Looking for the Big Laugh with Professor Ritch Shydner: “Two Jokes Over the Line”

Two Jokes Over the Line By Ritch Shydner In 1962, when Johnny Carson made his debut as host of The Tonight Show, there were three channels on the TV. Pick one, read a book or stare at each other. In no time, Carson was “The King of Late Night,” and for the next 30 years the most powerful man in the world of stand-up comedy. Cable TV started to bite into the broadcast pie in the late 1970’s and early ’80s, but nobody touched Johnny’s slice. A young stand-up comedian of this era heard the overnight success stories while...

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