Comedy Central is a cable television network created in 1991, with the merger of two cable channels devoted to comedy-based programming, Time Warner's The Comedy Channel, which was launched in 1989 by HBO and MTV spinoff Ha!, which Viacom launched in 1990. Time Warner and Viacom would each own 50 percent of Comedy Central until May 22, 2003, when Viacom completed the buyout of its partner's stake in Comedy Central.
The Comedy Channel
This was the original debut of the comedy television network, owned by Time Warner (through HBO), that ran for seventeen months from November 15, 1989 to April 1, 1991; it merged with Viacom's Ha!: The TV Comedy Network to replace CTV: The Comedy Network in 1991.
Ha!: The TV Comedy Network
This was the second original debut of the comedy television network, owned by Viacom, that ran for one year from April 1, 1990 to April 1, 1991; it merged with HBO's The Comedy Channel to replace CTV: The Comedy Network in 1991, but due to confusion with a Canadian network called "CTV".
Like the logos of sister networks Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite at the time, which were also designed by Fred/Alan, Inc., Ha!'s logo utilized various different backgrounds, centered around the same design; most of the logos featured various live-action people or animated characters laughing within the logo.
CTV: The Comedy Network
When The Comedy Channel (owned by Time Warner) and Ha! (owned by Viacom) were both replaced, CTV: The Comedy Network debuted on April 1, 1991, but due to confusion with a Canadian network called "CTV", the channel was renamed "Comedy Central" two months later.
On May 1, 1992, Comedy Central began putting print logos on their products. The new Comedy Central logo, still rendered in 2D, was shown in different color patterns. This logo became the network's new on-air look in 1995, which was produced by PMcD Design.
In August 13, 1997, the logo was slightly redesigned to give it a more smoother look; most notably, the small hyphen (-) from the "COMEDY CENTRAL" marquee was removed. This logo was designed by H-Gun Labs. This logo debuted at the end of the first episode of South Park.
White version of the logo.
Comedy Central started using a new logo on November 13, 2000. This was the first major redesign for the network, and it removed the transmitter from the channel logo. The transmitter was said to "communicate the 1950s broadcast era" by network management. A new graphics package for the network was developed by Imaginary Forces. Like the previous logo, this logo could be seen in many different color variations (as seen below).
Comedy Central visual identity was overhauled in 2004, leaving the bright and slick animations behind for a more urban feel. The new graphics were heavily inspired by pop art and street art, which features prominently. The new look was created by INTERspectacular.
This variation is used as the on-screen bug for the network.
On December 9, 2010, a completely new logo for Comedy Central was revealed in New York. The new logo officially made its debut on January 1, 2011. The new logo centers on two Cs, one which is inside the other which is reversed; that portion of the logo, nicknamed the "Comedymark", closely resembles a copyright symbol. The network name is displayed in mixed positions, with the word "Comedy" right side-up and the word "Central" flipped upside-down. New York design company The Lab was the design agency which worked with Comedy Central for the new look. A new style for graphics and promos had slowly been introduced starting a few months earlier and features straight typography on clean backgrounds.
This logo came in fourth in the 2010 Brand New Awards.