Comedy Central

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Comedy Central

<tr><th colspan="2" style="text-align: center;">Image:Comedy central logo.gif</th></tr> <tr><th>Launched</th><td>April 1, 1991</td></tr><tr><th>Owned by</th><td>Comedy Partners LLC
(MTV Networks/Viacom)</td></tr><tr><th>Formerly called</th><td> The Comedy Channel, Ha!</td></tr><tr><th>Website</th><td>Official Site</td></tr><tr><th style="background-color: #BFDFFF; font-size: 110%;" align="center" colspan="2">Availability </th></tr><tr><th style="background-color: #d0e5f5;" align="center" colspan="2">Satellite</th></tr><tr><th>DirecTV</th><td>Channel 249</td></tr><tr><th>Dish Network</th><td>Channel 107</td></tr><tr><th style="background-color: #d0e5f5;" align="center" colspan="2">Cable</th></tr><tr><th>Verizon FiOS</th><td>Channel 160</td></tr><tr><th>Comcast</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr><tr><th>Time Warner Cable</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr><tr><th>Charter</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr><tr><th>Cox Cable</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr><tr><th>Cablevision</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr><tr><th>Bright House Networks</th><td>Channels Vary</td></tr>

Comedy Central is a cable television and satellite television channel in the United States. As its name implies, the channel carries predominantly comedy programming, both original and syndicated. While once a small cable network that few watched, in recent years it has grown to be one of the most popular cable channels, earning the praise of many entertainment-based media along the way.

Contents

[edit] History

In November of 1989, Time Warner, owners of HBO, launched The Comedy Channel as the first cable channel devoted exclusively to comedy-based programming. Five months later, Viacom (who owned MTV, VH1, and Nickelodeon) launched an edgier rival channel called HA!. After two years of limited distribution, the two channels merged into one, relaunching, fittingly, on April Fool's Day 1991 as CTV: Comedy Television. However, trademark issues with the Canadian network CTV forced the merged channel to rebrand itself Comedy Central on June 1, 1991 (coincidentally, the Canadian channel The Comedy Network is owned by Bell Globemedia, which also owns the Canadian CTV, of which both names were used on the American merged network). Viacom bought out Time Warner's half in April 2003 for $1.225 billion.

From the 1980s through the mid-1990s, much of Comedy Central's, and its predecessors', programming consisted of comedy movies and stand up comedians. With the exception of the cult favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000, the channel had a relatively small viewership. A notable early success was Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, which after showing promise on Comedy Central was quickly snapped up by the ABC network. The channel made a breakthrough when South Park premiered in 1997. The first major cable show to carry the TV-MA rating for mature audiences, the show was too controversial to get picked up by a mainstream network. As word-of-mouth spread, the number of people who requested that Comedy Central be added to their cable systems increased, and the channel became available in over 50% of American homes by 1998.

The success of South Park with its mature content encouraged the network to continue to push the limits on adult language. Every Saturday at midnight, a movie or comedy special is shown unedited. This is called the Secret Stash. The movies and comedy specials shown on the Secret Stash are typically those with a large amount of adult language, especially four-letter words not typically allowed on television, that would be heavily edited otherwise. Movies shown on the Secret Stash to date include South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Bad Santa, Jackass: The Movie, Clerks. and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, although on November 25th, 2006 (actually the early morning of November 26th) the channel aired Fast Times At Ridgemont High with the profanity intact but all of the nudity was excised from the film. Comedy Central also hosts original programming, including The Daily Show (currently hosted by Jon Stewart) and Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report, satirical half-hour "fake news" shows poking fun at modern-day media and politics.

Since 2003, Comedy Central has created a tradition of "roasting" comedians in tradition of the New York Friars Club roasts. During these roasts friends of the roastee, along with comedians, take turns making fun of the roastee, the other roasters and occasionally audience members. So far, the roastees have included Denis Leary, Jeff Foxworthy, Pamela Anderson and William Shatner.

Image:The Colbert Report - Stewart & Colbert (Aug 2006).png
Stewart (left) and Colbert during a comedic pause on The Colbert Report.

In late 2004, it was reported that the top four rated shows on Comedy Central, in order, were South Park, Chappelle's Show, The Daily Show, and Reno 911!. Shortly thereafter, Dave Chappelle infamously backed out of the anticipated third season of Chappelle's Show; meanwhile, The Daily Show continued to climb in ratings. In October 2005, on the occasion of a new three-year contract for South Park and the launch of The Colbert Report, it was reported that South Park and The Daily Show were the two highest rated shows on Comedy Central. Comedy Central chief Doug Herzog was reported as saying that he hoped to continue to air new seasons of South Park forever; and that The Colbert Report fulfilled a long-held plan to extend the Daily Show brand.

On April 5, 2006, in a controversial two part episode arc titled Cartoon Wars Part I and Cartoon Wars Part II, South Park touched the issue of the recent Muslim protest over the Danish comic strips depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad. The image of Muhammad did not appear in the episode. On April 13, 2006, Comedy Central issued a statement [1] which appears to confirm that the network prohibited the show's creators from airing an image of Muhammad. The statement reads, "In light of recent world events, we feel we made the right decision." An anonymous source close to the show indicated that South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone were informed of the policy several weeks earlier, and wrote this story arc in protest.

[edit] Previous logos

[edit] Notable original programming

[edit] Current

[edit] Animated

[edit] Game Shows

[edit] Mockumentaries

[edit] Sketch Comedy

[edit] Talk Shows/Variety

[edit] Standup Comedy

[edit] Past

[edit] Animated

[edit] Clip Shows

[edit] Game Shows

[edit] Reality Shows

[edit] Sitcoms

[edit] Sketch Comedy

[edit] Standup Comedy

[edit] Talk Shows/Variety

[edit] Other

[edit] Original movies

[edit] Motherload Videos

[edit] Notable non-original programming

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Viacom Inc.

Corporate Directors: George Abrams | Philippe Dauman (CEO) | Thomas E. Dooley | Ellen V. Futter | Robert Kraft | Alan Greenberg | Charles Phillips | Sumner Redstone (Chairman) | Shari Redstone | Frederic Salerno | William Schwartz

MTV Networks channels in the Americas: CMT | CMT Pure Country | Comedy Central | Logo | MHD | MTV | MTV2 | MTV Brasil (30%) | MTV Chi | MTV Desi | MTV Hits | MTV Jams | MTV K | MTV Networks Latin America | MTV Tempo | MTV Tr3s | mtvU | Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite/Nick Jr. | NickToons Network | Nick GAS | Noggin/The N | Spike TV | TV Land | VH1 | VH1 Brazil | VH1 Classic | VH1 Soul | VH1 Uno
BET Networks:BET | BET J | BET Hip-Hop | BET Gospel
MTV Networks film production: CMT Films | MTV Films | Nickelodeon Movies
MTV Networks Europe: MTV Adria | MTV Base | MTV Central | MTV Classic | MTV Dance | MTV Eesti | MTV Europe | MTV Flux (UK) | MTV Italy (49%) | MTV Latvija | MTV Lietuva | MTV România | MTV Türkiye | MTV Russia | MTV UK and Ireland | MTV2 Europe | Nickelodeon UK(50%) | Nicktoons UK(50%) | Nick Jr. (UK)(50%) | TMF Flanders | TMF Nederland | TMF UK | VH1 UK | VH1 Classic UK | VIVA
MTV Networks Asia Pacific: MTV Australia | MTV India | MTV New Zealand | MTV Pakistan | MTV Philippines | Nickelodeon Australia | Nickelodeon Japan | Nickelodeon South East Asia | Nickelodeon New Zealand | Nick Jr. Australia | VH1 Australia
MTV Networks internet services: Atom Entertainment | GameTrailers | iFilm | MTV Overdrive | Neopets | Quizilla | Xfire
Paramount Pictures Corporation (Paramount Motion Pictures Group): DreamWorks | DreamWorks Home Entertainment | DreamWorks Television | Go Fish Pictures | Paramount Home Entertainment | Paramount Vantage | Republic Pictures | United International Pictures (50%, with NBC Universal's Universal Studios)
Misc. Assets: Bubba Gump Shrimp Company | Famous Music | Harmonix Music Systems | Paramount Comedy

Annual Revenue: $17.3 billion USD (Image:Green Arrow Up.svg10% 3Q 2005) | Employees: 38,350 | Stock Symbol: NYSE: VIAB | Website: www.viacom.com

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Comedy Central

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