Funnyordie was founded three years ago by Ferrell, his producing partner Adam McKay and backed by Sequoia Capital and HBO. The site's biggest video was one of its first, "The Landlord," wherein Ferrell is harassed by McKay's then 2-year-old daughter Pearl.
Why did it take so long for Ferrell to come to YouTube? Initially, they fancied themselves building their own comedic YouTube. That didn't quite work out. There were some other reasons, but let's let Ferrell and McKay explain:
Recently, YouTube started allowing content creators to both sell and serve their own ads, which means Funnyordie could sell across all of its distributors, including YouTube, which probably also factored into it.
In related news, YouTube is, in fact, monetizing videos a lot of pundits never thought it ever could, including this fine example, which is getting ads from American Apparel and ESPN: