The premium cable channel EPIX has announced a new monthly comedy showcase called Comedy Unbound. The show gives EPIX alumni a platform to perform new specials. The showcase kicks off with Jim Norton: Please Be Offended premiering on tonight. Each special will air on the last weekend of every month.
CEO Mark Greenberg said that the network has had great success with their original comedy specials since its launch and that the network is committed to featuring the most talented comedians today. He wants them to feel free to test boundaries as they please.
Comedian Jim Norton said, “My experience with EPIX has been unlike any other network. I’ve worked closely with the EPIX team throughout the entire process, including promotion, which is an incredibly rare luxury for a performer.” Other comedians feel the same way.
Comedy Unbound will also feature Kevin Smith, Austrailian stand-up Jim Jefferies, and Ben Stiller. Sherri Shephard, Eddie Griffin, and Lewis Black will also perform specials. The show will air new showcases on the last weekend of every month.
In 2009, The Jay Leno Show used an amateur comedy video that it had found on YouTube without permission. Despite the fact that Leno did not ask permission, Brian Kamerer and Travis Irvine were initially happy that he had used the video on his show. All that changed when NBC decided to take the duos video down because of copyright infringement. Yes, you read that correctly. NBC, which could be accused of copyright infringement for not paying or asking to use a video, took down the original posting of a video it essentially stole from Kamerer and Irvine due to copyright infringement.
I am not saying Jay Leno should not have used the video. In fact, anything that gives more exposure to up-and-coming comedians is a good thing, especially since late night talk shows rarely feature stand up comedians nowadays. However, NBC had no right to use the video without asking permission or compensating Kamerer and Irvine and definitely went to far with taking the video down.