Ha! (TV channel)

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HA logo 1990.png
One of the examples of the various designs of the Ha! logo. Designed by Noel Frankel, Fred/Alan, Inc., New York. (This version illustrated by Lou Brooks).
Launched April 1, 1990
Closed April 1, 1991
Owned by Viacom
Replaced by Comedy Central

Ha!, owned by Viacom, was one of the first American all-comedy channels available to basic cable subscribers. Launched on April 1, 1990 at 7 p.m. ET,[1] it competed with another startup comedy-oriented cable channel, HBO-owned The Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central).


Unlike The Comedy Channel, which focused on stand-up comedy specials and clips of classic comedy feature films, Ha!'s programming centered largely on acquired off-network situation comedies from the 1950s to the 1970s. Some cable providers, particularly those owned by Viacom or Cablevision, carried the channel under a channel-share agreement in which it would be aired on the same channel space as fellow Viacom-owned cable network VH1; Ha! would air for half of the day, with the channel turning over to VH1 afterward.[2] Programing included Caesar's Hour, in half-hour segments with Sid Caesar intros, The Steve Allen Show, also edited to half-hour with 1990 reflections taped by Allen, You Bet Your Life, The Jack Benny Program, Candid Camera; 1960-67 CBS network prime time version, The Phil Silvers Show, and Car 54, Where Are You?.

Ha! and Comedy Channel merge to create Comedy Central[edit]

In 1990, Ha! and Comedy Channel agreed to merge to create CTV: The Comedy Network, which began airing on April 1, 1991;[3] prior to the merger, both channels each had fewer than 10 million subscribers. Because of confusion and possible legal issues with the Canadian-based CTV network, the name of the network was subsequently changed to Comedy Central.


  1. ^ Jim Sullivan, Globe Staff. "Cable Comedy: No Laughing Matter", The Boston Globe, March 30, 1990. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  2. ^ Ernest Tucker. "The comedy cable clash // Who will laugh last?", Chicago Sun-Times, April 1, 1990. Retrieved March 2, 2011 from HighBeam Research.
  3. ^ 2 Comedy Channels Will Merge, The New York Times, December 19, 1990.