Art Bell is best known for creating and building HBO’s The Comedy Channel, which went on to become Comedy Central. In 1988, Art was a a young, mid-level employee who came up with a new idea—a television channel exclusively focused on comedy. He pitched the idea to the chairman of HBO and the station would soon become Comedy Central, with celebrated programs like South Park, Chapelle’s Show, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report, was born.
Art’s has written a memoir. In the book Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor he takes readers 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 United States. From disastrous pitch meetings with comedians to the discovery of talents like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, this intimate biography peers behind the curtain and reveals what it’s really like to work, struggle, and ultimately succeed at the cutting edge of show business.
Mike and Art cover a ton of great stuff in this episode like how he got the meeting to pitch an all comedy channel at HBO, what prompted him to choose comedy, why comedy is about getting close to being in trouble, comparisons between comedy talent and entrepreneurs, his parents reminding him that TV wasn’t a viable career option, the advantages of giving your opinion in a room with powerful people, and much more.
And now here’s Art Bell.
Art Bell’s Memoir available on Amazon.com: Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor
Art Bell’s Podcast Constant Comedy The Constant Comedy Podcast Is Live! (vinniefavale.com)
Michael Fuchs, HBO Executive: Michael Fuchs on the HBO programming philosophy – TelevisionAcademy.com/Interviews – YouTube
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