News / TV

CNN announces eight-part series, “The History of Comedy,” plus limited stand-up showcases across America

The History of Comedy, an eight-part CNN original documentary series, will premiere at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017.

CNN announced the premiere date today, along with a series of one-night stand-up showcases to celebrate the project in partnership with the National Comedy Center.

The History of Comedy also features interviews with Judd ApatowSarah SilvermanSenator Al FrankenMargaret ChoSamantha BeeJimmy KimmelKathy GriffinGeorge LopezKeegan-Michael Key, Conan O’BrienPatton Oswalt, Dick CavettAli WongW. Kamau Bell (who hosts CNN’s United Shades of America) and more. The premiere episode, “Going Blue,” looks at groundbreaking comedians like George Carlin, Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce who dared to embrace the risqué side of comedy.

Additional episodes will examine:

  • women in comedy
  • political humor
  • parody and satire
  • comedy ripped from the headlines
  • the dark side of comedy
  • comedy in race and culture
  • comedy found in everyday life

Here’s Larry David being Larry David about his participation in the series:

As for the National Comedy Center’s tie-in with CNN Original Series, they’re putting on special live comedy shows in Boston, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles leading up to the premiere of The History of Comedy.

Stand-Up Live! dates and lineups

  • NYC: Jan. 25, 2017, Carolines on Broadway. With Judy Gold, Emma Willmann, Tony Deyo, Marina Franklin, and Michelle Buteau. (TICKETS)
  • Boston: Jan. 28, Nick’s Comedy Stop. With Matteo Lane, Harrison Greenbaum, Orlando Baxter, Kerri Louise, and Bethany Van Delft. (TICKETS)
  • Chicago: Feb. 2, Zanies. With Sammy Obeid, Emma Willmann, Tony Deyo, Patti Vasquez. (TICKETS)
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 4, The Comedy & Magic Club. With Francisco Ramos, Andy Hendrickson, Dulcé Sloan. (TICKETS)

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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2 thoughts on “CNN announces eight-part series, “The History of Comedy,” plus limited stand-up showcases across America

  1. This entire thing will be a waste if there’s no Mort Sahl. It’s worse than talking about the first American Presidents, and forgetting Washington.

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