CollegeHumor Launches Jest.com | Adweek
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CollegeHumor Launches Jest.com

New comedy site aims for older demographic

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CollegeHumor, the comedy site known chiefly for its original video content, launched in 1999. But if you graduated from college before then, you’ve probably outgrown its demo.  

Never fear. On Monday, CollegeHumor Media announced the launch of Jest.com, a website targeted toward the 18-49 audience that will produce original content and aggregate videos—including full-length television shows like The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock—from around the Web.

“As great as CollegeHumor is, it is limited by its demographic,” CEO Paul Greenberg told Adweek. “At a median age of 29, we target people who are a little racier in certain ways. So we’re trying to create a comedy site that reaches a broader group.”

In addition to pooling TV shows and other “comedic content” from video sites like YouTube and Hulu, Jest will have a three-person writing team working under longtime CollegeHumor managing editor Jeff Rubin, now Jest’s editor-in-chief. A sample of that original content, “Ikea Breakup Room,” suggests a more mild, SNL-style humor, though not entirely severed from that “racier” sensibility down the hall.

For now, however, Jest is putting its emphasis on aggregated content. A beta version of the site highlighted videos of a mock Rick Perry Lip Reading that went viral last week and a gaffe on a Fox affiliate (apparently “jism” is still funny at 49). Indeed, Jest's ambition may be to become the one-stop shop for online comedy videos. Unlike CollegeHumor niche sites Dorkly (video game humor) and Sports Pickle (sports humor), Greenberg expects Jest to reach an audience as broad, if not broader, than CollegeHumor itself.

The original site has grown quite popular in recent years (Greenberg started it in 2010). It now has 15 million monthly uniques and is the seventh most subscribed-to channel on YouTube, so Jest has a lot of work to do, even with 50,000 videos in the database.

As for what separates the 34-year-olds' sense of humor from the 35-year-olds, Greenberg has no idea.

“For some reason, [the television and advertising industries] think that as soon as you turn 35, your entire sensibility changes,” he said. “I’m 43, and I still love CollegeHumor. So there’s no explaining it.”