In keeping with our commitment to drive culture change on mental health, Comedy Central put this critical issue center stage throughout May for Mental Health Month -- and even more critically, in light of the COVID-19 crisis and its effects on social and emotional health.
In the spirit of the ViacomCBS ethos to create entertainment that drives conversation and culture, Comedy Central utilized owned digital platforms to drive change on our first social impact priority: mental health. We leveraged our digital fanbases to educate, engage and empower our audience to change perspectives and behavior on mental illness and substance use - in a way that that was native to our voice and platforms.
The following insights helped guide our decision-making process when determining what content would help us to achieve both:
Internet audiences are compelled and drawn in by subjects that matter.
Comedy has the power to change the way people think, and act.
A topic like mental health requires time to digest and room to breathe.
All content led our audience to AloneTogether.com, a site developed by ViacomCBS in partnership with the Ad Council, with helpful tips and resources to help people take care of themselves and each other during this unprecedented period of physical distancing.
Throughout the month of May, Comedy Central produced nearly two dozen pieces of comedy content original and archival - all within the confines of remote content production.
Digital originals* included:
Archival content* including stand-up by Aparna Nancherla, Binium Bizunek, Chris DiStefano, Jordan Temple, Maria Bamford, Dan St. Germain and show clips from Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, Michael & Michael Have Issues & Workaholics.
In addition, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah fundraised for the Disaster Distress Helpline & NYC Well- crisis hotlines with counselors trained to address the mental health needs of this unique situation (nearly $40k raised already - part of the more than $1M that the show has raised for first responders, hunger and other COVID-19 relief).
Comedy Central will continue to develop new ideas and create more opportunities for comedy to change how we think and talk about social and emotional wellness in ways that will help people through difficult times.