Course Description

ONLINE: This lecture-based course will focus on the Smothers Brothers for four sessions and Lenny Bruce for two. The Smothers Brothers were the first performers to combine folk singing with stand-up comedy. They started out as smirking college kids, but eventually used their national role to play a part in upending Lyndon Johnson's run for a second term. We'll cover their bios, some relative context, some of their amazingly funny bits and some of their powerful political satire that led to their getting kicked off the air. Lenny Bruce is considered by many to be the godfather of modern stand-up comedy. He did bits in the 1950s and '60s that no other comedian would touch. He started out telling amusing stories that were within the confines of contemporary humor, but later branched out into taboo subjects like politics, religion, the military, divorce, motels and sex. He didn't use "dirty" words himself, but the characters in his stories did, because he was a mirror. Join us for a laugh! | Lecture + Q&A.

Max enrollment: 200.

Class sessions are recorded.

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Section Title
Comedic Genius: The Smothers Brothers and Lenny Bruce
Online - Zoom
1:30PM to 2:45PM
Sep 12, 2023 to Oct 17, 2023
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
Delivery Options
Virtual Classroom  
Course Fees
Section Notes

Class sessions are recorded.

Please note: Just bring an open mind and a sense of humor. The recommended reading will be referenced in the course, but is not assigned reading.

Recommended reading:
David Bianculli, "Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (9781439101162)
Robert Metz, "CBS: Reflections In A Bloodshot Eye" (9780451071156)
Lenny Bruce, "How to Talk Dirty and Influence People" (9780671751081)

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