Kliph Nesteroff and this book are devoted to what I truly love—the art of comedy.
He is the preeminent historian of modern comedy.
Comedy fans, near and far, rejoice! Please join us tonight, Friday, November 13th at 7pm for the launch of the lauded first book from celebrated comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff: The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy! And Kliph will be in conversation with comedian David Heti!
Starting with the vaudeville circuit at the turn of the last century, Nesteroff introduces the first stand-up comedian—an emcee who abandoned physical shtick for straight jokes. After the repeal of Prohibition, Mafia-run supper clubs replaced speakeasies, and mobsters replaced vaudeville impresarios as the comedian’s primary employer. In the 1950s, the late-night talk show brought stand-up to a wide public, while Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, and Jonathan Winters attacked conformity and staged a comedy rebellion in coffeehouses. From comedy’s part in the Civil Rights movement and the social upheaval of the late 1960s, to the first comedy clubs of the 1970s and the cocaine-fueled comedy boom of the 1980s, The Comedians culminates with a new era of media-driven celebrity in the twenty-first century.
And, joining Kliph onstage in conversation tonight will be acclaimed comedian David Heti!
David Heti is a kind of hobo comic sort of. Dividing his time between New York, Montreal and the road, he has played all sorts of clubs and rooms. David teaches comedy writing at McGill University, and has also worked as a public prosecutor and for various centres of bioethics. In 2015, his album “It was ok” was released on Stand Up! Records, the U.S.’s premier indie comedy label, whose discography includes the early works of Doug Stanhope, Marc Maron and Maria Bamford. David has one degree in Philosophy, two in Law, and jokes and a podcast and such at www.davidheti.com.