Comedy as entertainment

We offer a lineup of some of the funniest entertainers and comedians to keep you and your guests laughing from the opening act. Whether you are planning a night out with friends, a date night, or you are searching for local group events, The Comedy Zone is the place to be.

Comedy as entertainment

See Article History Alternative Titles: Origins Stand-up, at least in the form it is known today, is a fairly recent entertainment phenomenon. In the United States, where it developed first and reached its greatest popularity, it had its origins in the comic lecturers, such as Mark Twainwho toured Comedy as entertainment country in the Comedy as entertainment century.


It began to emerge as populist entertainment in vaudeville in the early decades of the 20th century. While comedy was a staple of every vaudeville bill, it most often took the form of packaged routines delivered by comedy teams who spoke to each other, not to the audience.

But a few performers, such as Frank Fay, became known for their facility at off-the-cuff patter while serving as emcees in vaudeville houses such as the famed Palace Theatre in New York City. Hope, an admirer of Fay, developed an engaging rapid-fire style as an vaudeville emcee and, beginning inas host of his own top-rated radio program.

This was a significant departure from the vaudeville and Borscht Belt comics, whose gags were generic, were largely interchangeable, and could be repeated almost endlessly. Department of Defense The new wave Hope and the Borscht Belt comics established the classic stand-up style that dominated popular entertainment well into the television era, when it became a staple of television variety programs such as The Ed Sullivan Show.

But in the s a new wave of stand-up comics emerged who rejected the detached mechanical style of the old joke tellers. The groundbreaker was Mort Sahl, who appeared onstage sitting on a stool with a rolled-up newspaper in his hand and talked in normal conversational tones—delivering not gag lines but caustic commentary on the political leaders, popular cultureand pillars of respectability of American society during the conservative s.

Bob NewhartShelley Berman, and the comedy team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May created extended improv-style bits—one-sided phone conversations, people talking to their psychiatrists—that satirized various aspects of an uptight conformist era.

African American comedians such as Dick Gregory used stand-up as a vehicle for acerbic commentary on the racial tensions of the period of the civil rights movementwhile Woody Allen turned himself into the butt of his own comic confessionals: Winters, JonathanJonathan Winters, His renegadefree-form, often X-rated comedy made him a pariah for most of mainstream show business Bruce was almost totally shunned by television ; after numerous arrests for his performing allegedly obscene material in nightclubs, it also thrust him into a series of legal battles that virtually destroyed his career.

Bruce, LennyLenny Bruce, an American comedian and satirist. Though already a successful relatively straitlaced comedian known for his parodies of television commercials and game shows, Carlin at the end of the s let his hair and beard grow long, turned away from mainstream nightclubs, and reinvented himself as the comedic voice of the counterculture—skewering the war culture, middle-class hypocrisy, and his own Catholic upbringing.

Comedy as entertainment

Outgrowing his youthful clean-cut television persona, in the early s he transitioned to hard-edged, racially charged, brilliantly improvisational comedy that drew on the characters—winos, pimps, junkies, street preachers—he had grown up with in the Peoria, Ill.

Pryor, Richard; comedyA biographer of Richard Pryor discussing how the comedian's times shaped, and were shaped by, him. Displayed by permission of The Regents of the University of California.

Comedy clubs sprouted in New York and Los Angeles, giving a bumper crop of young comics a place to hone their craft and develop an audience.

For a popular culture now awash in stand-up comedy, many of these innovators turned to self-parody and ironic put-on. Albert Brooksthe son of a radio comedian known as Parkyakarkus, became a regular on TV talk and variety shows in the early s with a string of put-on bits in which he parodied bad show-business acts—a terrible mime, a bumbling ventriloquist, and a succession of amateur songwriters trying to rewrite the U.

NBC photo The vogue for stand-up self-parody reached its pinnacle with the phenomenal success of Steve Martina former television writer who poked fun at old-time show business by impersonating the worst practitioner imaginable: This set the stage for a boom in the s, when at least comedy clubs blanketed the United States and cable TV shows such as An Evening at the Improv gave even mediocre stand-ups their moment in the national spotlight Actor and comedian Steve Martin performing magic tricks for a group of children.

As the form was flourishing in the United States, parallel but largely separate stand-up traditions were developing in other countries, most notably the United Kingdom. British stand-up comedy had its origins in the music-hall performers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially Max Millerwho dressed in flashy suits and delivered cheeky fast-paced comedy patter in between song-and-dance bits.

Television, at the same time, provided an ideal platform for a far different kind of stand-up comic, Dave Allen. Allen, an urbane Irishman, hosted several popular talk-variety shows on British TV and would typically sit on a stool, cigarette in one hand and drink in the other, as he delivered wry stories and commentary on everything from the minor annoyances of life to the hypocrisies of the Roman Catholic Churchone of his favorite targets.

One of the biggest stars of this new generation had actually made a splash a few years earlier: Billy Connolly, a former folksinger from Glasgow who achieved huge popularity in the mids with his irreverent, high-energy observational stand-up. Jerry Seinfeld and beyond Back in the United States, meanwhile, the stand-up explosion had faded considerably as the glut of comedy clubs and TV outlets led to overexposure and a dilution of the talent pool.

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The cast of The Cosby Show clockwise from upper left: But his small-bore, PG-rated comedy was increasingly an aberration as the proliferation of cable TV outlets with their more permissive standards and an increasingly freewheeling club scene encouraged comics to work even harder to demolish the last taboos of language and subject matter.

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Everyone has a chance to win cash and prizes and is guaranteed an evening of mayhem and laughter. Consisting of comics of all different sizes, shapes, and colors - doing various segments like stand-up, sketch comedy, musical performances, gameshow portions, and hilarious headliners- our show structure is so fun and interesting that it is sure to satisfy any group of people.

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