Comedy Central Records

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Comedy Central Records
Comedy Central Records.jpg
Parent company Viacom
Founded 2002; 15 years ago (2002)
Founder Jack Vaughn Jr.
Distributor(s) Alternative Distribution Alliance
Genre Comedy
Country of origin United States
Location New York City, New York, U.S.
Official website Comedy Central Records

Comedy Central Records is a multi-Grammy Award winning independent record label based in New York and owned by Viacom. The label specializes in stand-up comedy albums and is distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

The label has released albums from artists such as Aziz Ansari, Louis C.K., Amy Schumer and Kevin Hart. As of December 2016, Comedy Central Records has put out over 200 albums.

History[edit]

(2002 – 2006)

Comedy Central Records was founded in 2002 by American multi-Grammy winning record and television producer, Jack Vaughn Jr. along with Comedy Central.

The first release under the label was Comedy Central's "Crank Yankers," an uncensored album featuring human-like puppets voiced by comedic talent such as Adam Carolla, Jimmy Kimmel, Sarah Silverman and Fred Armisen, making off-color crank calls to one another. Upon its release, the album sold more than 80,000 copies, prompting network executives to release three more volumes of calls, including "The Best Uncensored Crank Calls, Vol. 2" and the two part "The Best Crank Calls."

In the early years, the label signed talent such as Dave Attell, Daniel Tosh, Dane Cook, Lewis Black and Mitch Hedberg to record deals. Their early releases included Daniel Tosh’s “True Stories I Made Up” (RIAA-certified Gold) and Dane Cook’s “Harmful if Swallowed” and “Retaliation” (RIAA-certified Platinum and 2x Platinum, respectively).

(2007 – 2011)

Comedy Central Records received its first Grammy Award nomination in 2006 for "Lewis Black: Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues" and won its first Grammy a year later for "Lewis Black: The Carnegie Hall Performance." The label also received Grammy nominations for albums from Steven Wright, Stephen Colbert and George Lopez, and won Grammy’s for "A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All!" as well as “Lewis Black: Stark Raving Black.” Other notable releases during this period include the platinum-selling, “Jim Gaffigan: King Baby” and “Demetri Martin. Person.”, the follow up album to the RIAA-certified Gold, “Demetri Martin: These are Jokes.”

Dane Cook continued to be one of the label’s biggest names during this time, with his 2007 release, “Rough Around The Edges: Live From Madison Square Garden” debuting at #11 on US Charts and selling 90,000 copies in its first week. Two years later, the label released “Dane Cook: Isolated Incident,” with Cook opting to tape this album in front of a smaller crowd of 400 at The Laugh Factory in Los Angeles. Dane Cook’s greatest hits album “I Did My Best,” was released on the label in 2010.

Comedy Central Records posthumously released Mitch Hedberg’s “Do You Believe in Gosh?” in 2008. The album was recorded just two months before the comedian’s death in 2005.

(2012 – 2017)

After ten years with Comedy Central Records, Jack Vaughn departed in 2012. Steve Raizes and David Derrick, who were at the time overseeing other businesses within Comedy Central Consumer Products, assumed label management.

The label continued to receive critical acclaim for its top performing talent, including a Grammy win for “Louis C.K: Hilarious” in 2012, and nominations for “Lewis Black: In God We Rust” in 2013, and “Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time” and “Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed” in 2014.

Dara Frank, who oversaw production and creative direction for the team began signing new artists to the label in 2015 such as Liza Treyger, Andrew Santino, Sam Morril, Randy Liedtke, Joe List and Michelle Buteau. In 2016 she was promoted to oversee the business.

In 2016, the label partnered with Milan Records, Matt FX, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Comedy Central’s Broad City to produce and distribute the original soundtrack for the television show, featuring never before released songs and original artwork by Mike Perry.

That same year, Comedy Central Records released "Mitch Hedberg: The Complete Vinyl Collection.” The box set was a joint effort with Producer, Michael Slaboch and the late comedian’s wife, Lynn Shawcroft who served as an Executive Producer. The collection included never before heard recordings, bonus videos, and a book of rare photos and essays.

Since 2012, the label has released over 100 albums, including releases from Maria Bamford, Chris Hardwick, Marc Maron, Aziz Ansari and Hannibal Buress.

RIAA Certifications[edit]

Artist Album Award Format
Dane Cook Harmful If Swallowed Gold Album
Platinum Album
Retaliation Gold Album
Platinum Album
2x Platinum Album
Rough Around The Edges Gold Album
Nick Swardson Party Gold Video Longform
Platinum Video Longform
Daniel Tosh True Stories I Made Up Gold Video Longform
Happy Thoughts Gold Video Longform
Bo Burnham Bo Burnham Gold Video Longform
Demetri Martin These Are Jokes Gold Video Longform
Jim Gaffigan Doing My Time Gold Video Longform

Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album[edit]

Year Artist Album Result Ref
2006 Lewis Black Luther Burbank Performing Arts Center Blues Nominated No
2007 Lewis Black The Carnegie Hall Performance Won No
2008 Steven Wright I Still Have a Pony Nominated [1]
George Lopez America's Mexican Nominated [1]
2009 Lewis Black Anticipation Nominated [2]
2010 Stephen Colbert A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift of All! Won [3]
George Lopez Tall, Dark & Chicano Nominated No
2011 Lewis Black Stark Raving Black Won [4]
2012 Louis C.K. Hilarious Won [5]
Patton Oswalt Finest Hour Nominated [5]
2013 Jim Gaffigan Mr. Universe Nominated No
Lewis Black In God We Rust Nominated No
2014 Jim Gaffigan Obsessed Nominated No
Patton Oswald Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time Nominated No

Discography[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]