Logo descriptions by James Fabiano, Matt Williams, and BenderRoblox 'Logo captures by WyraachUr, V of Doom, 'BenderRoblox, wolfie14,' 'superpooper180, and Logoboy95 Editions by mr3urious, WyraachUr, BenderRoblox, and Jonathan Hendricks
Background: Before the name "Comedy Central" existed, the network was owned by an outfit called "Comedy Partners" founded by none other than Viacom, Inc. and Warner Communications(later Time Warner). Time Warner's HBO unit had expanded into basic cable with a channel called "The Comedy Channel". Similarly, Viacom was operating "Ha! TV Comedy Network". After both channels took a hit, the two compromised and created a jointly-owned company as "Comedy Partners", merging both channels into "CTV: The Comedy Network", but later renamed it to "Comedy Central" in order to save confusion from Canada's CTV network. In April 2003, Time Warner sold their half of Comedy Partners for $1.23 billion, resulting in Viacom owning 100% of Comedy Central and the network was made part of the MTV Networks.
1st Logo (June 1, 1991-March 25, 1995)
Nicknames: "The Tires", "The Tire Junkyard"
Logo: The Comedy Central globe of the era (which does not tilt to the side, has yellow text, and a heliotrope top) is posed on the background of several, rusty tires on a junkyard. The "COMEDY-CENTRAL" marquee spins around from time to time.
Variant: There is a variation of the logo where the background consists of a tire in extreme close-up and the Comedy Central logo appears smaller.
FX/SFX: The "COMEDY-CENTRAL" marquee spinning around.
Cheesy Factor: On the alternate variant, there is a hideous white outline around the logo.
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Penn Jillette saying, "This has been a presentation from Comedy Central!".
Availability: Uncommon. It's seen on the CC-era of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) up to the sixth season. Can also be found on DVD releases of the said show. Also seen on several Comedy Central shows from the era.
Scare Factor: Low. Penn's loud, bombastic voice might startle some, however it's better than the Comedy Channel logo .
2nd Logo (March 25, 1995-June 5, 1996) Nicknames: "Comedy Central on the Moon", "Building Earthquake"
Logo: Up against a black background, we see the normal 1995 Comedy Central globe from the era emitting blue circles with cheesy drawings of buildings below that move around and a huge moon to the left showing a reverse version of the Comedy Central globe spinning rapidly.
Trivia: Comedy Central's logo was slightly revamped with the logo titled and many different colors.
Variant: On season seven of MST3K, the logo fades in and is silent.
FX/SFX: The Comedy Central logo on the moon spinning and the Comedy Central logo emitting blue circles.
Cheesy Factor: Alright, what is going on here? Why are the buildings moving around like mad crazy, and is that thing behind the buildings really a moon, or a globe with buildings (actually the logo) spinning?
Music/Sounds/Voice-over: Penn Jillette says: "This has been a presentation from Comedy Central" along with the network's generic tune playing throughout (Some drums playing against whistling), and ending with a man shouting "HEY!". Availability: Seen on seasons one and two of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist on DVD and VHS, and season seven of MST3K on DVD and VHS.
Scare Factor: Low to high. The jarring appearance and the man shouting "HEY!" might startle some. None for the MST3K variant.
3rd Logo (June 5, 1996-June 1, 1997)
Nicknames: "The ATM", "Comedy Central ATM"
Logo: It begins with a shot of a credit card being inserted into what is presumably an ATM. It then switches to a shot of an ATM screen, whose text, in green, is being "drawn" down from top to bottom and in a computer-type font. The text reads "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF:", followed by the Comedy Central logo (in green, and with the logo tilted to its side with the name written in a different font), and then "THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE" appears under the logo. The last line "blinks" a few times, becoming highlighted in green with the text in black. Variant: An interesting edit exists on the first three episodes of South Park and on Comedy Central Presents episodes where the "credit card" animation was kept in, the screen in the ATM was cut because it was abruptly switched to the 4th logo.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The credit card being inserted, which appears to be live-action, and the ATM screen, which is CGI. The added copyright date and URL on the Internet versions poorly blend in with the rest of the logo.
Music/Sounds: The whirring of the credit card being inserted and the "beeping" sounds, like a real ATM.
Availability: Uncommon. It's seen on Comedy Central shows of the period. Preserved on DVDs and VHS tapes of early South Park episodes along with season three and four of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. The credit card animation was still retained on some early episodes of Win Ben Stein's Moneywhen it was aired on GSN. Scare Factor: Minimal.
4th Logo (June 1, 1997-January 1, 1999)
Nicknames: "The Transmitter", "Yellow Rings"
Logo: On a background with wavy blue and gray lines, a slightly revamped version of the Comedy Central logo appears at the bottom (in blue and yellow), at first distorted, but quickly sharpening up. The transmitter on the top of the logo "activates" and then many yellow "this has been a presentation of" rings begin to emerge from the transmitter. A white copyright stamp is shown below, among with the "comedycentral.com" URL.
Trivia: Comedy Central's logo was slightly redesigned during this period, to give it a more smoother look; most notably, the small hyphen ( - ) from the "COMEDY CENTRAL" marquee was removed.
Variant: Sometimes the logo has no copyright stamp; only the URL in black. South Parkepisodes that did not have it were later added below on the southparkstudios.com versions. FX/SFX: The "transmitter" effects. This was done by H-Gun Studios in Chicago, IL.
Music/Sounds: An "interference" sound followed by loud synth "bong" sounds as the "rings" come out from the transmitter, or the closing theme of the show.
Availability: Common. It first appeared on the first episode of South Park as part of the variant for the previous logo. Preserved on recent showing of early episodes of South Park on Comedy Central and the South Park Studios website along with DVDs. Unfortunately, compressed credits prevent it from being seen the way it was meant to be. Preserved on DVDs and VHS tapes of season five and the first six episodes of season six of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist. Preserved on Comedy Central Presents episodes from the era, although the first episode is plastered by the sixth logo.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The loud synth "bong" variant may get to some. None for the variant with the ending theme of a certain show. This was/is a favorite of many.
5th Logo (January 1 1999-May 31, 2000, February 13, 2002)
Nicknames: "The Bubbles", "Comedy Central Aura"
Logo: On a background with what looks like bubbles floating around, the Comedy Central logo, now in white, zooms-in from the center of the screen, glowing. Above it is "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF...", and below it is the copyright stamp for the show (usually © [YEAR] Comedy Partners, Inc. All Rights Reserved). This logo has five different color palettes:
- Silver background with red and silver bubbles.
- Blue background with dark blue bubbles.
- Green background with green and dark green bubbles.
- Red background with dark red bubbles.
- Urobilin background with urobilin bubbles.
- On South Park episodes on Comedy Central with compressed credits, the "zooming-in" portion of the logo is removed.
- In later years, the URL "www.comedycentral.com" was seen at the bottom.
- A copyright stamp was added on the South Park episodes shown at "southparkstudios.com".
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: Well, the zoom-in looks lame, as does the logo.
Music/Sounds: A low "WHOOSH" as the logo zooms in, followed by a hip hop and techno drum fanfare, a techno theme, or the closing theme of the show.
Music/Sounds Variant: On Comedy Central Presents, the last part of the RickMill Productions logo theme plays over the logo.
Availability: The silver/red/silver, blue/dark blue, green/green/dark green and red/dark red ones are uncommon, the yellow one is rare. First seen on Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Jerry Stiller and last seen on the Dr. Katz, Professional Thearapist episode "Lerapy". The airings of South Park episodes from this era on Comedy Central have the blue logo, albeit compressed and with the first variant for the logo, however it is completely preserved on southparkstudios.com. Nearly all of the colors can be found on DVDs of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist episodes from the era. It also appeared on Craig Kilborn/early Jon Stewart-era The Daily Show episodes and Comedy Central Presents episodes from the era.
Scare Factor: Minimal to low. The sudden appearance of the logo might startle some.
6th Logo (June 1 2000-January 2004)
Logo: Over a shaded orange background, we see lots of yellow circles zooming toward the viewer. The circles have zooms-up bits of the then-current Comedy Central logo (much like the original, but looking more abstract, with different buildings and a different font) and other text to be seen at the end product. When the circles are done, we are treated with the end product, the updated Comedy Central logo in the center with "THIS HAS BEEN A PRESENTATION OF" above in black, and "comedycentral.com" below, in white. There is a backdrop of circles zooming behind the logo.
Variant: On later seasons of South Park, this logo starts with the finished product on many episodes, bypassing the circles. A copyright stamp for Comedy Partners is included. A few episodes keep the animation as usual, but still have the copyright notice plastered over all the animation. The first variant also appeared on Comedy Central Presents.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: Pretty inspired animation with medium accuracy; nothing cheesy, but may make the viewer a bit dizzy. Music/Sounds: A bass sounder that loops itself, not unlike music heard on Comedy Central's commercial tags at the time.
Music/Sounds Variant: Sometimes, if the logo is plastering older Comedy Central logos, the original logo's audio will still be heard.
Availability: Common. It seen on programs from the time such as South Park and Comedy Central Presents. The audio variant could be heard on later prints of the un-aired South Park pilot.
Scare Factor: None. It can get a bit tiresome, but the colors are too bright to scare anyone.
7th Logo (2004- )
Logo: Just the in-credit text "This Has Been a Presentation of Comedy Central" with a copyright stamp below.
Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the show.
Availability: Seen on all recent Comedy Central originals.
Scare Factor: None.
8th Logo (2005-May 31, 2011)
Nickname: "The Ugliest Logo of All-Time"
Logo: Up against a lime green background, we see an extreme close-up of a white grunge-like Comedy Central logo with the circles in the letters "O" and "R" filled in, skewed to the right thatflashes a bit, then it suddenly cuts to a normal version of the logo next to a green, white, and blue cloud with the text "PRODUCTIONS" in a grunge-like font with all circles filled in. A copyright stamp with the year of the South Park episode next to it appears below in white. FX/SFX: None.
Cheesy Factor: The logo looks like a cardboard cut-out, similar to South Park'sanimation. Music/Sounds: A bad guitar tune. Availability: Rare. It used to be seen on syndicated reruns of South Park among other Comedy Central shows such as The Sarah Silverman Show, but it has been deleted on most syndication prints now. It is still used in the UK. Scare Factor: None, but it takes the crown from the Fox Video ugly tower for ugliest logo of all-time.
9th Logo (June 1, 2011- )
Nicknames: "The Double C", "Rapid Zooming", "Boredom Central"
Logo: Up against a robin's egg blue background, the camera zooms into the upper right corner of the new Comedy Central logo that features a black letter "C" inside a bigger reverse black "C", revealing the white bold text "COMEDY CENTRAL" with the new logo in the upper right corner of the text. We zoom into the new logo, revealing the "COMEDY CENTRAL" text from before, however with the word "CENTRAL" backwards. The new Comedy Central logo squeezes into the middle of the text.
Trivia: Comedy Central introduced the new logo on December 10, 2010 and debuted it on January 1, 2011.
FX/SFX: The rapid zoom-ins.
Cheesy Factor: The logo looks more like a copyright symbol than anything else.
Music/Sounds: A cool rock tune.
Availability: Common. Seen on most new original programming by Comedy Central such as The Daily Show and Comedy Central Presents. Not used in the UK, however.
Scare Factor: Low. The rapid zoom-ins might startle some.
10th Logo (2012- )
Nicknames: "The Double C II", "Boredom Central II"
Logo: The "C" drawing, then the circle, "COMEDY" and "CENTRAL" appear and a copyright notice appears over a black screen.
FX/SFX: The logo appearing.
Cheesy Factor: Same as the previous logo.
Music/Sounds: A future synth note.
Availability: Brand new.
Scare Factor: None.