Watch on YouTube TV

The History of Comedy

Watch live TV from 60+ networks
Cloud DVR with no storage limits
6 accounts per household included
$40/month.
Cancel anytime.
CNN Original Series examines the historic influence of comedy in an eight-part documentary. Archival footage and contemporary interviews with comedy legends, scholars and current stars combine to explore what makes people laugh and how comedy has affected history's social and political landscape. Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, Jimmy Kimmel, Kathy Griffin, George Lopez, Keegan-Michael Key, Conan O'Brien, Patton Oswalt and Dick Cavett are among those interviewed. The series begins by profiling "blue" comics like George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. Subsequent episodes detail women in comedy, political humor, parody and satire, comedy ripped from the headlines, the dark side of comedy, comedy in race and culture, and comedy found in everyday life.

Latest episodes

aired 16 days ago
Exploring and celebrating the greatest female comedians of all time and how they were able to succeed in every genre where humor is found despite rampant sexism and prejudice.
VOD available
Exploring family-friendly comedy and the struggles of abiding by strict network censors.
VOD available
The history of comedic duos and the evolution of comedy teams.
VOD available
Exploring the passing of comedic legends and how the connection with their audiences makes the loss more significant.
VOD available
Exploring the evolution of racial humor; how comedy can cross cultural barriers to unite people.
VOD available
Examining the many different ways that comedy has lampooned and influenced politics over the years.
aired 45 days ago
Examining how comedians find humor in the simple daily experiences we all share to make us laugh.
VOD available
The history between animation and comedy.
VOD available
Exploring the fascinating mind of the comedian and the difficult road that many seem destined to take -- where mental illness and substance abuse are remarkably common.
VOD available
Demonstrating how effective and funny it can be when you look at something serious and just twist it ever so slightly.
aired 52 days ago
Tracing the origins of topical humor from the invention of the monologue to the fake news shows of today.
aired 52 days ago
A look at groundbreaking comics, including George Carlin, Dick Gregory and Lenny Bruce, who embraced the risqué side of comedy and risked careers, prison, and even their lives to fight censorship.
VOD available
Exploring the history of sketch and improv comedy and how it evolved into a significant part of comedic talent today.
VOD available
How sexual humor, one of the oldest forms of comedy, pushes the limits of both comfort and political correctness.

Similar on YouTube TV

Comic and political provocateur W. Kamau Bell hosts this CNN original documentary series in which he travels to the far corners of America to explore race-based subcultures. Using humor to soften his experiences, Bell willingly subjects himself to awkward situations -- like attending a cross-burning, hate-mongering Ku Klux Klan session -- to demonstrate "the many diverse and colorful definitions of America," CNN says. Bell also visits a gated retirement community, experiences inner-city policing, spends time with spring break revelers, speaks to prison inmates, and travels to the Last Frontier.
Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers hosts this CNN original series, an eight-part look at complex true stories of America's covert operations. The newly declassified missions are recounted firsthand by agents from all 16 U.S. intelligence bureaus, providing viewers with unprecedented access to a secret world of espionage. The missions span time periods from Cold War-era Moscow to modern-day Iran, from the streets of 1980s Cuba to Beijing of today. Among the stories covered are the military's hunts for Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
CNN's chief Washington correspondent, Jake Tapper, hosts this hourlong weekday afternoon program, which covers all the day's top stories from around the country and the world, headlines that span politics, money, sports and popular culture. "The Lead" works to ensure that viewers are caught up on the stories that matter, often highlighting news that may have been overlooked. Prior to joining CNN, Tapper served as senior White House correspondent at ABC News.
Executive-produced by Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog, CNN's eight-part documentary picks up where the network's critically acclaimed and highly-rated series "The Sixties" ended. Episodes examine the people, events and cultural touchstones that defined the '70s, delving into everything from the impact of the Vietnam War to the unprecedented scandal of Watergate. Also covered are the Iran Hostage Crisis, the sexual revolution, the Munich Olympics massacre, and the kidnapping of Patty Hearst. The documentary combines archival newsreel footage, personal movies, interviews, and comments by historians, journalists, politicians, celebrities and others, bringing new perspectives about a consequential decade.
Various networks
The latest news from around the world.
On Saturdays and Sundays, Fredricka Whitfield anchors "CNN Newsroom" from Atlanta. Seamlessly transitioning between political news and the top stories of the day, Whitfield covers the latest political stories by featuring interviews with lawmakers and members of the current administration paired with partisan and neutral panels of top political analysts and pundits. CNN correspondents stationed across the globe report on the day's news, adding context and color to top stories.
After airing several different programs in this time slot in recent years, CNN attempts to solidify its prime-time schedule by moving Chris Cuomo to the toughest hour in cable news. Cuomo, the former co-anchor of CNN's morning show "New Day," eschews panel discussions in favor of in-depth one-on-one interviews that test politicians and newsmakers on their positions. He also analyzes the news of the day and presents breaking news. Described by one publication as "America's toughest news anchor," Cuomo wants his show to be known as one that debates with decency. "The need is clear," he says. "Hopefully we help fill it."
This scripted anthology comedy series presents morality tales from the darkly witty mind of creator and four-time Sundance Award-winning writer/director Bobcat Goldthwait. Each standalone episode mashes up wildly different genres -- from 1970s-era science fiction and psychological thriller to romantic comedy and reality -- to tell a socially relevant story with an imaginative twist, and each tale parodies pop culture norms and exploits the awkwardness of its flawed characters. Or, in the words of Goldthwait, " `Misfits & Monsters' examines accepted truths and hypocrisies of our culture and turns them inside out."
With veteran Washington correspondent John King in the anchor chair, "Inside Politics" focuses on the top political stories of the day with a rotating round table of top sourced reporters from CNN and from other media outlets. The half-hour program gives viewers an inside look at the stories driving Washington, directly from reporters on the ground. Prior to its revival in 2014, "Inside Politics" was first headed by Judy Woodruff, and it aired for more than 20 years on CNN before its cancellation in 2005.