly, the Next President of the United States. Yet he was also a satirist so savage the editors of Time once dubbed him “Will Rogers with fangs.”

Here, for the first time, is the whole story of Mort Sahl, America’s iconoclastic father of modern standup comedy. Written with Sahl’s full cooperation and the participation of many of his friends and contemporaries, it delves deeply into the influences that shaped him, the heady times in which he soared, and the depths to which he fell during the turbulent sixties when he took on the Warren Commission and nearly paid for it with his career

Watch Mort Live Every Thursday Night at 7pm Pacific on Periscope

If you are on Twitter you can get the Periscope app for free and watch Mort every Thursday night.  His show is only broadcast from the Throckmorton Theater in Northern California.  He is amazingly sharp and recalls many funny incidents from his long career in show business that included writing for films, comedy gigs, writing for JFK, and working with Jim Garrison on the Kennedy Assassination, which got him black-balled from Hollywood.

Genevieve Castree at Skylight Book Shop 2013

Canadian Artist, Cartoonist, Writer and Musician Presented Her Book “Susceptible”

SuseptibleGenevieve Castree 1981-2016

Her tragic early death at age 35 in 2016 was shocking to her fans.  She waged a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer.  It seems so unfair that such a talented young woman would be taken away.  The Comics Journal ran a nice article about her life and work, click here to read it.  The video from Skylight shows a shy, young lady, who had a fascinating story of  her growing up in Canada, which she managed to illustrate in a charming cartoon book format.  Click on the box below to watch this wonderful talk by Genevieve.


Comedy Writers Laugh-In at Tonight’s Event

Barnes & Noble Burbank – Thursday Nov 5th – 7:00pm

Classic TV Preservation Society Presents

Great Moments in Television Comedy


Herbie J Pilato moderates tonight’s event with several of the greatest television comedy writers, including:

Sam Bobrick
Sam Bobrick

Sam Bobrick, award winning playwright who from the late 1950s to the 1990s wrote for scores of television shows.  Click here to go to his website for a list of his shows and his biography.  He says about his shows:

” Most of them were on the air before many of you were born. I think some of them were on the air before I was born.”

He’s written and co-written over thirty-five plays, many of them performed throughout the world, including: Murder At The Howard Johnson’sWeekend Comedy, Getting Sara Married, and Hamlet II (Better Than The Original). Twenty four of them have been published by Samuel French.

Born in Chicago in 1932 he joined the Air Force after his first year in college following a futile attempt at accounting. It was in the Service that he commenced a writing career as the editor and sole contributor to “The Tribe Scribe” – a bi-monthly politically incorrect base newspaper which, while very popular with the troops, was not held in the highest esteem by the military bureaucracy. After three years, nine months and twenty eight days in the Air Force he was honorably discharged and attended and graduated from the University of Illinois.

He soon made his way to New York where after several years of living on hot dogs and jelly donuts he landed his first big job as a writer for the legendary Captain Kangaroo children’s program. His TV writing career is long and varied, and includes The Andy Griffith Show, Get Smart, and The Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour.

It was while doing The Kraft Music Hall in New York that he became involved with theatre, co-writing his first play NORMAN, IS THAT YOU? which has been produced throughout the world.

A prolific talent, he has also composed songs which have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Brian Ferry, and Los Lobos. He also co-wrote all the songs for the two MAD Magazine albums, MAD Twists Rock ‘N’ Roll and Fink Along With MAD – both of which have become collector’s items.

Recently – he and his son Joey wrote and released a hilarious but wickedly rude CD called Totally Twisted Country sung by the great country and western group The Cow Pies.

He is married and lovingly-devoted to playwright Julie Stein with whom he co-wrote several plays (including THE OUTRAGEOUS ADVENTURES OF SHELDON & MRS. LEVINE and LENNY’S BACK (a one man show about the legendary comedian Lenny Bruce).

Besides his son he has two fantastic daughters Lori and Steffy, two wonderful son-in-laws, Caleb and Geoff, one magnificent daughter-in-law, Linda and two outstanding grand-children, Ariel and Joshua.

Ed Scharlach
Ed Scharlach

Ed Scharlach, another multi-talented writer who wrote for both television comedies and more serious stuff, like Mike Hammer.  Click here for a list of his extensive television writing credits.

He has written and produced more than 300 episodes of TV comedy, including: segments for classic shows such as “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days,” “Mork and Mindy,” and “Love American Style.” He also penned pristine episodes of acclaimed variety shows like “The Dean Martin Show” and shows for Steve Martin, Bette Midler, and Jay Leno.

He is also worked for several TV hour mystery dramas include writing/producing for “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” and writing for sci-fi classics such as “Quantum Leap.”

Scooby-DooHis writing/producing also include such acclaimed animated series as “Duckman,” “The Wild Thornberrys”, “Pinky and the Brain,” the pilot for the cult favorite, “Invader Zim, as well as producing the TV series revival of the famed “Scooby-Doo” franchise.

His work as been heralded in TV Guide’s “101 Best Written TV Series,” as well as in TV Guide’s “100 Greatest Episodes of All Time.” He is an Emmy, Annie, and Writer’s Guild Award nominee and the winner of a Cable ACE award.

He also happens to be one of the kindest and most beloved human beings in the entertainment industry.

Arnie Kogen
Arnie Kogen

Arnie Kogen, another major comedy writer and producer joins the group tonight.  Mr. Kogen has written for many of the major stand-up comedians, including Don Adams, Soupy Sales, Jackie Gleason and Johnny Carson.  Not only did he write for many television shows, but he wrote for years for our favorite Mad Magazine.  Click Here for a list of his credits, and Click Here for the list of Mad Magazine pieces.

He’s written and/or produced for The Carol Burnett Show, The Tonight Show, Newhart, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Empty Nest, Mad TV, The Dean Martin Show, Sinbad, Donnie & Marie, The Jackson Five, Evening At The Improv, The Bob Newhart Show, Tim Conway, Candid Camera, The Golden Globes and The Academy Awards.

Has also written comedy material for Phyllis Diller, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Shelley Berman, Debbie Reynolds, Connie Stevens, Totie Fields, Jackie Vernon, Diana Ross, Flip Wilson, Ann Margret, Sammy Davis, Morty Gunty, Mal Z Lawrence and Freddie Roman.

Mad MagFor over five decades he has been one of the leading contributors to Mad Magazine.

He has won three Emmy Awards (seven nominations) and one Writers Guild Award (three nominations)

He has been planning on writing a novel but doesn’t have enough material. He feels he has a “leaflet” in him.

Periscope fans:  We will broadcast live stream from time to time during the show.  Click on L.A on the map and find ottofocus44 between 7:30 and 9pm.