One of the ways we have sought to understand one another is through the exploration of the popular culture that existed during our respective formative years. Today I'm going to talk about comedy. Specifically comedy that was, for us, underground at the time we were exposed to it. We were both born in the 1960's so bear that in mind when you listen to the video clips.
Our definition of underground comedy is limited to albums, specifically those albums that were considered too offensive to be broadcast on the telly and were only available to us via a friend or through that "cool aunt" who enjoyed the idea of turning us into delinquents.
The comedian that met the above criteria for me was Billy Connolly and for my husband it was Redd Foxx. Despite being born on different continents and in different points in history, the two had at least one thing in common. Neither felt welcome in America when they first began performing.
When Connollys' Cop Yer Whack for It was released in 1974, I was 12 years old and I had a brother who was 16. He smuggled the album into the house and we listened to it after our parents had gone to bed. For me it was the equivalent of doing illicit drugs.
Redd Foxx began recording albums in 1956, but was never paid for them. His albums were underground and difficult to get when my husband listened to them in the 1970's. There are still a lot of people in the States that have never listened to Redds' early stand-up and never appreciated the role he played in opening doors to African American comedians. Richard Pryor had to stand on the shoulders of Redd Foxx to achieve mainstream popularity.
This is from Foxx's Jokes I Can't Tell on Television released in 1960.
When my husband and I compare the popular culture of our teen years, we discuss the political climate during those times as well. After 22 years of marriage, we haven't run out of things to talk about.
Because Bloggerland and Twitterland consist of a wide variety of ages and cultures, I'd be interested to see what you think of these two comedians. If you're from the States, what do you think of Connolly? If you're from the UK or Ireland, what do you think of Foxx. And if you're young, what do you think of comedy from this period?
If I don't get back to you on comments right away, it's simply because I'm busy today. Likewise I may get to some of your posts later than usual. Have a fabulous Tuesday.