It’s been almost four months since the satire site ClickHole was purchased by Cards Against Humanity and published their last article, titled “FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Our Computer Has Become Infested With Crickets and ClickHole Is Temporarily Going On Standby.” Thankfully, the ClickHole-shaped hole in our hearts — which has gotten bigger thanks to a pandemic and months of self-isolation — has been filled up again, because today, the site is finally back up and running. The site announced its much-anticipated return to the internet on Twitter today and has published a handful of new articles, including “Absolutely Beautiful: ClickHole Has Returned From the Dead to Once Again Spew Viral Content All Over the Internet.” In the article, ClickHole says it “could not be more thrilled to once again be squirting hot viral trash all over your social media feeds.” The site also has a water fountain, an emergency exit, and treasure now!
While editor-in-chief Steve Etheridge told Vulture that ClickHole has no plans to change the kind of satire it’s known for publishing, today’s return marks a new era for the site. Cards Against Humanity, the company behind the popular card game, purchased ClickHole from G/O Media back in February in an all-cash deal, but CAH co-founder Max Temkin told BuzzFeed News at the time that the plan was to keep the entities separate and allow ClickHole to “operate independently, with financial support from Cards Against Humanity.” Another notable aspect of the deal was that ClickHole staffers would become majority owners of the site.
“Obviously it’s nice that we’re gonna be the ones benefitting from our own hard work instead of corporate owners. But I think what’s most exciting to us about all this is that we now have total control over how the website is run, and no one is making decisions on our behalf,” Etheridge told Vulture on the changes. “Now we have the freedom to make ClickHole exactly what we want it to be, and it’s an empowering feeling knowing that the people who write everything that goes on the site will finally be able to steer its destiny. And even if the site for some reason eventually fails, it will fail on our own terms.” Etheridge also said that while the team at CAH has “no day-to-day involvement” with ClickHole, they’ve been “ridiculously kind” to the ClickHole team throughout the transition.
Between the February news and today’s relaunch, Etheridge said the five-person ClickHole staff has been busy migrating the ClickHole archives to the new site and building it as a stand-alone business. The core focus of the site remains the same (Etheridge said they “really just want to keep making the best comedy we can and do everything in our power to make the most of this opportunity,” and he teased the return of ClickHole quizzes and “bigger surprises”), but the new challenge is learning how to run the business side of ClickHole. “We’ve got more big ideas than we could ever possibly pursue, and the challenge is going to be figuring out how to chase our ambitions while still being responsible as a business,” Etheridge explained. “The only expectation, really, is that our writers will write things that they are excited about … Historically, our best comedy has been the stuff we’ve had the most fun making, and if having fun is the proven formula for success, then why would we ever want to not have fun?”
So if you want to support the new, employee-owned ClickHole, go give the revamped site a few clicks today. “If you liked ClickHole before, you’ll still like it now,” Etheridge said. “And if you hated it, you’ll probably still hate it, and there’s no need for you to remind us about this on social media if you have yelled at us in the past — we heard you loud and clear the first time.”