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Comedy Central Offers a Crash Course in Comedy

On Monday, Comedy Central announced a new broadband series called Crash Course in Comedy .

The ten-part show, hosted by comedian Ted Alexandro, purports to teach viewers how they can become a stand-up comedian with episodes covering topics like "What is a stand-up comedian?" and "writing material."

Crash Course, sponsored by Hyundai, will also have interactive features. Visitors to its Website are invited to create their own comedian "avatars" using a web tool called Comedian Constructor created by web development company Oddcast . Using the Oddcast tool avatars can be programmed to perform "sets" written and recorded – via microphone, telephone or text entry - by users. Users are invited to save their sets to a gallery where others can view and rate them.

Comedy Central’s parent company Viacom has had good results with avatars for some of its other properties, including MTV's Laguna Beach and the Hills. MTV recently announced a third virtual world, Virtual Pimp My Ride.