Comic Genus: Einstein Brothers Launch Humor Site

The next generation of the Einstein family is ready to pick up the mocking mantle of comedy for the Internet age, and "It's Much Worse Than I Thought."

No--that's not a critic's judgment. It's the name of a new humor Web site from Mike and Jeff Einstein, heirs to the Einstein family comedy legacy of Albert Einstein and Bob Einstein--better known by their stage names of Albert Brooks ("Broadcast News," "Mother") and Super Dave Osborne--and punchline patriarch Harry Einstein, who started the whole comic spiel in the 1930s as the radio comedian, Parkyakarkus.

"'It's Much Worse Than I Thought' is our response to the thousand-and-one inanities and indignities of life in the digitally new and improved America of the 21st century," says Jeff Einstein. "It's the only reasonable conclusion in a consumer society run amok, a society where almost everything is advertised but almost nothing works as advertised."

Found at itsmuchworsethanithought.com, the interactive site invites visitors to share their opinions and stories, and pose questions to a variety of so-called experts, like mock anger management consultant Dr. William Ire, author of "F**k that S**t: The Tanked Up Guide to Political Correctness."

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The site also includes links to short-form comedy videos, preceded by 30-second commercials, appearing on EVTV1.com's "Much Worse Channel" and across several hundred affiliate Web sites in the Vidsense video syndication network.

Although the site sells caps, t-shirts and coffee mugs, Einstein says the business plan calls for turning the videos--which rely on jokes as opposed to sight gags for laughs--into audio clips for radio and syndicating them.

"We plan to re-engineer the audio and put them on CD and syndicate them through the radio market to drive the brand," he says. "The repurposed material can be localized and used with local talent, where people call in to talk about common experiences."

Einstein says the site needs to reach a certain level of traffic, and then the advertising will kick in. When it comes to the business model, he's all-serious.

"Look, I'm under no illusions. I know it's tough to launch a site and difficult to drive traffic to it," he says. "We've got to accrue eyeballs."

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