Episode 320 - Art Bell - Innovation and the Founding of Comedy Central


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By Nick Palkowski, Steve Shallenberger: Successful Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Bestselling Author | Rob Shallenberger: Former Fighter Pilot, Executive Coach, and Corporate Trainer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

"Stop right there! That is a terrible idea, and I'm going to tell you why." Those were the words Art Bell heard from HBO's Head of Programming just a few seconds into pitching his idea of creating a comedy channel. In the following 15 minutes of that meeting, Art heard a long list of reasonable objections to his idea, and all of them made a lot of sense.

But Art had a vision; it wasn't only a crazy idea. He had a vision, and he was passionate about it, so he didn't stop there. Since HBO wasn't going to do it, he had to figure out how to put his comedy channel out there.

Our guest, Art Bell, is a Former TV Executive, Founder of the Comedy Channel -- which eventually became Comedy Central -- Podcast Host, and the Author of the memoir: "Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor."

Throughout this episode, Art shares details of how he created Comedy Central, the humbling experience of being told his idea was terrible, and the importance of his passion and vision to turn the odds around and make such a successful network. We delve into some leadership lessons HBO's Chairman, Michael Fuchs, taught Art, how competition makes us better, and the importance of relying on our passion for finding solutions.

Some Questions I Ask:

Could you tell us a little more about your background and any turning points in your life that have had a significant impact? (3:06)

How did writing your memoirs come about? And how did you put it into a book? (10:17)

Did you get your sense of humor back? And how do you get your sense of humor back? (22:47)

What would you recommend to others? What are the critical things people must have to bring innovation and succeed? (27:14)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

Art talks about his relationship with Economics and why he decided to get a Major in Economics (4:20)

The more Art talked about his idea of creating a comedy channel, the more objections he would hear (7:08)

What Art believes is a hallmark of success (13:21)

The comedy business is pretty insular (17:03)

Michael Fuchs, HBO's Chairman, demonstrates great leadership skills (19:43)


Art Bell's website

Book: Art Bell - Constant Comedy: How I Started Comedy Central and Lost My Sense of Humor

The Constant Comedy Podcast with Art Bell & Vinnie Favale

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334 episodes