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History of Frankie Fay: America's First Stand Up Comedian and Horrible Racist

Comedy History 101

08/05/19 • 42 min

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Frankie Fay was a vaudeville comedian - who in 1919 is said to have created modern day stand up comedy. Fay was the first comedian to come out on stage in regular clothes and just talk to the audience. He is also credited for creating the role of MC in comedy shows. Legendary comedians Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and George Burns all admired Fay’s stage persona.

So why haven’t you heard of Frankie Fay - and why is he lost to history? Because he was also a horrible racist.

In fact, in 1946 - a group called “Friends of Frankie Fay - held a pro-fascist rally at Madison Square Garden - that praised Hitler...and Frankie Fay.

Learn more about the man who pioneered stand up comedy - but was eventually blacklisted from show biz for being a notorious bigot.

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