An interview with Cheezburger’s Ben Huh about LOLwork, his new Bravo show

By Natan Edelsburg 

One of the most fascinating new shows recently launched on Bravo. LOLwork (Wednesdays at 11:30), is a docuseries that goes inside the Seattle offices of the website that helped define the internet through cat memes. We interviewed Ben Huh, the founder, CEO and “catrepreneur” of Cheezburger about cats, TV and the social web.

While LOLwork is struggling a bit in the ratings, the first three episodes were absolutely hilarious. Think The Office meets The Real World meets social TV. Huh’s team of catvangelists, content creators and moderators are both weird, charming and funny at the same time. The Dwight/Jim dynamic with Paul Gude and Will Sharick is as good as The Office and the best part is that they both live and breath the social web.

Huh’s reasons for doing the show are extremely insightful and prove how important traditional TV still is. He tells Lost Remote how being on Bravo lets them reach an audience that doesn’t necessarily spend the entire day on the internet. We’re hoping for Tumblr or Reddit the TV show next.

Lost Remote: Why did you get involved with BRAVO – how do you hope to have the show help your business?
Ben Huh: We’ve been talking about doing a TV show for a while. I Can Has Cheezburger has two New York Times bestsellers, and the way Hollywood works is that if prove you have pop culture relevance, some agent comes up and wants to represent you. Last year, we were approached by Bravo — they wanted to do a behind-the-scenes look at the people who work at Cheezburger because they think we’re unusual and quirky.

The show helps our business because we can interact with a whole different audience that might not know what LOLcats are and don’t spend all their time on the Internet.

LR:How does your company work with brands? Can you list a few examples?
Huh: We guide marketers and help them understand Internet and meme culture. The brands that we work with understand their space but rely on us to help create campaigns that will resonate with the Internet community. Here’s a sample list of our clients.

LR: What’s it been like shooting the show? Do you like being on TV? What are your favorite TV shows? Favorite shows on BRAVO?
Huh: It’s surreal. There are tons of new people in the office and equipment everywhere. And you are constantly miked. I’m not sure what it’s like to “be on TV.” Nothing has really changed other than the fact that people ask about it.

My favorite show on Bravo is “Top Chef” so I’m honored that it is our lead-in.

LR: How do you personally use social media?
Huh: I use social media as a way to put ideas and observations out there. I want to make people laugh, and I want to gauge feedback.