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Comedy Central
Comedy Central UK.svg
Launched 1 November 1995
Owned by Paramount UK Partnership
(Paramount British Pictures/British Sky Broadcasting)
Picture format 4:3, 576i (SDTV)
Audience share UK 0.4% (0.2% for +1)
Ireland 1.1% (0.5% for +1) (August 2009, [1][2])
Formerly called The Paramount Channel
(until 1996)
Paramount Comedy Channel
(until July 2002)
Paramount Comedy
(until 1 September 1997, and January 2005)
Paramount Comedy 1
(until 6 April 2009)
Sister channel(s) Comedy Central Extra
Timeshift service Comedy Central +1
Sky Digital Channel 126
Channel 127 (+1)
Virgin Media Channel 132
Channel 133 (+1)
UPC Ireland Channel 127
Channel 128 (+1)
TalkTalk TV Channel 25

Comedy Central in the UK, Malta and the Republic of Ireland is a localised version of Comedy Central which first began in America in the 1990s. The television channel shown in the United Kingdom and Ireland, available through Sky Digital, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV, UPC Ireland and Magnet Networks. The channel's programming concentrates solely on comedy. However, it was not the first all-comedy channel in the UK; that distinction goes to The Comedy Channel, which had closed some years earlier.

The channel was rebranded from Paramount Comedy 1, to Comedy Central at 21:00 BST on 6 April 2009.



The original schedule was a mixture of comedy and drama, including such eclectic offerings as Beauty and the Beast, several anime productions acquired from Manga Entertainment, and authentic Paramount archive programming like The Magician. The drama shows were later dropped and the schedule became 100% comedy, hence the change of name to the Paramount Comedy Channel on 1 September 1997. The 'Channel' part of the name was dropped on 1 July 2002.

It originally aired every evening after Nickelodeon UK's closing at 7pm until around 4am, with a testcard featuring a chicken crossing the road and holding up traffic airing during downtime until Nickelodeon started up at 6am.

The introduction of Sky Digital brought greater space for channels on the network and allowed it to become a channel independent of Nickelodeon. The channel continued broadcasting from 7 p.m. until 4 February 2001 when it launched a daytime lineup and moved its startup time to 9 a.m.[3]

UPC Ireland still provides Comedy Central after Nickelodeon at 7pm on analogue cable, however both are available in full on their digital service.

Logo used until April 2009.

2009 rebrand

On 17 February 2009, it was announced that both Paramount Comedy 1 and Paramount Comedy 2 would be rebranded as Comedy Central and Comedy Central Extra on 6 April 2009 at 21:00. [4] The name change coincided with the launch of a new programming lineup which included new episodes of Two and a Half Men, Scrubs, The Office, The Sarah Silverman Program and South Park where they air new episodes about 1 week after they first air in the US.

Other channels

After no longer having to timeshare with Nickelodeon, the station increased its broadcasting hours, and was joined by Paramount Comedy 2 (later rebranded as Comedy Central Extra) on 1 September 2003.

A one hour timeshift, Paramount Comedy 1 +1 was launched on Sky Digital channel 127, on 30 August 2005 and Virgin Media channel 133.

A second timeshift, Paramount Comedy 2 +1 was launched on Sky Digital channel 159, on 5 November 2007.

Comedy Central (Ireland)

Comedy Central is a channel available in Ireland via satellite service Sky Digital and cable services UPC Ireland, SCTV, Magnet Networks among other digital television providers. It belongs to the Viacom group. Launched in May 2006, the channel provides Irish advertisements and sponsorship. The channel was rebranded from Paramount Comedy Ireland on 6 April 2009.

Shows on Comedy Central

Comedy Central is well known for bringing popular American shows to the UK, such as Everybody Loves Raymond, Frasier, Scrubs, King of Queens, Two and a Half Men and Everybody Hates Chris. It also shows cult comedy show South Park and in the past aired others such as Trailer Park Boys, Happy Tree Friends, Drawn Together, Burberry , and Seinfeld.

The channel prides itself on its stand up content with 40% of all programming on Comedy Central being stand up with talent such as Lee Evans, Jack Dee and Al Murray. This wide array of programming (which is also reflected in live events supported by the channel: Edinburgh and Beyond, Comedy on Tap and Paramount Comedy Festival, Brighton)[5] attracted Magners Irish Cider as a sponsor of all stand up content on Comedy Central and their live events.

Comedy Central also prides itself on supporting new comedy talent. The channel was instrumental in the early careers of comedic talent such as Sacha Baron Cohen, Dom Joly, Matt Lucas and David Walliams. More recently the channel has been involved in commission a strand called Shotcuts, an on-air and online venture to promote new comedic talent.

In the past it has frequently had a large back catalogue of Channel 4 comedies in its schedule, such as Father Ted, Spaced, Drop the Dead Donkey and Paul Merton: The Series, and some BBC classics such as The Young Ones, Monty Python's Flying Circus and Not the Nine O'Clock News. Some of these programmes continue to air, and recent acquisitions include Not Going Out and The Kenny Everett Television Show.

Comedy Central currently shows new episodes of Two and a Half Men, Scrubs, The Sarah Silverman Program, The Office: An American Workplace, Everybody Hates Chris and South Park.


The channel frequently airs weekend marathons which consist of one or two shows being on-air for the majority of the day. The marathons often contain loose themes and are on occasion sponsored, such as the "He Ain't Funny, He's My Brother" marathon which ran on the night of 24 November 2007. This night consisted of episodes from shows with a strong brother relationship theme and was sponsored by the film The Darjeeling Limited to promote its nationwide release.


Comedy Central also shows movies. These include South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Dumb and Dumber, The Mask, White Chicks, Scary Movie 3 and 13 Going On 30.

The Channel has begun showing a movie once a week

See also


External links


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