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Twitter partners with Comedy Central to host laugh fest

Five-day festival will feature comedy legends and young comedians telling jokes through tweets and video clips on Vine, The New York Times reports.

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Steven Musil
2 min read

If you've got time for quick joke, Twitter will be the place to be next week.

While there there's already plenty to laugh at on Twitter, the microblogging site is partnering with Comedy Central on a five-day laugh festival that will occur almost entirely on Twitter, according to The New York Times. Comedy legends such as Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner will be joined by young comics in tweeting jokes and posting video clips on Vine, the app Twitter launched in January that allows users to share six-second video clips.

Utilizing Vine's brevity, comedian Steve Agee will host a segment called "Vine Dining" party in which anecdotes will be shared in six seconds. A recommendation algorithm will help users discover new comedians based on previous routines viewed.

The partnership highlights Twitter's effort to move beyond its microblogging roots into an entertainment destination that attract new users and keeps them engaged on the site longer. The company recently launched #Music, a new music discovery app that lets users see what music their friends and artists are enjoying.

Part of Twitter's entertainment strategy is having a greater involvement with TV viewers. BBC America announced -- via tweet -- that it struck a deal with Twitter to create "in-tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series." And Twitter is said to be in advanced discussions to provide users direct access to TV content from NBC and Viacom.

The partnership is also designed to raise the profile of Comedy Central, which is also looking to expand its reach. Already well-entrenched on TV, the cable channel is expected to launch CC: Stand-Up -- a free, ad-supported app that features comedians' performances.

"One of these days, we will be ambivalent about where people watch Comedy Central," Steve Grimes, the channel's senior vice president for programming and multiplatform strategy, told the Times.

Using the hashtag #ComedyFest, the festival will kick off Monday with a live stream of a panel discussion from the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles during which Reiner and panel host Judd Apatow will try to persuade technophobe Brooks to join Twitter.

CNET has contacted Twitter for more information about the festival and will update this report when we learn more.