Don’t Laugh, But The Revamped Has Arrived

imageBack in the early dot-com days, was basically a site with a bunch of laugh lines — and perhaps not surprisingly, it failed to gain much traction. Now, with comedy a much bigger fixture on the Web, Comedy Central (a division of Viacom’s MTVN (NYSE: VIA) Entertainment Group) is relaunching as a searchable hub for stand-up comedy. The site runs on ad revenue, but also sells tickets to Comedy Central’s live stand-up events. features more than 5,000 video clips (dating back to performances from 1997) and 12,000 text-based jokes. Users can search by topic or comedian, sign up for an email or mobile joke of the day, and an iPhone app in the works. In the coming months, Comedy Central plans to let users upload their own jokes and clips of themselves doing standup. CNET says there are talks about future collaborations with News Corp.’s MySpace for promotions and talent contests, as well as pulling in content from fellow Viacom sites like MTV and BET. Back in June, MTVN unveiled a similar effort: rebranding its AtomFilms and AtomUpload properties as Release.