Comedy Central Launches Twitter-Based #ComedyFest

Microblogging service continues push for media dominance

Next week, Comedy Central will hold a five-day comedy festival that will take place almost entirely on Twitter, according to The New York Times. The partnership between Twitter and Viacom-owned Comedy Central is one of a number of planned deals that mark the microblogging service's push toward media dominance.

A group of comedians including Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and director Paul Feig, among others, will post six-second, looping video clips on Vine and tweet jokes using the hashtag #ComedyFest.

As part of the deal, Comedy Central plans to introduce a free, ad-supported app called "CC: Stand-Up" that will host video snippets of comedy routines, in the style of a cable channel. The app will include a "recommended" engine that will suggest new, similar comedians to users.

Twitter has been making moves to promote user interaction with TV content on its site. Last week, Twitter struck a content-sharing deal with BBC America, and the social media company has been in talks with NBCUniversal and Viacom about providing users direct access to video content.

The #ComedyFest partnership is also an indication that Viacom is evolving to embrace new media, acknowledging the fact that many of its viewers now watch content online. "One of these days we will be ambivalent about where people watch Comedy Central," Steve Grimes, Comedy Central's svp for programming and multiplatform strategy, told the Times.

Twitter will kick off the #ComedyFest Monday with a live stream of a panel discussion featuring Judd Apatow, Brooks and Reiner at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles.

If Twitter is smart, it will implement a Taco Bell-esque negative sentiment filter for the #ComedyFest hashtag because the Twitter masses will undoubtedly abuse it.