Join us for a virtual reading with Art Bell, author of Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor, in conversation with Jim McCue on Thursday, September 24th at 6:30 PM CDT, 7:30 EDT.
** We will be gathering virtually on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89345540716?pwd=ZWxPZkxZM1FuTDlBbCtvejRFVnQvdz09
If you'd like to join and haven't used Zoom-- sign up for a free account and download Zoom prior to the meeting. It's pretty easy to get set up, but here's a linked video describing the process. **
In 1988, a mid-level HBO employee and comedy fan, Art Bell, was determined to give the world what it needed: a channel entirely devoted 24/7 to comedy. Starting a new television channel required millions of dollars and a plan. He had the plan. After numerous unsuccessful pitches, Art’s proposal for what would eventually become Comedy Central found its way to the chairman of HBO and, miraculously, got the green light. Constant Comedy is the riveting story of the birth and early years of one of cable television’s most successful channels, as told by the man who was there from the very beginning.
In this unique and funny memoir, Art pulls back the curtain on Comedy Central’s early days, awash in skeptical management, quirky comedians, and inexperience run wild. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to work in the television industry, this is your guide. As you’ll learn soon enough, the business of comedy is anything but funny.
Art Bell is a former media executive known for creating, building, and managing successful cable television channels. While working at HBO he pitched the idea of a 24-hour comedy network which he helped develop and launch. Art went on to hold senior executive positions in both programming and marketing at Comedy Central. During that time, he also coauthored a humor book entitled Web Sightings: A Collection of Websites We’d Like to See. After leaving Comedy Central, Art became President of Court TV, where he was a guiding force behind one of the most successful brand evolutions in cable television. Art Bell currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Deer Valley, Utah, with his wife. Find out more about Art Bell at Art Bell, Writer.
A mixture of witty “A-list material” and his ability to work off-script has earned Jim McCue the title “Boston’s King of Crowd Work!” Jim blends thought-provoking material and uncanny improv skills. Jim has been featured on Comedy Central, Comcast Comedy Spotlight, NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” and “Roughing It” on NESN in his native New England. Jim also founded and currently runs The Boston Comedy Festival. He works in top comedy clubs in Boston, Las Vegas, New York, Dublin, and Edinburgh. Since 2000 Jim has also entertained U.S. troops at more than 100 bases around the world. An account of his experiences performing for the troops has recently been published in Embedded Comedian which Jim describes as a “field manual for comedians in a war zone.”