Comedy Central has announced that it will launch a joint book publishing program with Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group, the cable channel announced on Wednesday. Its first release will be a novelty Christmas book penned by actor and comedian Denis Leary, slated to come out in October 2012.
The channel, known for its top comedy programming anchored by "The Daily Show," "The Colbert Report" and "South Park," will focus on material from both upcoming and already-established comedians, as well as franchises associated with Comedy Central. No further titles or comedians have yet been released.
Entering the book business may be a logical way for Comedy Central to reach its target audience through an entirely new medium. In a recent study commissioned by the channel, young people (especially young men) value humor above all other traits, and its ratings are up 10% . They plan on pushing their books through all arms of the channel, including its cable broadcasts and online platforms.
Leary, known for his comedy special "No Cure For Cancer" and his leading dramatic role on FX's "Rescue Me," is no stranger to holiday humor: His 2004 comedy album is entitled "Merry F'in Christmas." He had also released a book of his tweets in 2010, entitled "Suck On This Year."