New program brings back comedy greats

Monday, August 26, 2002

A new programming addition on KRCU, Southeast Missouri State University's public radio station, is "Comedy College," a weekly presentation of comedy routines mostly from the 1970s and 1980s by some of the most legendary names in stand-up comedy.

Jack Benny, Shelley Berman, Mike Nichols, Elaine May, Flip Wilson, Phyllis Diller, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Redd Foxx and Totie Fields are familiar names to an older generation, but the treasure trove of laughs produced by these masters of comedy may not be so familiar to anyone who is in college or younger. Bill Cosby is among a handful of comedy geniuses from that era still performing and still popular among all age groups.

"Comedy College" -- broadcast at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on KRCU -- has some comedy icons as hosts: Steve Martin (who has, of late, become a popular author of books and New Yorker magazine pieces), Rita Rudner and Bob Newhart.

Young listeners will particularly note that the routines of yesteryear -- at least those recorded for sales to a mass audience -- were wildly successful without so much of the raw sex and foul language that have become the backbone of today's comedians. For those who remember listening to these recordings when they first came out, "Comedy College" will be a refreshing trip down memory lane.

The Southeast Missourian is proud to underwrite this new program.

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