NEW YORK, June 15, 2010 — COMEDY CENTRAL is pairing up with hip hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons and his partner Stan Lathan, the duo that brought the world the genre-defining urban comedy show “Def Comedy Jam,” to bring viewers the next generation of breakout talent in the series premiere of “Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at The El Rey.” This show debuts with a special hour-long block of episodes on Sunday, July 11 at 11:00 p.m.
Viewers who know host JB Smoove as Leon Black from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will be able to see him in a whole new light – a spotlight! – as he takes to the stage to host this stand-up series with a hip hop vibe. Smoove kicks off each episode, then introduces three comedians, each of whom brings a unique, fresh viewpoint to the stage. The debonair DJ Cassidy spins fresh, original tracks for the crowd in each episode as well.
The series premiere of “Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at The El Rey” features Smoove warning of “raggedy ass” clubs, Tony Roberts on Danny Glover’s female lookalike, Dante Nero on why he’d be a hit with Mesopotamian women and more. The second episode, airing immediately after the premiere, keeps it going with comedians Mike Vecchione, Calise Hawkins and JJ Williamson. This season also showcases comedians Kurt Metzger, Smokey Suarez, Fahim Anwar, Ray Lipowski, Felipe Esparza, Lil Rel and Rachel Feinstein.
Leading up to each on-air premiere and throughout the new season, Jokes.com will feature preview clips and highlights from each episode, never-before-aired footage, exclusive backstage video and blog interviews featuring all of the comedians from the series. In addition, Jokes.com will have exclusive video featuring JB Smoove.
Each episode of “Russell Simmons Presents Stand-Up at The El Rey” will be made available in HD and SD for download-to-own the day after the episode premieres on iTunes, Xbox LIVE Marketplace, Zune and Sony Playstation Network. Amazon Video on Demand will carry the series in SD only.
Executive Producers Simmons and Lathan co-own The Simmons Lathan Media Group, a film and television production and acquisitions company that develops and distributes urban content across a variety of media platforms. JoAnn Grigioni and Elizabeth Porter are the executives in charge of production for COMEDY CENTRAL.
COMEDY CENTRAL, the only all-comedy network, currently is seen in more than 98 million homes nationwide. COMEDY CENTRAL is owned by, and is a registered trademark of, Comedy Partners, a wholly-owned division of Viacom Inc.’s (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B) MTV Networks. COMEDY CENTRAL’s Internet address is www.comedycentral.com. For up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs visit Press Central, COMEDY CENTRAL’s press web site at www.comedycentral.com/press.
MTV Networks, a division of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of entertainment content, with brands that engage and connect diverse audiences across television, online, mobile, games, virtual worlds and consumer products. The company’s portfolio spans more than 150 television channels and 400 digital media properties worldwide, and includes MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Harmonix, Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., TeenNick, AddictingGames, Neopets, COMEDY CENTRAL, SPIKE, TV Land, Atom, GameTrailers and Xfire.