Generate Management groups its talent into two areas: established stars, such as Andy Milonakis, and newer talent.
Mr. Milonakis has become the poster child for the Internet video revolution. Regarded as the first and most successful example of an online talent transposed into a TV star, ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel discovered Mr. Milonakis’ vignettes and song parodies online and invited him to appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Then MTV Networks inked a deal with the Internet personality for his own show, “The Andy Milonakis Show,” now in its third season on MTV2. “It reflects a user-generated sensibility,” Generate’s Kara Welker Welker said.
The firm also has a roster of newer talent. Here’s a look at a few of them.
Leslie Hall: The Iowa woman created a Web site that attracted more than 2 million unique visitors to check out her “gem sweater collection.” To pay the bandwidth costs, she became a rapper and crafted comedy viral video songs such as “Gold Pants,” “Beatdazzler” and “Zombie Killer.” After seeing her viral videos, Ms. Welker checked out Ms. Hall’s live performances and helped the comedian create a national live tour that’s currently under way, with an off-Broadway run to follow in 2007. Generate also plans to bring Ms. Hall to upcoming comedy festivals in the hopes of snagging a TV deal.
Improv Everywhere: Comedian Charlie Todd created Improv Everywhere in 2001. His group stages stunts and pranks on a grand public scale. Mr. Todd has built up an online fan base and community to support these events, which he records and posts on his Web site. “The next step for him is definitely a television play,” Ms. Welker said. Mr. Todd has been approached by corporate sponsors, representing another money-making opportunity for the Internet comedian.
Whitest Kids U Know: Generate represents Trevor Moore, the head writer for this Brooklyn-based sketch comedy troupe that built its audience on the Internet at WKUK.com and supported itself by playing shows in Manhattan that included audience interaction, music video parodies and short films, Ms. Welker said. The group received the award for best sketch group at Aspen’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival this year. After that, the fuse network signed it to create and perform 10 episodes of a show that is slated to premiere in January.
The B Squad: Thebsquad.com launched its comedy Web site in 2005 with material shot, produced and written specifically for the Internet. The troupe has also performed in venues in Los Angeles and is now producing content for commercial Web sites.