Homestar Runner keeps the ads away

HomestarrunnerHere’s something worth pondering: Why haven’t I ever seen ads, in any format, for Homestar Runner? For the uninitiated, Homestar Runner is an online cartoon (whose main character is the site’s namesake) created by brothers Mike and Mark Chapman (referred to as the Bros. Chaps), who, without resorting to smut, toilet humor or foul language, have produced one of the funniest things on the Internet. The content varies from short cartoons to interactive menus and games. One of the main characters, Strong Bad (taken from the 1986 Nintendo game Tag Team Wrestling), regularly answers viewers’ e-mail. While the Chaps don’t seem to have a vendetta against traditional advertising, they are nonetheless proud of their word-of-mouth appeal. In an interview with Giant magazine, Mike says, “There are no ads on []. People tell us all the time that they appreciate that it’s a free site and they don’t need to … worry about pop-ups or junk e-mail or getting a subscription … and although we do sell stuff, we try not to bombard you with it.” He’s right about not overly pushing the merchandise. But they do have a lot of it, and they sell enough shirts, posters and toys to keep themselves afloat and ad free. Do yourself a favor and look it up or, as Homestar’s friend/entrepreneur Bubs would say, “Check it out check it out check it out check it out check it out check it out check it out check it out …”

—Posted by David Kiefaber