House of Cards Against Humanity
On Monday we quietly announced and sold out of a little pack of cards we made for Netflix to promote the new season of House of Cards, which comes out on February 14th.
This was a weird project, even by our standards. Here’s how it happened.
Netflix emailed us on December 13th and asked if we’d be interested in working with them on a small pack of cards to promote House of Cards. We have no idea why they thought a scatological party game would convince people to binge-watch a sophisticated political thriller - possibly because they both have the word “cards” in the name.
We’ve become pretty skeptical of these kinds of emails; we get a lot of them, and on the few occasions when we’ve tried to work with a big company, we usually get burned by them and quit (looking at you Microsoft and HBO).
On one of our calls, Netflix told us that if they ever do another project with Arrested Development we could write cards about it, so we decided that in this case, compromising with a bunch of humorless, corporate suits was worth it.
Writing the Pack
To write the pack, we first had to watch the show. It was pretty good, but we had no idea what was going on with these paper cranes that kept appearing in every episode.
Then we met with House of Cards’ show runner Beau Willimon, who also had no idea what was going on with the paper cranes, and asked us to make a joke about the scene where Kate Mara is getting eaten out while she’s on the phone with her dad.
We submitted about 41 cards to Netflix, and they rejected the ones they didn’t like, like “Binge-watching 12 hours of House of Cards while wearing an adult diaper,” because they “didn’t like their brand being associated with adult diapers.” (They also rejected a lot of other amazing cards, but they told us we weren’t allowed to say them in this blog post).
Then Netflix announced the pack Monday morning on their Twitter account and sold out 10,000 packs in about 45 minutes, and we wrote this contractually-obligated blog post, which went through one week of revisions and arguments in which Netflix stripped out many of the interesting things we wanted to tell you.
Downloading the Pack
Unfortunately the pack is totally sold out but you can download a text list of the cards or a print-at-home version at HouseOfCardsAgainstHumanity.com.
One More Thing
Netflix paid us a lot of money to write the pack (they won’t allow us to say how much they paid us). It’s not really our business model to get paid by a big company to write jokes, so we donated an amount of money that is more than $49,999 and less than $50,001 to one of our favorite non-profits, The Sunlight Foundation.