Problem watching Comedy Central videos

I got the complaint below from a regular reader of my blog about his inability to view the Comedy Central videos that I embed. He has submitted the problem to the tech gurus here by clicking on the ‘Tech Issues’ link at the top left but I thought that tech savvy readers may also be able to help him out. Has anyone had had a similar problem or any advice for what he should do? I should note that he lives in the US, so this is not one of those cases where streaming is being deliberately blocked.

I cannot watch embedded Comedy Central videos on Mano Singham’s blog. All I see is a black rectangle where the video should be.

Refreshing did no good. I tried several of the Comedy Central posts from recent days and had the same result.

All your videos from other sources—YouTube, Vivo, &c.—work fine.

The problem started under Windows 7 and continues under Windows 10. I’m currently using Firefox 39.0. The video does play under Window Explorer.

Any suggestions?


  1. Trebuchet says

    My problem with the Comedy Central videos is different: I don’t like watching videos on the internet. It would be helpful, Mano, if you could at least give us a hint as to the content when you put them in a post.

  2. Mano Singham says

    I thought I usually give some clues as to what the video contains. I’ll try to remember to give more.

  3. Drew says

    Does the user have NoScript installed? How about AdBlockPlus? Either of these might cause the problem described. The user would have to set an exception for the daily show web site. There would probably be one or two dependencies that needed to be allowed as well.

  4. says

    We have stuff from the U.S. blocked here in Canada on a regular basis.
    Most people just pay $5.00 to $10.00 per month for a U.S. VPN service. Works for Netflix and just about everything else. The situation is ridiculous.

  5. Mano Singham says


    The reader can access Comedy Central videos from their site. He just can’t watch the videos when I embed them.

  6. lanir says

    This is (mostly) generic troubleshooting for any browser issue, not specific to the issue at hand.

    Try disabling add-ons/extensions. What this does is simplify the situation and allow the user to essentially remove variables from the equation. While in that area, go to plugins and set flash to “always activate” if it’s not already and see if that helps (this is the only part that is specific to your problem).

    If that works, you can start enabling things until you see where the issue is. If it’s a privacy or security choice getting in the way you may be able to fine-tune things to allow the videos through.

    If these changes do not work then most likely you need some more specific help than I can provide. I personally don’t install flash system-wide. I instead use firefox for daily browsing and chrome specifically for pages or sites that require flash. After your issue is solved this might give you some amusing insight into how it was done:

  7. Mobius says

    I normally use Firefox with several plugins such as NoScript and watching videos can be problematic. My solution is to use Google Chrome with no plugins to watch something I really want to see. This almost always works. I prefer to have the security of the plugins, but it can be annoying. Using Chrome I find to be simpler than turning the plugins off, then back on.

  8. fentex says

    I think it isn’t about ad-blockers. I have this problem, only with the Comedy Central videos, and turning off my ad-blockers makes no difference.

    I use Chrome and I’ve been assuming it’s something to do with it’s disdain of Flash, it seems that Comedy Central uses an iframe to embed the video, and when I go to that iframes content directly Chrome tells me Flash is blocked.

    Unblocking it and then there’s ads to deal with -- served from other domains and I think linked to javascript that plays the video.

    I suspect there’s nothing FTB’s tech can do to help. Comedy Central wants it’s ads to show and they’ve made it difficult to avoid and see their videos.

  9. hyphenman says

    Good morning Mano,

    Thank you for this. Yes, the problem is with one of my Firefox plugins. When I disable all the plugins, the Comedy Central videos do play.

    Here’s what I think is the weird part. I posted the Jordan Klepper video from last week to Have Coffee Will Write, with all of my plugins running, and the video posts and runs just fine. When I look at the same video on your blog, I get a black square.

    Here is the embed code (I changed the characters to [ ] so the the code is visible here) I used from Comedy Central:

    [div style=”background-color:#000000;width:520px;”][div style=”padding:4px;”][iframe src=”” width=”512″ height=”288″ frameborder=”0″][/iframe][p style=”text-align:left;background-color:#FFFFFF;padding:4px;margin-top:4px;margin-bottom:0px;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;”][b][a href=””]The Daily Show[/a][/b][br /][a href=””]Daily Show Full Episodes[/a], [a href=””]More Daily Show Videos[/a], [a href=””]Comedy Central Full Episodes[/a][/p][/div][/div]

    To all of Mano’s other readers, thank you for your comments.

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write

    p.s. this may not be related, but at the same time I lost the ability to watch comedy central videos on your blog, i also lost the ability to preview comments on all ft blogs.

  10. Mano Singham says


    Those links work for me. It may be that there is some combination of software on your blog that is producing these odd little glitches. Plug-ins are often the culprit but which ones are hard to tell without trial and error.

    Anyway, I am glad that at least one problem was solved!

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