Comedy Central Records is a record label founded by Jack Vaughn Jr. and Comedy Central (part of Viacom's MTV Networks) that puts out comedy albums by comedians that have appeared on their network.
The Label is distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance / Warner Music Group.
Comedy Central Records was founded in 2002 by producer Jack Vaughn whom along with Comedy Central had hopes to revive the comedy album.
Attitudes to stand-up began to change in 2002 when the channel released an uncensored CD of the network's program "Crank Yankers," which features various human-like puppets making off-color crank calls to one another. The CD ended up selling more than 80,000 copies, turning a nice profit for the network—and started network management thinking about signing their talent to record deals. Since 2002, Comedy Central Records has gradually increased the number of releases to about 10 a year. The low number limits risk. "We make money on 80% to 90% of our releases," Mr. Vaughn says, noting that most new releases in the music industry lose money. The label's biggest hit so far is Dane Cook's "Retaliation," which opened at No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200, the best comedy debut since Steve Martin's "A Wild and Crazy Guy" in 1978. The album has since gone platinum with total sales of nearly 650,000, according to SoundScan.
Since its debut the label has seen sides of both financial and critical acclaim, with releases from Dane Cook, Mitch Hedberg, Jim Gaffigan, Bo Burnham, Lewis Black, Nick Swardson, and Louis C.K. holding spots on the Billboard 200. Along with Grammy wins from Lewis Black and Stephen Colbert
Starting in 2007, the label has been releasing albums exclusively through digital music vendors such as iTunes, and Rhapsody as a way to give lesser known comedians exposure with little risk to the label. Comedians whose albums have been released this way are Josh Sneed, Anthony Jeselnik, Greg Warren, Todd Glass, and Matt Braunger.
Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album