Comedy Central

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Comedy Central is a network on U.S. cable/satellite TV, created by a merger between Viacom's HA! and Time Warner's Comedy Channel in the early 1990s. It tends to have a lot of comedy shows and movies, including Stand Up Comedy showcases, sitcoms and Sketch Comedy. Their content includes reruns from other channels (such as Scrubs and more recently, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), but most of their best-known shows are originals. It has thus far successfully avoided even coming close to Network Decay (unlike MTV, Cartoon Network, and A&E have in recent years), at least partly because comedy is such a broad topic (though it has come under fire for airing 'comedy' shows that rely on shock value to be funny, like Mind of Mencia [1], Mad TV reruns [2], and the Comedy Central Roasts after the one honoring Pamela Anderson)

Unlike most American TV networks, Comedy Central tends to run a given series in a given timeslot only until it runs out of new episodes, then rotate in something else until that runs out of new episodes. Only the news(ish?) shows, South Park, and Futurama are exempt from this.

The Comedy Central "brand" is also used for Viacom comedy channels in New Zealand and much of Europe. In the UK and Ireland it's a recent renaming for the station formerly known as Paramount Comedy. (Incidentally, it's one of the few UK networks that are their US counterpart In Name Only- the bulk of the US network's original programming usually finds itself on other channels first, if they make it to Comedy Central at all.)

Notable original shows include:

  1. though that show is now treated as an Old Shame and Mencia himself is the butt of many jokes
  2. especially by viewers who were used to seeing Saturday Night Live reruns on Comedy Central