Divney's Goodbye Parade Parties On

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Ex-Comedy Central president Larry Divney was feted at yet another going-away party last week, and his loyal former employees made good sport of the event.

Comedy Central's ad-sales team wore rock concert-type T-shirts that said “DivFest” on the front, and “Divney's Goodbye Tour” on the back.

The shirts listed the dates and venues of a dozen good-bye parties that have been held in Divney's honor so far.

Last Thursday's event at the Tribeca Rooftop was packed with cable-industry honchos, current and former Comedy Central employees, press and scattered celebrities.

MTV Networks Inc. president Mark Rosenthal, A&E Television Networks president Nick Davatzes, A&E senior vice president Whitney Goit and Court TV CEO Henry Schleiff were among those in attendance. Late Show With David Letterman's Paul Shaffer and comedians Colin Quinn and Richard Belzer were also there.

Nobody gave him a Hummer, or any of the other expensive trinkets lavished on retiring pro athletes who embark on farewell fests of these kind. But at least one sports legend was evoked in toasts from loyal Divney lieutenants.

“I think Larry Divney is the Michael Jordan of the media,” Hank Close, Comedy Central's executive vice president of ad sales, told the crowd, predicting Divney won't stay retired to a life of farming for long.

BBC veteran Bill Hilary, who's leaving as Comedy Central's general manager, offered a toast for at his old boss, and poked some fun.

“It took 15 years to get a job in America just to get away from a drunk Irishman,” Hilary said, suggesting he's wound up in the same situation here in the states, making sport of Divney's past wild days.

In his brief address, Divney dismissed talk that he'll be coming back to work in TV, insisting he's looking forward to farming.

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