Today, Google is set to announce the YouTube Comedy Week, a showcase of the best comedy videos on the 8-year-old platform. Running from May 19th to 25th, the plan is for Comedy Week to expose viewers to YouTube’s expanding roster of original programming channels. The programming will launch with a global live stream and new episodes from popular performers and comedy channels (such as The Onion and Funny or Die) will debut throughout the week, including new work from Andy Samberg’s The Lonely Island. Comic-curated lists of favoured videos will also be available. Big-name participants include Ricky Gervais, Seth Rogen, Rainn Wilson, Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, and Vince Vaughn.
Earlier this week it was also announced that Twitter and Comedy Central will be partnering up for a five day comedy festival next week featuring the likes of Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Paul Feig (of Freaks and Geeks fame). The festival will take place on Twitter with participants posting jokes and clips of routines using the hashtag #ComedyFest. The festival is a pre-curser to next month’s launch of Comedy Central’s CC: Stand-Up app, that will provide videos of comedians performing their routines based on a recommendation algorithm that tracks the type of comedy users prefer.
In other Internet comedy news, Yahoo has acquired exclusive rights to Saturday Night Live “clips” going as far back as 1975 and up to the present season. The deal includes access to old show clips, musical performances, behind the scenes pieces and dress rehearsal clips. The deal does not include rights for sharing full episodes, which will be maintained by NBC.com. Yahoo has also acquired non-exclusive US rights to show clips from the current season and “a license for to distribute library show clips internationally,” meaning there’s a chance Canadian users will have access to the previously blocked clips.