The Comedy Channel

The Comedy Channel (promoted on air as comedy) is a defunct Australian subscription television channel available on Foxtel, and Optus Television. The channel ceased broadcasting on 1 September 2020.[2]

The Comedy Channel
The Comedy Channel Logo
Picture format16:9 (576i, SDTV)
OwnerFoxtel Networks
Sister channelsFoxtel Networks channels
Launched30 June 1996[1]
Closed1 September 2020; 14 months ago (1 September 2020)
Replaced byFox Comedy
FoxtelChannel 121
Optus TVChannel 121
FoxtelChannel 121
Foxtel PlayChannel 121
Streaming media
Foxtel GoChannel 121


A joint venture between Artist Services (20%), Australis Media (40%), and Foxtel (40%),[3] the channel began broadcasting on the Galaxy platform, and became available on Foxtel on 1 August 1996.[1] After the collapse of Australis in 1998, Foxtel's share of the channel increased to 80%.[3] The channel became fully owned by Foxtel after it purchased Artist Services' (now ITV Studios Australia, formerly Granada Australia) 20% stake in August 2002.[4][5]

In 2006–2007, the channel moved headquarters from Sydney to Melbourne, into the studios vacated by Fox Footy Channel.[6] Until the launch of Comedy Central in 2016, The Comedy Channel was the only channel in Australia specifically dedicated to comedy around the clock. It primarily features stand-up comedy, sitcoms, animated comedy series, sketch comedy, comedy films, and talk shows.

Comedy Channel personalities include Frank Woodley, who hosts Aussie Gold; Tim Ross and Merrick Watts, who together host The Merrick & Rosso Show; Cameron Knight, who amongst other things for the Comedy Channel hosted Stand Up Australia; and H.G. Nelson, who hosts Comedy Slapdown.

The Comedy Channel transferred from 4:3 to Widescreen 16:9 broadcasting on Thursday 1 April 2010 at 5:30am as part of Foxtel's plan to convert all of its channels to widescreen before the end of 2010.[7]

On 31 July 2020, it was announced that Comedy would cease broadcasting in September, alongside sister network Fox Hits, and both channels merged onto the Fox Hits channel space as Fox Comedy. Its current-day programming was dispersed across Foxtel's Fox8 and Fox Showcase, as well as ViacomCBS' free-to-air 10 Shake.[8]


Final programmingEdit

Original programmingEdit

  • Just For Laughs Sydney (2014–present)
  • Melbourne Comedy Festival's Big Three-Oh (2016–present)

Acquired programmingEdit

Former programmingEdit

Original programmingEdit

Acquired programmingEdit


  1. ^ a b Freeman, Jane; Andrew Conway (30 June 1996). "The Joke Stops Here". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. p. 2. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  2. ^ Perry, Kevin (31 July 2020). "The Comedy Channel Becomes Latest Iconic Name To Depart From Foxtel". TV BlackBox. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b Schulze, Jane (28 July 1998). "Foxtel takes more of comedy TV". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 5. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  4. ^ Lee Lewes, Jacqueline (23 August 2002). "Burrells returns to run Foxtel's Comedy Channel". The Hollywood Reporter. 374 (45): 14. ISSN 0018-3660.
  5. ^ Idato, Michael (19 August 2002). "Switched on". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 2. Retrieved 24 February 2010.
  6. ^ Ricketson, Matthew (29 November 2006). "Foxtel handballs Comedy Channel to Melbourne". The Age. Melbourne, Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 3. ISSN 0312-6307. Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  7. ^ Knox, David (15 March 2010). "Comedy Channel goin' widescreen, no foolin'". Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  8. ^ Perry, Kevin (31 July 2020). "THE COMEDY CHANNEL BECOMES LATEST ICONIC NAME TO DEPART FROM FOXTEL". Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  9. ^ Knox, David (24 November 2016). "Airdate:Brexit at Tiffanys: The Best of the Edinburgh Fest". TV Tonight. Retrieved 24 December 2016. The two-hour special was filmed and commissioned by Foxtel.