Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show

Nov 7, 2012, 5:24 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2012, 5:29 am
The Seattle-based I Can Has Cheezburger network now includes 60 humor sites. Many of their 90 employees are featured in a new Bravo TV reality series about the Queen Anne company. (Photo courtesy Bravo TV)
(Photo courtesy Bravo TV)

A small Internet empire with a funny name has billions of page views on its network of 60 humor websites based in Seattle. Now, I Can Has Cheezburger has a reality TV show too.

They’ve had some huge successes getting things to go viral on the Internet.

“We do apologize to the world that we released Rebecca Black out into the Internet culture,” says Emily Huh. “You either loved it or you hated it.”

The “Friday” song first appeared on The Daily What, which is one of the humor sites Emily and Ben Huh own.

They’re also the people who put funny captions with cute pictures of cats.

LOL Cats, as in L-O-L, laugh out loud, has become an industry of its own with two New York Times best sellers based on their funny animal pictures and captions.

The Bravo TV network wanted to make a reality TV series out of what they do at their offices at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill

“When they first approached us, Ben and I had both said, ‘we’re not really funny. We look at the internet all day how funny can this show be?'”

They let the cameras in to film a series of episodes for LOL Work, capturing what they consider to be ordinary discussions, like this:

“Just as a general blanket rule, no dead cat ever?”


“People don’t come here to see dead cats. They want to see happy, smiling pets.”

“People come here to escape reality.”

“Okay, devil’s advocate, what if it’s a dead cat and we say it’s sleeping, is that okay?”

“I don’t ever want to hear you say devil’s advocate again.”

On the surface, I Can Has Cheezburger is a company dedicated to making people laugh for 5 minutes a day, that’s their motto.

But the more interesting part of Cheezburger is that they’re in the center of a shifting media landscape. Instead of being a traditional company where they create content and put it out there telling you what’s funny. Their content is generated by users.

“Once Internet culture becomes dominant it will be popular culture, just as the underground music movement of rock and roll became popular culture,” says Ben Huh. “The remixing and the do it yourself culture is fundamentally changing our ability to influence others.”

For dealing with humor sites, Ben is a serious business man. He’s allergic to cats by the way.

Although he’s had his share of viral successes, that’s not what he’s going for. And if you have any kind of business where you’re trying to get hits online, here’s his advice.

“What you really want to do is deliver consistent, quality content every time somebody visits,” Huh says. “You want to make it a daily habit and the only way to actually grow your traffic and your audience is to get new people to show up and get some of them to stay.”

Other sites in the Cheezburger network include the Fail Blog, Know Your Meme, and Texts From Last Night.

By LINDA THOMAS, Yes, Ben and Emily are married

The News Chick Blog

The wife of Seattle attorney Danford Grant moved his car away from one of the alleged crime scenes ...
No Author

Equal justice for Seattle lawyer accused of several rapes?

Has accused serial rapist Danford Grant gotten preferential treatment because both he and his wife are Seattle attorneys?
10 years ago
President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle. Wa...
No Author

Democracy and dollar signs – 2012 campaign spending

Washington initiative campaigns spent $34 million trying to win your vote, while President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney spent a combined $30.33 every second this election cycle.
10 years ago
Chef Tom Douglas says Seattle’s restaurants are ‘a little homemade’ compared with...
No Author

Chef Tom Douglas says ‘Seattle is a funny restaurant town’

Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, with 13 Seattle restaurants and more on the way, says Seattle is a "funny restaurant town."
10 years ago
Investigation continues into why a commander of the Bremerton-based Stennis carrier group was remov...
No Author

New ‘crazy’ conspiracy theory on Stennis Rear Admiral

The Pentagon shoots down theories about why the commander of the USS Stennis Carrier Group was removed from duty and sent back to the homeport in Bremerton.
10 years ago
Seattle photographer Paul Souders captures an adult polar bear up close in Hudson Bay in Churchill,...
No Author

Seattle photographer comes face to face with a polar bear

A wildlife photographer, who lives in Ballard, has taken thousands of stunning shots. None put him on "a razor's edge" more than a series of photos swimming with a polar bear.
10 years ago
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Staff Sgt. Robert Bales appears in a public, military courtroom today for ...
No Author

‘Prove it’ – Defense for solider accused of Afghan massacre

Joint Base Lewis-McChord Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a four-tour combat soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians in March, faces an Article 32 hearing today.
10 years ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Seattle humor network, built with funny cat pictures, becomes a reality TV show