Constant Comedy by Art Bell

Constant Comedy

By Art Bell

Discover the riveting, hilarious true story of the birth of Comedy Central in what New York Times bestselling author, Dan Lyons, calls the “funniest behind-the-scenes memoir I’ve ever read, full of crazy characters, plot twists, and suspense.”


Award-Winning Finalist in the Narrative: Non-Fiction category of the 2020 Best Book Awards sponsored by American Book Fest


In 1988, a young, mid-level employee named Art Bell pitched a novel concept—a television channel focused 100% on just one thing: comedy—to the chairman of HBO. The station that would soon become Comedy Central, with celebrated programs like South Park, Chapelle’s Show, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report, was born.


Constant Comedy takes readers behind the scenes into the comedy startup on its way to becoming one of the most successful and creative purveyors of popular culture in the United States. From disastrous pitch meetings with comedians to the discovery of talents like Bill Maher and Jon Stewart, this intimate biography peers behind the curtain and reveals what it’s really like to work, struggle, and ultimately succeed at the cutting edge of show business.

Art Bell

Art Bell

Art Bell is a former media executive best known for creating, building, and managing successful cable television channels. While working at HBO he pitched the idea of a 24-hour comedy network which he helped develop and launch. Art went on to hold senior executive positions in both programming and marketing at Comedy Central. During that time he also coauthored a humor book entitled Web Sightings: A Collection of Websites We’d Like to See. After leaving Comedy Central, Art became President of Court TV, where he was a guiding force behind one of the most successful brand evolutions in cable television. In addition to writing, he plays piano and jazz drums. Art Bell currently resides in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Deer Valley, Utah, with his wife. Find out more about Art Bell at

Read more
Released: September 2020
Price: $24.95

ISBN-10: 1646040899
ISBN-13: 9781646040896

6" x 9"
320 pages

Rights Available:

To interview our authors, review our books, or obtain publicity material, please contact the Ulysses Press Publicity Department


Wholesale Orders: To order books in bulk from Simon & Schuster, please visit our Wholesale Ordering page

Praise for Constant Comedy


“Buy this book. Right now. Don’t even finish reading this blurb. Just walk to the counter and buy the book. Constant Comedy is the funniest behind-the-scenes memoir I’ve ever read, full of crazy characters, plot twists, and suspense. It’s the story of how Art Bell built Comedy Central into one of cable TV’s most successful channels, which meant dealing with insane comedians and even more insane TV executives in a rough-and-tumble workplace. Somehow he made it all work. Did I mention that this book is funny?”Dan Lyons, New York Times bestselling author of Disrupted


“As comedy writers know, the rarest of all creatures is the comedy exec who’s actually funny. Art Bell is funny as hell, he understands comedy, and that’s why Comedy Central was born and why it thrived. Constant Comedy is a great, fun read.”Michael Weithorn, Creator and Executive Producer of The King of Queens


“Launching a comedy channel isn’t all laughs, and now former media exec Art Bell has written the book to prove it.” Cablefax


“Bell’s book mixes humor, yes, with nostalgia and the sort of insider view that make show biz memoirs so fun.” – Forbes


Read a sample of Constant Comedy:


Adventures in Old New York

Uncover fascinating, little-known histories of New York City's five boroughs in The Bowery Boys' official companion to their wildly popular, award-winning podcast It was 2007. Sitting at a kitchen table and speaking into an old karaoke microphone, Greg Young and Tom Meyers recorded their first podcast. They weren't history professors or

Learn more
New release

Get the Ulysses Press Newsletter

Ulysses Press uses Google Analytics. If you would like to opt out of GA data tracking you can here. Click here to opt-out.