NationalBanana.com Raises $1 Million

Posted Jul 13, 2007

“Geez, if getting a million dollars for some half-assed sketches is this easy, I’m gonna take a drive down Sand Hill Road and find myself a VC,” wisecracked Nick Douglas over at ValleyWag[1].  Douglas is referring to the recent $1 million in funding for NationalBanana.com provided by U.S. Venture Partners[2].

NationalBanana.com is a website that contains satire clips of current events.  For example, there are clips such as Sands of Passion Episodes 1-9 which mocks Al Qaeda in the form of soap operas, The Politics of Stem Cell Research which satires George W. Bush’s take on stem cell research, and a satire of Paris Hilton being in jail.  I watched some of these clips and none of what I watched was that funny.  Passions of Sands seems like a funny idea–Al Qaeda soap opera, but the clips actually did seem a lot more dramtic than funny.  What NationalBanana needs to do is produce quick and funny short clips.

While Jerry Zucker, the founder of the website has a credible background such as serving as the producer for the movie, Airplane!, directing 2001’s Rat Race, and wrote the scripts for a couple of the movies in the Naked Gun series, I believe NationalBanana has been a disappointment thus far.  Hopefully with the new round of funding, some new talent will be hired and we can see NationalBanana’s potential to compete against Michael Kvamme’s Funny or Die! website (which has clips starring Will Ferrell).

NationalBanana should also take notes from the guys at TheLonelyIsland.com who have seen enormous success with Internet videos which became viral fast.  NationalLampoon.com has some good clips too.  Transformers in the Hood on NationalLampoon is pretty funny[3].