KEEPING AMERICA LAUGHING: The Commerce of Laughter in the USA

Stand-up comedy in the United States got its start from monologists performing stump-speech monologues from within the minstrel shows of the early 19th century. It also has roots in various traditions of popular entertainment of the late 19th century, including vaudeville, English music hall, burlesque or early variety shows, humorist monologues by personalities such as […]

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A Spy for a Spy and a Spoof for a Spoof “Get Smart cone of silence 1” 

Maxwell Smart, a.k.a. Agent 86, works for CONTROL, a Washington, D.C.-based counterintelligence agency. Totally inept as a secret agent, Smart can barely use the gadgetry the agency provides him (including a phone embedded in his shoe). Nevertheless, he and his fellow agentsalways seem to thwart the operations of KAOS, an organized crime outfit dedicated to […]

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Beyonce pranked or Punk’d

Celebrities, watch your backs: MTV’s “Punk’d” is back after a five-year hiatus and ready to trick a whole new generation of stars with its elaborate practical jokes. And sure, this week’s premiere may feature Justin Bieber pranking Taylor Swift— but we’re still nostalgic for the days of the original-recipe, Ashton Kutcher-hosted version. Here, we get […]

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