Rebels with a Cause: The Bad Boys of Comedy

by Noel Hoffman
Faculty advisor: Dr. Michael Whitlatch

There have been many different individuals that have contributed to making American comedy what it is today. One group of those individuals is known as “The Bad Boys of Comedy”. Comedians such as Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce, and the Smothers Brothers all faced censorship, restrictions, and even threats because of their comedy. Rather than lying down and accepting defeat, however, these comedians rebelled against the forces that sought to bring them down.

My presentation will display the lives, careers, and occasional downfalls of a select group of American comedians throughout history whose groundbreaking, taboo, and often offensive comedic styles made major contributions to the progression of modern comedy.