“Why would anyone need a twenty-four-hour-a-day comedy channel?”
In 1988, young, mid-level HBO employee Art Bell was not about to let this skepticism from one top executive stop him from creating what he believed to be the next big thing in cable television: a channel devoted 100% to comedy. Armed only with his concept and chutzpah, he walked into a meeting with the chairman of HBO.
Thus began his journey to founding the channel that would ultimately become Comedy Central—one of the most successful and creative purveyors of popular culture in the United States.
In his new memoir, Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor, Bell takes readers behind the scenes into the comedy startup’s journey and the preposterous, hilarious, often heartbreaking challenges he met every step of the way. From hair-raising pitch meetings with comedians to the rewards of working with new, young talents like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, Constant Comedy reveals the exhaustive range of hurdles that Bell, as an intrapreneur, and his colleagues had to navigate in order to bring laughter to America around the clock.
The biggest challenge? Making sure it was funny. And a comedy channel with no laughs isn’t likely to impress the corporate executives who had the power to pull the plug on the channel at any time.
Indeed, Constant Comedy provides a fascinating, up-close look at what goes on in the big corner offices where serious decisions about the business of comedy are made. Far from funny, the ongoing chain of seemingly arbitrary firings and the cold-blooded shuffling around of people, combined with the tension of sky-high expectations for immediate success create an atmosphere where anybody can easily lose their sense of humor.
Join us for a night of humor and insight with Art Bell. Moderated by Ron Nobles, MHS teacher and stand up comic!
|Dates:||January 27, 2021|
|Time:||7:00 – 8:15 PM|