Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Turns a Hit Show Into a Movie You Won’t Watch

dick figures fart. yep, dick figures fart.YouTube has lots of ambitions to upend Hollywood and traditional TV, and maybe one day it will get there. In the meantime, it is most definitely the place to go if you want to see lots of videos aimed at teens and preteens.

Here, for instance, is Dick Figures, a very popular YouTube series — 350 million views in three years — featuring animated stick figures who make the sort of jokes familiar to anyone who has ever been or spent time around a 12-year-old boy.

For whatever reason, Mondo Media, the show’s distributor, won’t let me embed episodes. On the other hand, the fact that one of the episodes is called “The Fart Knight Rises” should be knowledge enough for many of you.

In any case, “Dick Figures” is now also set to be a 73-minute movie, backed by a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign, and Mondo and YouTube are now touting a Sept. 17 release date. Mondo said it will offer both free and paid distribution options, and is promising to talk about them later, but my hunch is that it won’t be exclusive to YouTube.

Still, “Dick Figures” is very much a YouTube property, and if you want to get a quick sense of the sort of stuff that is working on the site right now, then this teaser trailer should suffice. If you want a longer version, the link here should be working when this story publishes.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work