In April, TNT's flagship show Comedy Club is celebrating its 15th anniversary on air. In this time, the project has gained mass popularity among viewers, became Russia’s main humour program, and transformed humour on Russian television. It consistently tops the rankings of the most popular comedy programs in the country.
The first episode of the Comedy Club show was broadcast on TNT on April 23, 2005 and received a 6.2% viewership share among an audience aged 14-44. TNT’s new entertainment project offered viewers a fresh, new look on comedy and humour on Russian television. The show’s viewership share over the first four weeks on air reached 9% among an audience aged 14-44, which was a record mark for TNT’s entertainment and humour projects in 2005.
As of 2011, the show consistently ranks among the leaders in the 21:00-22:00 slot among a young audience aged 14-44 years old. The project reached its maximum viewership, to date, in 2013 when the episode that aired on August 23 was seen by 26.8% of Russian TV viewers. As of 2017, Comedy Club is the highest-rated comedy show not only on TNT, but on Russian television as a whole.
Over the show’s 15-year history, Comedy Club has filmed 693 episodes, hosted thousands of guests, and delivered millions of jokes. In this time, one thing has remained constant - Comedy Club holds the bar high, sets trends and remains a relevant comedy project.
The show has rebooted its format on numerous occasions over the years. For example, in 2010 Comedy Club updated its set design and presented the band USB. In 2017, it relocated from the Golden Palace to the Barvikha Luxury Village concert hall and, when self-isolation rules were imposed in 2020, it adapted with a “quarantine version” where the show’s residents connect with viewers through video calls. The show’s hosts have also changed over the years. In 2010, Garik Martirosyan replaced Tash Sarkisyan and, as of 2015, the show is led by comedians Pavel Volya and Garik Kharlamov.
More than 90% of Russians have watched the televised broadcasts of the show over the past 15 years. Comedy Club’s popularity has long gone beyond the television screen - the show is also a leader in terms of viewership numbers on Russian-language Internet. Full episodes as well as compilations of the residents’ performances have received more than 1 billion views online.
Today Comedy Club is more than one of the most popular humour programs in the country and a primetime leader. The show can be justly called a unique phenomenon in the industry. Notably, it has become the basis of Comedy Club Production, which in itself has created many cult projects, including Interny (Interns), Nasha Russia (Our Russia), Stand Up, Comedy Woman and others.