Funny Online: YouTube To Launch Its First-Ever Comedy Week

Comedy fans rejoice. YouTube is hosting its first-ever comedy week in May, and you can expect some big names to take part in the largest open mic on the planet.

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John Lindley / Google Inc. / AP

From left: Ryan Higa, Rainn Wilson and Grace Helbig shoot a video for YouTube’s planned Comedy Week taking place May 19-25, 2013.

Comedy fans rejoice.  YouTube is hosting its first-ever comedy week in May, and you can expect some big names to take part in the largest open mic on the planet.

Google’s video-sharing website announced on Thursday that the seven-day cyber extravaganza, YouTube Comedy Week, will run from May 19 to May 25 and feature some of the best comedy across its expansive video platform, the Associated Press reported.

The mega-serving of standup will include a collection of live events, video premieres and collaborations, according to Mashable.

To guarantee laughs, some of comedy’s biggest names are submitting contributions,  including Sarah Silverman, Rainn Wilson, Michael Cera, Vince Vaughn and Seth Rogen.  Former Saturday Night Live cast member Andy Samberg’s comedy troupe The Lonely Island also plans to debut new videos, according to the AP.

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And in homage to the event’s digital roots, web celebrities are also expected to contribute — the Gregory Brothers (the “Auto-Tune the News” crew) and the team behind Epic Rap Battles of History are expected to join in, Wired reported.  And popular comedy destinations with YouTube channels are also participating, such as The Onion, Funny or Die, Nerdist and CollegeHumor.

The video-sharing website’s latest foray with comedy is apparently just the start of a new strategy. The site is hoping to congregate its diverse group of stars with varied talents – from Hollywood professionals to Internet upstarts – to present a more unified experience for users, the AP said.  The company spent millions of dollars developing original programming, which it hopes the theme weeks will help to highlight, according to Wired.

“We’re hoping to do this in a pretty regular rhythm,” YouTube’s head of marketing Danielle Tiedt told the AP.  “You’ll see several of these coming from us, for sure, as we highlight really big areas that we think are amazing areas of strength for YouTube.”

YouTube’s first-ever comedy week will kick-off with a live, all-star variety show from Los Angeles’ Culver Studios, and will feature stand-up, sketches and musical performances.  The show is scheduled to stream live globally on May 19 at 8 p.m. EST, with a special pre-show at 7 p.m.

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