Veteran arts journalist Nick Zaino explores Boston’s long history of comedy, from vaudeville to YouTube, highlighting some of the personalities that have defined laughter in America for 100 years. Eva Tanguay found her calling as the Queen of Vaudeville in Holyoke. Fred Allen found inspiration at the Boston Public Library to start his vaudeville career. Bob and Ray started their radio run in Gloucester at WHDH. Rusty Warren and Tom Lehrer shocked crowds in song. Norm Crosby and Bill Dana played the swinging supper clubs. Jay Leno, Denis Leary, Paula Poundstone, Steven Wright, Janeane Garofalo, Conan O’Brien, Eugene Mirman, Mike Birbiglia, Bo Burnham, Chris Fleming, Sam Jay, Ziwe – all are part of the fabric of Boston comedy lore. Their history is a mirror of the history of American entertainment.

100 Years of Boston Comedy is a lecture and multimedia PowerPoint presentation. It runs just over an hour and is usually followed by a lively Q&A session with the audience. Bookings available by contacting me at the link below.