I’ve stopped paying attention to John Stewart and that other guy what’s his name at Comedy Central because over the last month or so every single video form that source I’ve looked at produces this error:


I’ve checked for this on three different linux machines running two different Ubuntu distros, all with Firefox and Flash, across one service upgrade for Firefox and Flash. So it is not just a unique strange thing with one computer. Rather, it seems to be a conspiracy against Linux.

Did Microsoft buy Comedy Central or something?


  1. #1 Dave
    October 29, 2009



    Guess they just don’t care enough to support Linux.

  2. #2 Tristanm
    October 29, 2009

    Comedy Central videos work fine for me. I’m on 64-bit Gentoo Linux using Firefox 3.5

  3. #3 Jason Thibeault
    October 29, 2009

    No. I don’t get that error. Nobody in Canada does. Because we’re not allowed to watch it at Comedy Central, not even in embedded videos — we have to go to The Comedy Network instead, which doesn’t allow embedding.

    Thanks for rubbing it in.

  4. #4 The Ridger
    October 29, 2009

    Works fine for me, XP and Firefox. (Yes, XP.)

  5. #5 The Ridger
    October 29, 2009

    Sorry, didn’t read closely enough. Disregard my comment, it’s OT … Well, I wonder how long I’ll have to wait to be able to post again?

  6. #6 Pete
    October 29, 2009

    It works fine for me. I’m running Ubuntu 9.10 (x64) with Firefox 3.5 and Flash 10.0 plug-in.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    October 29, 2009

    OK, my next question for you 64 biters… should I install Ubuntu Linux 64 bit on my Pendium D dual processor computer? Why and why not?

    Also, I now have this working. Here is how to do it. Do NOT install flash via firefox (like when it complains that it has no flash and wants a plugin) Go to Symantic, and find the non-free adobe flash plugin for your distro… FOR YOUR DISTRO … if you are using Ubuntu. Uninstall whatever flash plugins show up as installed, install the Flash 10 for your distro, and you’ll be fine

    The reason this does not work out of the box, is because of purity in the system. You won’t find too many people who are more supportive of OpenSource than me. But we are not growing cranberries, folks.

    (More details on cranberries at another time.)

    So… 64 bit?

  8. #8 BruceH
    October 29, 2009

    You mean Synaptic, not Symantic, yes?

  9. #9 Greg Laden
    October 29, 2009

    I don’t want to argue semantics!!!!

    Yes, synaptic.

  10. #10 BruceH
    October 29, 2009

    Comedy Central videos don’t work for me at all, and haven’t for some time; perhaps three months or so. I’m using Ubuntu x86_64. I upgraded today to Karmic Koala, but no change as far as flash is concerned. The plugin crashes in all of my browsers and even takes down Epiphany entirely.

  11. #11 Alex
    October 29, 2009

    About a month ago, Comedy Central stopped people in the UK from being able to view the videos on their site. We never used to be able to watch full episodes, but we could watch the video clips. Now we can’t. While we do get the Daily Show syndicated over here, watching it is annoying, because I preferred watching the video clips as you could choose which segments to watch. Also, we don’t get the Colbert Report over here, so it makes even less sense for them to block access to that.

    I tried emailing Comedy Central to find out why they did this, but they never responded.

  12. #12 BruceH
    October 29, 2009

    Greg, my particular problem may not be related to yours. I’m pretty sure that it’s a problem related to the 64 bit architecture. If Flash video is important to you, then I recommend installing 64 bit until you hear the problem is resolved. However, I like it because my system hums along nicely no matter how hard I stress it. I’m using a 2.6 Ghz Pentium Core Duo.

  13. #13 Alex
    October 29, 2009

    Oh, and Greg, are you going to do any more of those Falsehoods posts? They were really good (not that the rest of this blog isn’t).

  14. #14 peter
    October 29, 2009

    looks more like an flash bug. the .swz seems to indicate that.

    if you might be so kind as to file a bug report?

    perhaps something might be done about it.

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    October 29, 2009

    Alex, thanks, I will.. I have two or three more planned.

  16. #16 Dan J
    October 29, 2009

    Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit, Adobe Flash plugin 10,0,32,18 (64-bit version).

    Loading the page Dave linked to, I get the embedded player still shot. Clicking the play button, the embedded player loads, says “Video buffering…” then kills Firefox (3.0.14). Kills Epiphany too.

    Works perfectly in Chromium (Ubuntu build 29510).

    Works perfectly in Firefox 3.5.3 (Shiretoko/3.5.3)

    Looks like it’s a Mozilla-based issue, but one that has been fixed in 3.5 versions.

  17. #17 george.w
    October 29, 2009

    It really threw me that I couldn’t install Flash through Firefox. I figured out the “Flash Nonfree” thing by accident, and it made about as much sense to me as (in a Mac) dragging a disk to Trash to eject it.

    Compared to the goofy stuff Windows does, though, that’s a small annoyance.

  18. #18 Alex
    October 29, 2009

    Alex, thanks, I will.. I have two or three more planned.


  19. #19 Rich Wilson
    October 30, 2009

    Geez y’all ever heard of ‘bittorrnet’?

  20. #20 jake
    October 30, 2009

    FWIW, I think that hulu’s video player is faster than the one one on comedy central. Though if you want to watch the extended interviews, you have to go to the daily show website…

  21. #21 Comrade PhysioProf
    October 30, 2009

    Dude, you and your fucking commie-ass free shit operating system again! I am using Internet Explorer 3 on Windows ME and I can totally watch any motherfucking video I want, sucker!

  22. #22 Paladin
    October 30, 2009

    Greg, the choice between 32/64 bit OS comes down to how much memory you have and need. If you have less than 4 GB RAM on your computer, it makes no sense to install 64 bit OS, and on the desktop most of the programs run better in 32 bits (if they run at all in 64).

    Having said that, i also download the shows i need from torrents, because most of the media companies think i’m bloody foreigner yucky would-be immigrant and i’ll bring dirt on their floors if they would let me watch anything.

  23. #23 Kapitano
    October 30, 2009

    If you’re using Firefox, you can view comedy central clips, with a little bit of hacking.

    * Download and install the “Modify Headers” extension from the Firefox site.
    * Copy and paste the following into a txt file you’ve created called “modifyheaders.xml”

    < ?xml version="1.0"?>


    * Run the extension and import the xml file. Hopefully after a restart the idiotic blocking should be bypasses. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for Youtube.

  24. #24 Greg Laden
    October 30, 2009

    Paladin: Actually, the amount of memory I have depends on the system I run. I have four gigs now because it is all the system will really use, and if I had a 64 bit system I’d thrown in more.

    To me the part about software running better on 32 bit and “if they run at all in 64 bit.” is THE issue. What does not run well in 64 bit, and what does “not run well” mean?

  25. #25 davem
    October 30, 2009

    Running Ubuntu 9.4 64 bit here, no problems found.

    To those who can’t access videos outside of the US, go here:

    and start viewing… You’ll need to be running Firefox.

  26. #26 DuWayne
    October 30, 2009

    Alex –

    I like to think it is a response to those bastards (whom I love) at the BBC doing the same damned thing to us ‘Murkins…

    I was sad, ever so sad when I went to try to view extra Doctor Who content and was told us imperialist pigdogs were not allowed…Admittedly, that is not exactly how they actually put it, but it was totally how I took it.

  27. #27 Woof
    October 30, 2009

    Help! Help! I’m being oppressed!!!

  28. #28 Jason Thibeault
    October 30, 2009

    Dude, I’m running Ubuntu 9.10 x64 on my home system, and except for having to find a special repository for precompiled Chromium (coz I didn’t want to have to bother doing it myself with every version — that’s the power of laziness!), I haven’t had any issues.

  29. #29 Spiv
    October 30, 2009

    Any idea if flash nonfree corrects sound crapping out/getting hung? Or better stability on firefox in general?

  30. #30 Rorschach
    October 30, 2009

    comedycentral fucked, as in , links to vids not working.On FF 3.5 in Ubuntu 9.10.
    Colbertnation no worries.
    Following link to Stewart at dailyshow.com from comedycentral site, vids playing without a problem.
    Links at comedycentral broken, it would seem.

  31. #31 jake
    October 30, 2009

    on a related note, everyone should check out this recent TDS clip were Jon discusses the difference between Fox’s new programing and it’s opinion programing (er, lack of difference) http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-29-2009/for-fox-sake- it is most excellent

  32. #32 jake
    October 30, 2009

    (here is the same clip as above, but on Hulu for those with problems: http://tinyurl.com/ygdftwq )

  33. #33 Erin
    October 31, 2009

    Go to Hulu.com They have them all there.

  34. #34 SimonG
    October 31, 2009

    Alex: I’m pretty sure that we don’t get to see The Daily Show clips on Comedy Central because it’s also shown by Channel 4. (On More4 orE4: I forget which.) So it would probably be infringing whatever deal they’ve got.
    You can watch entire shows on 4oD.