Over the years, Comedy Central has grown from a gimmicky cable channel to a legitimate television giant. There were some missteps along the way, but there were also a lot of great Comedy Central shows you forgot about, ones that didn't last nearly as long as they should have. Some of the best canceled Comedy Central shows actually only lasted a single season, even one starring an all-time top 100 comedian.
Shows of all varieties fell victim to the dreaded season one cancelation, including one of the best animated shows in Comedy Central's archives, but most were live-action, either sketch shows or mockumentaries, or some combination of the two. In many cases, these shows felt like they could have found a really solid groove had they been given a second chance, but the higher ups were just too quick with the guillotine.
These are the best Comedy Central shows that only lasted one season, but the good news is that some of them, made in this precious digital age, are still available to stream. Others, though, are lost to the ages. Prepare to shed some tears and grab a drink to pour some out for each of these lost gems.
Some people think H. Jon Benjamin is only good for his velvet voice, but that's not necessarily the case. He's actually funny, not just his voice. So a lot of people were excited when he got his very own Comedy Central show, Jon Benjamin Has a Van, which indeed seemed very Jon Benjamin-y. In it he played a "reporter" who drove around New York (mostly) to deliver news to unsuspecting people. There were also fictional sketches, like the time he fell in love with the daughter of the tiny Don in Little Little Italy, a miniature Little Italy where the people are only a couple inches tall.
Michael & Michael Haves Issues was an exercise in meta-humor with the two titular characters, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, playing fictionalized versions of themselves as somewhat vitriolic costars of a sketch-comedy show. It was sort of a less zany 30 Rock, but really only revolved around two characters.
Reality Bites Back
Reality Bites Back was a pseudo-reality competition show hosted by Michael Ian Black. It was a simultaneously a spoof on many reality TV tropes while also being an actual reality competition among the 10 comedians competing. All the way back in 2008 it actually boasted some pretty big names who were up-and-coming at the time, like Tiffany Haddish and Amy Schumer.
Stella was the name of Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter, and David Wain's sketch comedy group, and their eponymous show was somewhere between their act and a sitcom. Despite the three stars always being dressed in suits, they were actually man-babies living in a New York apartment together. There were actually a lot of big name guest stars in the show's short run: Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Sam Rockwell, Topher Grace, Tim Blake Nelson, Alan Ruck, Janeane Garofalo, Elizabeth Banks, and Edward Norton. Stella (the group) has had a pretty large following since the '90s, so it was extra surprising this show didn't make it any further than it did.