It isn't all long-winded policial speeches at the DNC. You can imagine our delight when Ken Jeong, best known for his role as Mr. Chow in “The Hangover,” appeared onscreen alongside economist Austan Goolsbee for the video, “Donald Decoded: Outsourcing.”
The comedy site, Funny or Die, produced four videos in total for the DNC this year— one for each night of the convention. Ben Sheehan, executive producer and head of talent tells us what it was like working with Jeong and why comedy is so effective in getting a message across.
What is a typical day like for you at Funny or Die?
A typical day is that I’ll go through email and see what requests have come in from talent to do Funny or Die videos — whether it’s actors, actresses, musicians, comedians, reality personalities. People reach out all the time. I field those requests and talk with the staff to see if they make sense.
Do you have a hand in writing the bits, too?
Sometimes I will come up with an idea and then I'll work with one of our writers, but my role is primarily as a producer rather than a writer. The one thing I do actually get to write are when we do songs. I have a music background so I write a lot of the songs that have become topical comedy music videos for our site.
I wrote one recently about the transgender bathroom situation in North Carolina, which was a fake country song. And then I wrote the music and lyrics for a video called “Climate Change Denier’s Anthem,” which was a “We Are the World” styled anthem trying to convince people that global warming is fake.
Very cool! So let’s talk about this DNC video series. How did that come about?
Yes. The DNC and its affiliates approached us and asked us to create them. I don’t know which of the ones will end up airing, because we made four for them and some of might be online only. As of now, the Ken Jeong one aired Monday night. They star four really funny comedians and two different economists and they basically take a look at different economic platforms, plans and histories of Donald Trump.