BILLBOARD -- Dolphin sex is what led Matt Saincome to launch his satirical punk culture media enterprise The Hard Times — reporting on it, not engaging in it. In 2013, Saincome was a recent Journalism graduate from San Francisco State University working as a freelancer for SF Weekly, when his editor forwarded him a press release about a man who had written an autobiographical novel about an interspecies love affair with a dolphin. He wound up interviewing the man and published an article called, simply, “Meet the Man Who Had Sex with a Dolphin (and Wrote a Book About It),” which went viral thanks to both the outrageous subject matter and Saincome’s humorous tone. The story became the Weekly’s most-viewed post of the year.
The site also runs a video game vertical called Hard Drive, sells merchandise that Saincome says about equals ad revenue, hosts comedy tents at music festivals and promotes its own events around the country. A book is now in the works and a television sitcom is in development with executive director Evan Shapiro (Portlandia, Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Onion News Network) and comedian Kyle Kinane on board to star. The show will satirize a Vice-like workplace with a staff working for The Hard Times, with the website actually publishing stories, videos and other content that plays a role in the series.
Photo by Dominique Smith