Yahoo to Kick Off New Comedy Channel With Live Bill Maher Performance

The channel will offer a slate of original short-form programming

Yahoo announced Thursday the launch of an original comedy channel that will kick off with a live stand-up performance by comedian Bill Maher.

The Yahoo Comedy Channel, part of the recently announced Yahoo Screen portal, will also feature a series of short-form comedy shows, including one starring Seth Morris from “Step Brothers” and another program hosted by Mike O’Brien, a lead writer for “Saturday Night Live.”

Viewing will be free.

“I'm excited to be doing something new in bringing a live stand-up show to a web giant like Yahoo,” Maher said. “It is my goal to make people say, "Oh, no he di'nt" in every medium on earth.”

Maher’s curtain-raising stand-up performance, titled “CrazyStupidPolitics: Bill Maher Live From Silicon Valley” will take place Feb. 23 at the San Jose Performing Arts Center and air not just live but for free.

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“Bill Maher’s special is a groundbreaking event, not only for Yahoo! and Bill, but for the internet as the first ever, live, free broadcast online,” Erin McPherson, VP and head of video at Yahoo said in a statement. “We are focusing on fresh, original voices like Bill and our other original programs with the Yahoo! Comedy Channel to continue to provide our consumers and advertisers with the best premium content on the Web.”

The comedy channel comes about two months after Yahoo’s announcement of Yahoo Screen, which included the launch of a slate of eight female-focused original shows.

Yahoo will collaborate with production partners like Funny or Die and Electus for the comedy channel, which in addition to seeking new viewers for Yahoo’s portal will target new advertisers to boost Yahoo’s share of online advertising.