Arts, sciences and humanities build healthier, more livable, vital communities. They are essential to a strong education system. They contribute enormously to our economy.
The 1950s and early 1960s witnessed the birth of a new kind of comedy in America. Playing at small, intimate clubs like the “hungry i” in San Francisco, comedians like Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, Bob Newhart and Mike Nichols and Elaine May redefined what was funny. Their material was topical, satirical and personal and their on-stage style unlike anything like that of the older “Copa and Catskill comedians”. Some brought newspapers on stage and read from them; others sat on a stool while delivering long monologues about politics. Others like Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs changed TV and paved the way for people like David Letterman. Tonight on Inquiry, we welcome back writer and media historian GERALD NACHMAN for the first part of an interview about these rebels. Nachman’s book is titled SERIOUSLY FUNNY: THE REBEL COMEDIANS OF THE 1950S AND 1960S.