tv The History of Comedy CNN July 29, 2017 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
you've got to be out there and swinging. and you may miss 1,000 times, but that 1,001 time it's going to go over the fence, right? the good thing about doing topical comedy is you look more intelligent than people think you are. >> you have to be smarter. >> >> it would be weird. if i didn't make a joke with a tragedy.
>> when you do topical humor it goes right to the brain, the heart and stomach at the same time. >> the power is everybody's. >> best comedy feel nofzel. novel. things in the headlines give rise to brand new jokes. >> we interrupt is this broadcast flash japanese attack pearl harbor. >> world war ii was biggest war in the united states so natural the biggest comedian spoke about it. >> we want you to buy extra war
bombs. >> bob hope became the voice of america, people turned to him to make jokes about what was going on. he was not the first topical comedi comedian. smurn in talking about it he would find a laugh. boy that helps. >> that topical kind of monologue was something brand new. it seems like a very simple thing but that's what bob hope really innovated. >> it takes a lot to mount a big
show, long hours, deep into the night, constantly revising the script the. revisions made necessary by last minute changes in a changing world. >> bob hope was the first to utilize a staff of writers to give you topical material of the day. >> he did invent the idea of the comedian being the head writer. >> the traditions of stand up comedy in the 50s were still derived from vauvville. the guys like bob hope had nothing more in mind than making people laugh. the guy who changed that was momo mort saul. >> richard nixon will be running for something no matter what. >> mort was the first person to talk like a human being on stage. it he did for comedy what james
dean and marlon brando did for acting, he humanized it. >> i have to report the largest news was the soviet space than invited to lunch by the queen. to put your mind at rest i probably will not say anything about the queen. [ laughter ] she hasn't mentioned me, has she? >> came out with a newspaper and he reacted in live time to the news as he was reading it. which is a real high wire. >> bob hope famously said you have to always balance your humor or you will offend somebody. he didn't care. >> i'm very intoll ro totoll ret is mainly me i don't talk about the news, i'm a victim of the news. >> the country was ready for something different like he led
a revolution that people didn't even know they needed. >> are you really a bad guy. >> all i am is a western union messenger. i only work at office. >> he influenced a whole generation of coffee house comedian eff that included george carlin. he inthe introduced the format of the late night comedy shows. >> heeeeeere's johnny. >> is it will be a good night. saw bob hope. it's a thrill standing next to one of the greatest comedian in the entire world and i'm sure bob appreciates it. >> if you're looking for not just a take on the news but the actual news, because i wasn't reading anything other than the supports and comics. johnny is where you go. >> i saw the headline in the national inquirer, how eating the right foods can increase
your iq. that's risky for the inquirer they could lose all their readership. >> johnny carson would mock something in the public eye, everybody was in on it. >> he was the most powerful man in hollywood because he could kill you with one joke. >> somebody told vice president george bush that jesse jackson was coming to the white house and bush said oh, good maybe he will autograph my thriller al m album. >> didn't care what others would say but you always wanted to hear what johnny would say about the news. >> a woman was arrested for soliciteing sexual favors, thats the way they put it, sexual favors, for spa getty dinner. never asked the man for money all she wanted was a spegetty
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i will close this morning the end of an era after ruling late night television for 30 years johnny carson sps down tonight. >> so it comes to this. i'm one of the lucky people in the world s of i found something i've always wanted to do and i've enjoyed every single minute of it. i bid you a very heartfelt good night.
[ cheers and applause ] >> with johnny out a vacuum was created. >> a big decision that is had the entertainment industry is do this week that's the fate of jayl jaylja jayl jayljay leno and david letterman. >> i don't care if you laugh i got the job no matter what. >> look they're getting more press than the president. so start up your remote controls. the late-night race is about to begin. >> jay was a brilliant stand up with the tradition of johnny with a big group of monologue writers that was mainly writing that show. he was writing the best topical joke anybody could write. >> democratic candidate bill clinton is troubled by the amount of sex portrayed on television saying it is a deeply personal matter between candidate and campaign volunteers. >> jay is more bob hope in the
sense would say a punch line and 125 tap into exactly what happened that day. >> and of course the big story in hollywood is still the fugitive. but enough about michael jackson. >> jay make the joke the joke. dave wasoing the other side of jokes. he wanted the last he wanted. >> the last two jokes are the intel intellectual property of nbc. who would have thought the words intel intellectual prompt and nbc in the same sentence. >> there wasn't much emphasis on that monologue they were called opening remarks if you called it a monologue and there were too many you would have stepped on johnny's toes. >> with that in mind let's continue with the opening remarks. >> it was a little off. looked like a talk show. kind of.
sometimes he would wear sneakers which was weird. they talked about the events of the day. it was more focused on weirdness than the newspapers. >> dave's passing out ham. >> dave was a very new york centered show. jay could be o.j. trial and dave could be like there was a squirrel in the park. some bizarre off-beat thing you will not just get monologue jokes about the front page, it's whatever dave wants to do. seems like a cable access show like why is he throwing a water melon off a building. >> it's an important consideration for all of us and believe me you've come to the right place. >> you don't duane in to letterman to see what's going on with the world, you tune into jay. that's the difference. comedy and personality and then jay a great joke teller.
>> click around and see jay, oh, this is something i might have missed. >> i found they both evolved their style. they came out of the carson thing and the first instinct is to kind of doing like that and their personalities emerged and they did their own verses of it. >> the host plays the structure. without it you don't have comedy. people like when they know what the rules are and then what do you with those rules. >> how you do decide how will you be different. >> make no mistake i will be fired from this job just a matter of how long it's going to take. i don't think you can invent anything all together. >> i'm sure you heard and jolie filed for divorce. they broke the story every day
for years. >> this is very exciting for me. i didn't really watch late night television before i started doing it and then i didn't watch it when i was doing it. i just put things in donon'ter tan myself. >> it's a good day for america, everybody. >> what are the real problems for broadcast television is trying to make a show that is okay for everybody. that seems will many an impossible job. >> hosting tonight show has been a fulfillment of a lifelong dream and to the kids watching, you can do anything you want in life. yeah. yeah. nl nems unless jay leno wants to do it too. >> it's a way to find current events. >> this jerk left duffle bags on the street and two of the bombs were discovered by thieves
zmaching bags. snatching bags because as all new yorkers know if you see something steal something. >> there's too many late night shows with everyone talking about the same thing and you want to put it in your host voice instead of sounding like everybody else. >> i want to say thank you for steve par, jay leno, cone an, and jay. looking for ways to manage my symptoms. i thought i was doing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all i was doin when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who sti have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,... the majority of people on humira... saw significant symptom relief... ...and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability... ...to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers,
including lymphoma, have happened;... ...as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where... ...certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb,... ...hepatitis b, are prone to infections,... ...or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection. just managing your symptoms? ask your gastroenterologist about humira. with humira, remission is possible. he
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we are delighted to be back as a regular series to those who wrote in that you hated our pilot show, wait until you see this one. >> that was the week that was was the innovator. that show set forth you could make the current news funny in a hip way. >> with the candidacy of barry goldwater the republican party is on the way back and who knows may even one day go forwards. >> the accessibility was tame, more controlled. more dry. it was witty but not really challenging the power structure. >> our top story tonight president ford is
on the stubborn we call coal. >> "saturday night live" was making fun of tv. >> this idea of satire on the news we needed it. vietnam was going on. had just been through watergate. the idea we could laugh at the people making the news is a nice formula. >> let's look at the top story, shall we. >> he buys himself an inflatable child. this story and more coming up on weekend update. >> weekend update was initially a rerence. about a reverance. a middle finger at the powers that be. >> update was cathardic for people who saw the establishment i don't think they took update
seriesiously. it was a relief. >> neil armstrong caught his ring on a barn door while jumping off truck was quoted as saying one small step for man a giant ahhhhh ahhh! >> it was kind of a parody of a newscast. and it was a joke basket. is what it was. you know. but it became sort of less and less that way. >> it became more personalized as it went on. much less about a character doing the news. by the time you got to dennis m miller it was about them speaking their minds. >> they were saying parade for the first time in history homosexuals continue to march so it is a gay lick thing. >> every anchor brought its own personality. it is constantly changing. >> i'm norm mcdonald and this is
the fake news. >> times have changed since i first sat behind this desk. i used to be the only pretty blond woman reading the fake news now there's a whole network devoted it to that. >> news is a joke i can see why things like weekend update have survived. the thought of funny news made it appealing when news was serious now news is entertainment you watch weekend update for news. >> it's probably not great that transition happened. it probably should have been the news kept getting better and better but we can update definitely made a transition into the news. >> there's a growing trend among some parents towards home schooling children because they believe mandated publications for young children are unsafe. another expected new trend dieing polio. >> they cut through the bull [ bleep ] in a way the regular news can the do.
>> the daily show with john stewart arrives on the scene when the traditional evening news is startsing to deteriorate. >> let's the healing begin. it's headlines. >> all of a sudden there was what was the beginning of the 24/7 news cycle. can take the form now because everyone's beginning to understand the form and satireize it. >> in 1993 jordan said he had enough of the nba grind saying he needed more time with his family and after spending more time with his family quickly decided he hadn't had enough of the nba grind. >> john dayly over time put his laser focus on real issues. >> welcome to our coverage of the democratic national convention from boston our first night of coverage. the convention kicked off last night. any network can bring you news
as if happens but here at the daily show we've taken yesterday's proceedings and digested it, processed it, broken it down to give you highly concentrated what we call turds of wisdom. >> the news can be so heavy, so intense, it's nice to have someone analyze things from a different point of view. >> he became people's go to guy. you watch the news and watch john stewart. he'd have to remind you i'm not the news. >> a lot of people out there do turn to you. >> not for news. >> well -- >> -- for a comedic interpretation. >> -- to be informed. they think they're coming closer to the truth. >> that's a different thing. that's credibility. >> he was able to show you and make you hear what you wish you would havehought of. , man why didn't i think of that. or that's hilarious i never thought of it like that.
>> he felt a responsibility to carry out his conscience but always slammed a huge joke in there. >> nothing will change with the same policies that got us to the status quo. another lap word status quo, it stands for middle class. every day americans are really getting taken for a ride. [ cheers and applause ] >> now that's the kind of talk you normally hear right before the pharmacist says ma'am you got to leave the wall greens. >> it was about moral outrage. that's what made the show so riffoting and fun. >> bull [ bleep ] have got lazy and their work is easily detected. looking for it is a way to pass the time like i spy bull
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is there . there was a time after that people didn't know what to do. late night shows didn't know how to behave. there was a moratorium on comedy. >> naturally the whole show he's changed. they would book news people not comedians. >> 9/11 was obviously a dark, dark moment for our country but an important moment for us. >> the words spoken at 11:31 every saturday night are live from new york, so this was
backyard, so it was almost incumbent on "saturday night live" to play some sort of role in the nation's healing. the question is, when is it okay to laugh again. >> everyone here i just want to thank you all for being here tonight especially you mr. mayor. >> thank you having our city's institutions up and running sends a message new york city is open for business. "saturday night live" is one of our great new york city institutions that's why it is important do your show tonight. >> can we be funny? >> why start now. [ laughter ] [ cheers and applause ] >> it was that saturday night we decided okay, we're going to be able to do this again and they slowly brought us through it. i think it was one of the finest moments in "snl" history. >> live from new york, it's saturday night!
>> right after 9/11, i had to fly to new york to roast hugh hefner for comedy central and we didn't know what would happen. >> question is how do you go about joking again. you're living in too soon territory. >> tragedy and comedy are roommates if you joke about a tragedy you're kind of beating the tragedy away. so i did a joke, i said today i'll be using my muslim name, hasn't been laid. >> there's no black or white answer to when it's time to laugh. and when it's time to laugh at. >> i wanted to do a joke that totally is over the line. and i said, i have to leave early toght, i have to catch a flight to l.a., i couldn't get a direct flight, we have to make a
stop at the empire state building. i lost an audience as big as anyone in the history of performing. >> somebody said, too soon. that didn't slow gilbert down. that pushed him to a whole new place. >> the hardest [ bleep ] the sister [ bleep ] >> tell an a ris to krat joke a license to offend for the [ bleep ] of it. i was laughing so hard i was crying. >> it was such a release. just what we needed. couldn't have been a better time. a better place. or a better person telling it. >> if you missed any portion, i'll repeat it. >> absolutely had to be done. somebody had to stand up in
front of the comedy community and say it's okay but it's not okay but those words must be spoken. >> god bless you. god bless america. >> i thought what gilbert did that night was heroic and i think ultimately can you can say whatever you want about whether it was appropriate it made a lot of people in that room feel very good. and that's that. >> i don't believe in too soon. a little secret, the minute someone says something is off limits all we focus is on how do we do joke s about that. >> one of the strikes choices in the post 9/11 days and weeks was the onion. they released issue dedicated to the 9/11 attacks. at first seemed like a terrible idea but when you see what they did you find their brilliance.
>> they found common ground. what are we all feel and found humor in that as opposed to making light of something terrible. it was amazinglile cathardic moment. >> it's a beautiful thing about the human species, we're defining depression, loss, death and entrappy, to live. and time will give you the breath to do that. >> like to test myself. by joking about horrible things and nothing but. one of my favorite ways to test myself i like to make joke s about tragedies the day they happen. i don't believe in too soon. i'm on a tight schedule. >> too soon is tricky. sometimes it's too soon but if the joke is good enough it's never too soon. >> everyone has their version but the comedydoesn't decide the
audience decides whether it was acceptable or not. >> another malaysian airline planes -- >> too soon, too soon. >> my problem is it's not too soon i just wish i could think of [ bleep ] faster. >> there's a graph that goes on in my head the more offense the subject the funnier it has to be. >> i was thinking the other day how bad a person you are by how soon after 9/11 you mast baited how long you waited for me it was between the two buildings going down. i had to do it. otherwise they win. that's the way i was looking at it at the time. it was a strange time for all of us. >> if you giggle, you bust it. because something made you had that involuntary reaction. >> in a way life is really hard, you have to get back to silly at some point or life is even harder.
>> that boston marathon was scary, man. just think about it, you been training for a year, you finally get to the finish line and somebody screams, run! that is horrible. man. when heartburn hits fight back fast with new tums chewy bites. fast relief in every bite. crunchy outside. chewy inside. tum tum tum tum new tums chewy bites. what's going on here? um...i'm babysitting. that'll be $50 bucks.
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for those who went to bed early didn't see this monologue, very uncomfortable. >> you finally get to the finish line and somebody screams, run! >> can't stand when people say you shouldn't be allowed to say that. not funny at all. >> the news cycle in the internet age demands something fresh and news all the tile. frequently a comedian comment ongt non the news becomes the news. >> he said what, he must have rocks in his head. >> she told a joke and offended people in that community. >> didn't take long for his
tweets to be condemned. >> everyone thinks you have to be burned at the stake if you said something deemed offensive by however many thousands on twitter decided it's offensive. >> i think we're at a point in the country where people need to take the thumb out of their mouth and zbroe up a little bit and realize there's a lot bigger problems out there than what a comedian did a joke about. >> you have to feel the same way about comedy. >> yeah i did this joke about the way people have to justify their cellphone, like they're so important, they don't seem important the way you scroll through them like a gay french king. there's a creepy pc thing that bothers me. >> the rise of the politically correct trend is the cover story on the atlantic magazine. protective atmosphere is so
charged comedian jerry seinfield won't perform. >> they don't even know what they're talking about. >> an opinion echoed by chris rock. you know when ris crock achris jerry say you have a stick up your ass you don't have to wait for the x-rays to come back. >> people are constantly looking for ways to get offended. >> yeah i say things offensive. i'm working. i'm trying it out. >> too soon for the see lean dion jokes? [ laughter ] there goes my michael j. fox routine. i'm not making fun of michael j. fox that's shaky ground right there. >> a comedy is it like a gym it interesting to say you're not allowed to make a mistake.
>> danger is part of it. there has to be a bit of fear something could happen. >> the only apologize should be made is i'm sorry people didn't find it funny. you should never apologize for having a go. >> they wrote a nasty article about me with the headline you cannot joke about rain. ahhh [ laughter ] turns out you can. [ laughter ] . >> the whole politically correct thing going on right now, i'm happy it's going on but it's nothing new. every couple decades there has to be a big, ugly, let's take it all apart and see what comes out the other side. >> i caught myself a few years ago fighting gay. i say gay like, that's so gay. i just think gay. i have gay friends. i don't mean it like it's gay, like it's gay, like is lame. i'm like what am i fighting.
i became the guy who said 50 years ago i say colored, i have colored friends. you have to listen to the news age they lead the revolution pretty much on the idea side of history. >> people are so afraid of change they fight it so hard but if you can't change with the time it makes you old around makes your comedy stay with us steal. stale. comedy isn't ever groo green un it's poop jokes. >> i'm all about asian men, no body odor. she just smul like responsibility. >> this language police thing going on has a lot of validit but also a lot of issues there's a stirring of the pot we don't know how the soup will taste yet. >> can there be a case if you
don't use the right word for a right ethnic group or gender where people get too hyped up about it. yes. but those are exactly the waters that comedy should be traveling. >> i will always change. i will always try to learn the new terms but you got to give me some wiggle room. by the way if you get hung up on words you will let a lot of evil mother [ bleep ] slip through because evil people learn the correct terms very quickly. a lot of times the good guys, ah, they [ bleep ] a couple words but listen to their heart. >> having constraints makes comedy better in some ways because it spurs innovation. >> sometimes when you have to work around something even for a silly reason it can make things funny. >> i love that they're setting this high bar because comedy will always find a way over it. funny wins. >> that's the worst thing i ever
said. i think i finally said the worst thing i have ever said. and it feels good. it feels good to have found bottom. you guys were great. thank you very much. ing okay... then it hit me... ...managing was all i was doing. when i told my doctor,... ...i learned humira is for people who still have symptoms of moderate to severe crohn's disease... ...even after trying other medications. in clinical studies,... the majority of people on humira... saw significant symptom relief... ...and many achieved remission. humira can lower your ability... ...to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened;... ...as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where... ...certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb,... ...hepatitis b, are prone to infections,... ...or have flu-like symptoms or sores. don't start humira if you have an infection.
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excited. because the other people have guns. >> when you bring out a topic or subject that's about timing, it's whether people are going to latch on to it. >> there's nothing wrong with saying, i like something. don't take it away from me. but don't give me this other bull [ bleep ]. the main one is, i need it for protection. i need it to protect me. i need it to protect my family. really? is that why they are called assault rifles. what we like to do is create a stir. any time you see that lead to some sort of change, you just kind of keep your mouth shut and walk away. >> you're at a gun show. >> gun show. >> social change is a really nice side effect of being really present and really brilliantly funny. >> the best comedy is driven by a point of view and a point of view isn't just about their own experience but where someone has something to say. >> now, i'm not sure what you heard about me, but i do things a little different than you all
are used to here at stuford heights. i just need you to go with me on this one. >> coach, we play football. >> my team, my rules. if you don't like it, don't let the team rape you on the way out. >> good comedians talk about stuff that bothers them or interests them. then you can be happy about it. >> joe, thank you so much. thank you. >> partial birth abortions aren't a thing. >> we cover reeling material. but it's important to bring it back to comedy. if you, for one moment, think of yoself as important, you are dead. you are out of comedy. forget it. >> the ethical and religious directives or catholic health care service says a slim volume of 72 medical commandments that fit neatly between a patient and her doctor. >> more and more what you're seeing are people about the world unafraid to bring that into their comedy. if you care about stuff that
really matters, if i do that's fair for comedy too. >> coming out of the jon stewart mold of having a great specific sense of humor. he does cover a lot of the week's topics from his point of view, then turns the view into one topic. which is kind of great. because no one is doing one form like that. >> our main topic tonight concerns debt. i would like to talk to you about drugs. our main story tonight is income inequality. a good way to figure out which side of it you're on is whether you are currently paying for hbo or stealing it. >> comedy is a way to hold people's attention while you tell them important truths. >> i'm not saying the irs is a likeable organization. but not everything important is likeable. think of our government as a body. the irs is the anus. it's nobody's favorite part. but you need that thing working properly or everything goes to [ bleep ] real quick. >> has become the person who pulls back the person to show
the world that -- >> do you see that this is happening? we didn't make this up. this wasn't a funny idea we had. this is what's happening. >> the constitution isn't the star in super mario brothers. it doesn't make you invisible to you can do whatever the [ bleep ] you want. >> you teach us about things we should know about. it's embarrassing in a way to have someone come over here and explain how things like health care work. >> it's less than ideal. >> yeah. >> comedy brings awareness. it's a practice of noticing. and there is an effect of john oliver because he is actually creating change. >> vanity fair new establish says oliver established himself as perhaps the most disruptive journalist on television. >> are you aware of this thing called the john oliver effect? >> the john oliver effect is like activism which is funny in nature but at the same time illuminating issues that everybody else is missing and once they're illuminated they are very difficult to ignore. >> you say you want to make
people laugh more than anything else. but it also has to be gratifying you made other think. >> i guess so. i guess that's a main buy product. but the main thing we do is comedy. if you get to the end of a joke and someone is just thinking, you have failed. >> he would probably hate something called the john oliver effect. he is really all about doing tight well-researched comedy show. and beyond that, it's out of your control. >> 39 states hold elections for judges. and america is virtually alone in doing this. in fact, only one other country on earth that does it on this scale. you can guess which. you're wrong. it's bolivia. a country you think of so little, it's not bolivia. actually, that's still not bolivia. this is bolivia. or is it? >> the truth goes down a lot easier when a joke is attached to it. it just does.
>> it was worth the trip in, wasn't it? >> things going on seem so crazy. you feel so powerless. so the comedians are giving people that are voiceless a voice. >> i'll be honest, it's beginning to look like i'm not going get "the tonight show." >> what is that comedian's take on that election? what's the comedian's take on the hurricane? we are speaking on behalf of the consumer, the voter, the victim. >> the joke you'll forget. you'll forget the joke. but if it's the right moment and right condition and you acknowledge what just happened, it's a beautiful thing. >> the fact that can you take something dark and make light of it is one of the few superpowers people have. >> you will remember when a laugh steered you back to sanity and comfort. >> all of the awful things in the world, if they can be mocked, then can you handle it.
>> what about the adage that tragedy plus time equals comedy? >> i don't think there's a formula for any of these things. when people contemplate whether something has been enough time or is it too soon or not, again, you cannot generalize. >> there are some topics that you can never talk about forever. you know, talk about the holocaust. never. >> when what do you get when you cross the atlantic with the "titanic"? half way. if i had said that in 1912, people go, hey! >> funny's funny, man. it just doesn't matter. >> i think i got an aids laugh today. but then there are things like prince dying. three days. >> the bar has always been like, are you funny or are you not funny? >> john denver died. can you joke about it that afternoon. >> people can do the cliches about timing and tragedy and all that, but i think you have to have a level of discomfort. i don't know if you've seen me with anderson cooper, but i count on his discomfort.
>> if you're doing a jonbenet routine in in boulder, colorado. you better be nailing it. thank you very much. and when they say this show features living color, you better believe it. >> spear chucker. >> white trash. jungle bunny. >> honky. >> [ bleep ]. >> dead honky. >> i'm not allowed to say certain things. i mean, i can make fun of jewish people but i'm not allowed to make fun of other ethnic groups. >> they don't arrest anybody that kills rabbits. [ bleep ] if you want to get away with murder, all you got to do is shoot somebody in the head and put a demo tape in their pocket. >> when you lah,