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Cracked Founder Exits to Create Comedy Division at HowStuffWorks

Variety logo Variety 6/21/2017 Andrew Wallenstein
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A popular website best known for do-it-yourself videos is branching out into comedy.

HowStuffWorks has lured Cracked.com founder Jack O’Brien to create a new division with the intent of extending the company’s focus on podcasts to the humor genre.

The move comes on the heels of a similar talent raid: Mental Floss co-founders Will Pearson and Mangesh Hattikudur recently joined HowStuffWorks to launch new podcast Part-Time Genius.

“We have grand plans for growing and expanding our audience and leadership position in the podcast space,” said Jason Hoch, Chief Content Officer at HowStuffWorks. “We started by bringing on creative geniuses from iconic brands and our move into comedy is the first of more new genres to come.

O’Brien spent the last 11 years as editor-in-chief of Cracked.com, where he hosted a podcast. His comedy division will give HowStuffWorks the opportunity to start building a presence in Los Angeles. “Our new West Coast studios give us an opportunity to tap into Los Angeles’ growing community of young, comedic talent,” he said. “I’m really excited to launch a series of new, creator-driven comedy brands, and couldn’t have picked a better partner to work with to do that.”

Last year, parent company System1 purchased HowStuffWorks from Blucora, which purchased HowStuffWorks from Discovery Communications in 2014.

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