Today’s top stand-up comedians sell out arenas, generate millions of dollars, tour the world, and help shape our social discourse. So, how did this all happen? The History of Stand-Up chronicles the evolution of this American art form – from its earliest pre-vaudeville practitioners like Artemus Ward and Mark Twain to present-day comedians of HBO and Netflix. Drawing on his acclaimed History of Stand-up podcast and popular university lectures, veteran comedian and adjunct USC professor Wayne Federman guides us on this fascinating journey.
The story has a connective tissue – humans standing on stage, alone, trying to get laughs. That experience connects all stand-ups through time, whether it's at the Palace, the Copacabana, the Apollo, Mister Kelly’s, the hungry i, Grossinger's, the Comedy Cellar, the Improv, the Comedy Store, Madison Square Garden, UCB, or at an open mic in a backyard.