Advertisement

Funny Or Die Names Kathy Goodman CEO As Emphasis Shifts To Short-Form Content

EXCLUSIVE: Change is afoot at Funny or Die, Deadline has learned, with Kathy Goodman now to serve as CEO of the esteemed comedy studio.

After serving as Senior Advisor to owner Henry R. Muñoz III since his acquisition of the company several years back, Goodman steps into the role of Mike Farah, who soon will depart Funny or Die after a run of more than 15½ years. Also departing is Joe Farrell, who has been with the company for nearly 13 years, serving as Chief Creative Officer for the past few.

More from Deadline

While transitioning out of their current executive roles, Farah and Farrell will remain executive producers on After Midnight, CBS’s recently launched late-night game show hosted by Taylor Tomlinson, and continue to produce the slate of projects they’ve created. Michelle Rosette remains aboard as CFO, with the search for a new Chief Comedy Officer in charge of development in its final stages. Goodman begins her work as CEO on Monday, March 18.

In a Monday memo to staff, which you can read in full below, Muñoz shared that Funny or Die will continue to produce some “premium long form content” going forward. First and foremost, though, the focus will be on reimagining and reinvigorating the brand, as “an integrated, multi-platform content studio for a diverse new generation of comedic talent.” In an effort to evolve alongside an evolving media landscape, the company will now place the majority of its focus on developing short-form digital content for multiple platforms, we’re told.

The studio behind the recent, Emmy-nominated TV movie Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, Funny or Die was founded in 2007 by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Mark Kvamme, and Chris Henchy, famously launching in short form with “The Landlord,” which our sister publication Rolling Stone credits as one of “The Viral Videos That Built YouTube.” Watching as Ferrell is accosted by his foul-mouthed, two-year-old landlord Pearl (daughter of his then-creative partner McKay), the short achieved its mission of building brand awareness for the fledgling media company, going on to be viewed many millions of times over the decades.

In addition to comedy specials like Tig Notaro: Boyish Girl Interrupted, Funny or Die has produced Zach Galifianakis’ beloved web series Between Two Ferns and affiliated Netflix film, truTV’s Billy on the Street, Comedy Central’s @midnight, CBS’s After Midnight, and more. Muñoz acquired the company from stakeholders including AMC Networks, WarnerMedia and Sequoia Capital in 2021.

His new CEO, Goodman, began her career as a finance lawyer before transitioning into international motion picture finance and launcing production and finance company, Intermedia Films. Shortly after that company went public on the German Neuemarkt, and before joining Funny or Die, she left the entertainment industry to teach public high school in Los Angeles, during which time she also became co-owner of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

For more on the evolution of Funny or Die, stay tuned.

Funny or Die colleagues:

I wanted to take a moment to share a few updates to our company priorities and vision.

Following many months of planning, the senior leadership of Funny or Die have created a plan that puts us in a position to evolve along with the changing media landscape. This moment presents a great opportunity to reimagine and reinvigorate our work in the same impactful manner Funny or Die did when it pioneered digital comedy 17 years ago.

The time to make these bold changes is now in order to stay ahead. We will embrace and pioneer a unique new approach to innovation at FOD. This will be an approach that is rooted in digital creative excellence and prominence.

We will continue to produce premium long form content with the goal of transforming into an integrated, multi-platform content studio for a diverse new generation of comedic talent. Funny or Die and the 40 million visitors we welcome every week will be the place for the next generation of innovative creators in the comedy space.

Starting Monday, March 18, Kathy Goodman, who has been my Senior Advisor since day one of this journey, will step into the role as CEO, working closely with Michele Rosette, our CFO, who has also brought years of business planning experience and financial acumen to FOD. I am excited to see what they will accomplish. They will soon be joined by a new creative colleague as we are in the final phase of our search for a new Chief Comedy Officer. We have set this role as one that will curate the talent and content for FODigital and align with our Funny Original and Diverse mission.

I am very grateful to Mike Farah and Joe Farrell for their many years of stewardship and for their commitment to artistic quality. Although they are transitioning out of their current executive roles, they will remain Executive Producers on After Midnight and continue to produce the rich slate of projects that they helped create. I wouldn’t be here at FOD if it weren’t for them, and we remain united by our

shared understanding that humor can be a powerful instrument for social and cultural understanding. This is what brought us together during the pandemic and extends back to us working together to have President Barack Obama sitting Between Two Ferns. It will always be our core value as a company and as three friends.

I am also thankful to Jairo Alvarado, of ReDefine Entertainment for leading this planning process over the last few months and I look forward to his continued guidance.

I am proud that the vibrant creative organization I joined and have invested in over the last three years has been recognized for the artistic quality of our work, just this year winning so many awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie and breaking new ground in late night television with After Midnight. The past three years have been both challenging and exciting for me, but more than ever, I look forward to the future of Funny or Die, and to building upon its unique place in American popular culture alongside you all.

More to come, Henry

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.