Comedy Central Turns 30! New Podcast Reveals Early Days of the Comedy Network Startup

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the network’s launch, former Comedy Central executives Art Bell and Vinnie Favale are pulling the curtain back on the channel’s tumultuous early days in their new show, “The Constant Comedy Podcast.”

The debut season will consist of 12 60-minute episodes airing weekly starting Thursday, April 1, 2021. The first two episodes of “The Constant Comedy Podcast” are available for review upon request.

Drawing from their rich history in comedy, Bell and Favale will talk about comedy with the people who write and perform it. Guests confirmed to appear on the show include comedian and actor Jonathan Katz (Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist), comedy writer Nick Bakay (voice of Salem the cat in Sabrina the Teenage Witch), five-time Emmy Award-winning writer, director, and producer Bill Persky (The Dick Van Dyke Show, That Girl), producer Laurie Zaks (president of television at Mandeville Films and creator/producer of Castle), producer Scott Carter (Politically Incorrect, Real Time with Bill Maher), and writer-producer Betsy Borns (Friends, Roseanne, All of Us).

Based on Bell’s award-winning and bestselling memoir, Constant Comedy (Ulysses Press), “The Constant Comedy Podcast” will look at the wide world of comedy, both past and present, as well as take listeners behind the scenes into the comedy startup on its way to becoming one of the most successful and creative purveyors of popular culture in the US.

In 1988, a young, mid-level employee named Art Bell pitched a novel concept—a television channel focused on just one thing: comedy—to the chairman of HBO, Michael Fuchs. Vinnie Favale came on board shortly after and, together with a team of seasoned cable network executives, they launched The Comedy Channel on November 15th, 1989. The station would later merge with MTV’s competing comedy network, HA!, and Comedy Central was born.

Although The Comedy Channel was short lived, it was the launching pad for the critically acclaimed Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and helped initiate the national standup comedy boom of the 90s.

The podcast will delve deeper into the stories shared in Bell’s memoir, Constant Comedy. From disastrous pitch meetings with comedians to the discovery of talents like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, Bell’s intimate account peers behind the curtain and reveals what it’s really like to work, struggle, and ultimately succeed at the cutting edge of show business.

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