News & Politics

Exclusive: Obama Vet Brad Jenkins Is Leaving Funny Or Die To Start His Own Company

What will this mean for Funny or Die's DC operation?

Brad Jenkins, the managing director and executive producer of Funny or Die’s DC branch, is leaving to start a new independent creative agency, called Enfranchisement Productions.

After a three-year stint with the viral-video-site-turned-production-company, Jenkins is meshing his knowledge of insider Washington with his experience coordinating with celebrities and the entertainment world on campaigns to promote political issues and other projects.

While his work with Enfranchisement will be less focused on humor than in his previous gig, Jenkins isn’t ready to step away from entertainment completely. “Short videos are really exciting, but in the world of long-form podcasts and web series, there’s a host of different ways to tell stories,” he tells Washingtonian. “Enfranchisement will be rooted in politics and in civic life and public service, but doing it in an entertaining way.”

While at Funny or Die, Jenkins helped steer campaigns such as Glam up the Midterms with Billy Eichner (an effort to up millennial engagement in the recent midterm elections) and Planned Parenthood’s anti-Kavanaugh ad campaign. Perhaps most notable were his three video campaigns for civil-rights nonprofit Rise, founded by Nobel Peace Prize nominee Amanda Nguyen. A Funny or Die video titled “Even Supervillians Think Our Sexual Assault Laws Are Insane” helped push Rise’s Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights into law in 2016. Rise will be Enfranchisement’s first client.

“The Rise movement would not have been possible without Brad,” says Nguyen. “He believed and empowered us from day one. And with his help, we have now passed civil rights legislation for 38.9 million survivors.”

And what does this mean for Funny or Die’s DC bureau? It’s a little complicated, but essentially that operation will be no more. David Litt, the other half of Funny or Die’s DC office, is working on a television show with Broad City‘s Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer, but the pair will continue to collaborate under Jenkins’ new venture. Funny or Die will now also be a client of Enfranchisement.

Jenkins originally got involved with Funny or Die while working in Obama‘s Office of Public Engagement, where he was responsible, among other things, for getting the President on Between Two Ferns. After the election, he came aboard full time. “It was clear from the moment we met Brad Jenkins at the Obama White House that Funny Or Die had found a kindred spirit in him,” said Funny Or Die CEO Mike Farah in a press release, adding that they “look forward to supporting and collaborating with his new venture.”

Staff Writer

Brittany Shepherd covers the societal and cultural scene in political Washington. Before joining Washingtonian as a staff writer in 2018, Brittany was a White House Correspondent for Independent Journal Review. While she has lived in DC for a number of years now, she still yearns for the fresh Long Island bagels of home. Find her on Twitter, often prattling on about Frasier.