The result of Funny or Die’s partnership with HBO premieres with a cast featuring Kirkman, Ferrell, and Cheadle. Ferrell and McKay are among the executive producers, as well as former SNL head writer and site creative director Steele. Steele explains how he was wooed to join the new production:
We worked together there for five years. They were always trying to get me to come out to California. I felt like I had done everything I wanted to do at Saturday Night Live, and this was a strange and wonderful opportunity to be a part of the Internet and stay in television as well.
HBO purchases a stake in Funny or Die and commissions McKay, Ferrell, Henchy, and Judd Apatow to produce an initial series of 10 half-hour episodes. The cable channel looks for an experienced producer to join the project, which begins after talks between executives and Ferrell and McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions. McKay says:
Our idea in going into Funny or Die was that it would be a kind of clubhouse for us and friends of ours who could come and try stuff that they couldn’t do as easily in movies or TV. And it was also about us getting to find new talent.
Ferrell, McKay and Henchy found the online comedy site Funny or Die. The team uploads its first quickly-shot video, The Landlord, which stars McKay’s 2-year-old daughter Pearl as a screaming landlady.