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Creator / 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 (launched by HBO) in the early 1990s (Viacom bought out Time Warner's 50-percent stake in 2003; while the network was still a joint venture, distribution rights to South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, based on what is now the network's flagship series South Park, was divided between Viacom subsidiary Paramount Pictures in North America and Time Warner subsidiary Warner Bros. internationally).

They tend to air a lot of comedy shows and films, ranging from stand-up showcases to sitcoms to Sketch Comedy series, and the network's own original programming are some of the best-known shows in the genre. As a result, Comedy Central is noted for being one of the few cable networks that have successfully avoided even coming close to Network Decay, at least partly because comedy is such a broad topic.

That being said, the network has come under fire for producing and airing shows that have been criticized for relying on shock value to be funny. note  As The New '10s continued, Comedy Central's original programming was noted to have broadened towards shows derived from quirky situations and politics, with other programs being aimed at females and minorities (without deriving from racial humor).

In 2020, coming off the re-merger between Viacom and CBS Corporation, the newly renamed ViacomCBS would begin to prioritize in-house productions and owned IP over programs produced by outside studios. Comedy Central would see a renewed interest in adult animation as a result, announcing revivals of MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head, a new Daria spin-off starring Jodie, and a reboot of Nickelodeon's The Ren & Stimpy Show. The network would also launch a new daytime animation block in March (originally dubbed Animation Contamination), currently featuring syndicated reruns of Futurama and The Cleveland Show. Consequentially, Comedy Central would decrease its scripted live-action slate, announcing the cancellations of Drunk History and Tosh.0, while other shows would picked up by rival streaming services.

International versions of Comedy Central have launched in New Zealand, Latin America, and much of Europe. In the U.K and Ireland, Paramount Comedy was relaunched as a local version of Comedy Central and, incidentally, is one of the few British networks that are In Name Only to their U.S counterpart; the bulk of Comedy Central's original programming usually finds itself on other channels first.

Beginning in 2019, Comedy Central content was added to the free streaming service Pluto TV.

The network also owns Comedy Central Records, which specializes in Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy.

     Live-Action TV 

     Western Animation 

Tropes exhibited by Comedy Central include:

  • Adored by the Network: South Park has always been this for the network since it premiered, to the point that most of the network's air-time is reruns of this show.
    • Reno 911!, Workaholics, and Broad City were all successful enough to be renewed for multiple seasons since they were very popular with critics and the hire-ups at the network, although Reno 911! ended up being cancelled before being revived by Quibi in 2020.
    • Chappelle's Show remains in reruns to this very day, despite being cancelled in 2006 and only lasting for 28 episodes.
    • Futurama used to be this for the network as well, as reruns of the shows were on the network starting in 2008, was renewed for two 26-episode seasons by the network, and remained in circulation on the network until 2021 where it shockingly went back to its original syndication home.
    • Mad TV, Scrubs, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia were this before the rights of MADtv and Always Sunny were expired and Scrubs seemingly vanished from the network, with sporadic returns every once in a blue moon.
    • And now the The Office (US), The Cleveland Show, and Parks and Recreation became daily stables for the network, especially The Office. These reruns have been popular enough that Comedy Central has since picked up the rights to more beloved sitcoms, including Friends, Seinfeld, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    • Tosh.0 was this for the longest time before being Screwed by the Network.
  • Animated Shock Comedy: Trope Codifier with their original series South Park. With the exception of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist and some syndicated series like The Critic and Duckman, almost all of their animated series are this, especially Drawn Together and Brickleberry.
  • Cash-Cow Franchise: South Park and The Daily Show are this for the network, as they practically staples of the network and are the longest-running, most watched, and most profitable shows on the network.
  • Channel Hop:
    • The network itself was originally owned between Viacom and Time Warner (now Paramount Global and WarnerMedia respectively) before Viacom bought out Time Warner's interest in 2003.
  • Darker and Edgier: Their comedies are much more edgier, risque, offensive, and politically-charged than the sitcoms on sister networks TV Land and Nick @ Nite.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Original programming was very scarce in the early years of the network and the network's identity isn't like it is today.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Most of their unsuccessful series from the 90s to the 2000s never saw the light of day on any form of media, making them incredibly hard to find even in bootleg form.
  • Screwed by the Network: Any show that are seen by the network as being dead-on-arrival are this.
    • TV Funhouse was cancelled because it was far too expensive for the network.
    • Any animated series not South Park are this. Only Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist survived being cancelled after two or three seasons.
    • Just about any series up until 2011 that premiered in the 10:30 timeslot on Wednesdays (after South Park) is this.
      • An amusing example is Big Lake. Its fate was revealed by Tosh.0's cancelled Comedy Central series gag ("We'll be right back with more...") before its first season even finished airing.
    • Comedy Central was not kind to King of the Hill when they picked it up. The series was giving scant promotion for its addition (contrast with The Cleveland Show which was heavily promoted) and episodes were often shown during the wee hours of the morning, when nobody would be awake. A year later, the network gave up the rights to the show and decided to make The Cleveland Show a permanent part of the schedule, despite that show having way less episodes and middling success at best.
    • Tosh.0 became this during the late years of its run, with almost all reruns being dumped to Pluto TV and airings on the network being relegated to only premiers. To make matters worse, the network scrapped a four-season renewal and instead cancelled the show on August 2020, a month before the twelfth and final season even aired.


Video Example(s):


Viewer call re-enactment

After South Park aired a "Terrance and Philip" special instead of resolving the cliffhanger of who Cartman's father, Comedy Central ran an ad that showed a fan who was extremely mad over it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / DearNegativeReader

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