Funny or Die: Keeping a Celebrity’s Career Alive.


Funny or die.

No, I’m not just saying the name of the website, I’m outlining the choices that crashing celebrities are given after devastating acts of career suicide.

They could be funny— make jokes about themselves, fully accept their ridiculous acts.

Or they could watch their careers die.

While the SNL monologue has always provided a great platform for a little bit of self-deprecation (see Miley Cyrus, last Saturday, March 5th), the internet makes that bit of necessary humiliation even more accessible.

For those of you living under a rock these past few weeks, Charlie Sheen has taken a swan dive straight into the pool of insanity. After his lawyers forbade him from any further interviews with the media, Sheen took matters into his own hands, creating personal video posts that were deemed less than interesting by tabloids and rabid fans alike. But now that Sheen has officially lost his job on the sitcom Two and a Half Men, Sheen needs to up his crazy to stay relevant (of course, that $100 million dollar lawsuit against CBS might help any financial loses he will experience after never being hired in Hollywood again…).

So how does a star both capitalize their madness while simultaneously working to gain back even a shred of respectability?

Funny or die. And this time I am talking about the website. Founded by famous funny men Will Ferrell, Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, and Chris Henchy, the FunnyorDie website is quite the viral sensation. While the title of the site actually refers to the viewers’ ability to vote a video as either ‘funny’ or deserving to ‘die,’  the name applies quite well to the options of some desperate celebrities.

Several celebrities, from Natalie Portman to Zac Efron, have starred in one of their exclusive videos. After all, a celebrity willing to laugh at themselves seems to denote a sense of grounded-ness. It’s positive for the individuals image for the audience to see that that person is down to earth and connected to the viewers; they are not divas who are above a bit of silliness for a laugh.

These exclusive videos are especially exciting when they feature the tabloid’s latest favorite screw-ups. About two years ago (yes, her “hot mess” status has been applicable for that long), Lindsay Lohan had just faced a very public break-up from girlfriend Sam Ronson. While going through a break-up in the eyes of the public must be devastating enough, the real scandal came when the Ronson family began issuing restraining orders against the apparently insane Lohan. The press had a field day– who can blame them. Lohan had always provided plenty of fodder.

To combat these negative issues, Lohan, or perhaps more likely her publicist, made a deal with FunnyorDie. Soon enough, Lindsay Lohan’s “eHarmony Profile” became a hit web video. With the tagline “Lindsay Lohan is newly single and ready to mingle!,” audience enjoyed laughing at Lohan as she, in turn, laughed at herself.

While that might not have saved her career, it certainly helped redeem her– at least until the next scandal.

Now Charlie Sheen can add an exclusive FunnyorDie video to his resume. “Charlie Sheen’s Winning Recipes” incorporates all of Sheen’s spectacular (and wacky quotes)– from tiger blood, to Adonis DNA, and we can’t forget winning. Filmed as a “cooking show,” Sheen takes his insanity to a whole new level– and we love it!

Perhaps Sheen’s career isn’t completely revived, but it never hurts to laugh at oneself. Afterall, it’s easier than admitting defeat, which Sheen would never do– he’s winning. Or at least this video is.

While I couldn’t embed the video, I have provided the link: http://FunnyOrDie.com/m/5cwg

Side Note: where did they get the tiger hat on such short notice? Do they actually make those?

Check it out and tell me what you think.


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1 Comment

  1. Hi Tessa,

    Do you remember when celebrity was what they did first, then who they were. I wonder if we can chart the change?

    More youngsters seem to just want to be famous for anything. Just to be notorious. And now with so much media intrusion into every aspect of a life it is easy to see how someone will lose the plot. Then strive more and more to remain in the headlights of that show.

    Only the strong survive, I am watching Lady Gagas’ ride and her manipulation with interest, she is a walking talking art show. Malcolm McClaren and the Sex Pistols worked it all to gain coverage, ultimately though it led to their destruction. Do you think anyone can survive the constant attention?

    Jim

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