Applause for stand up comedians of yesterday

Stand up comedians used to provide family entertainment. Now they use vulgar language inappropriate for most ages. Photo: AP/ Bob Hope

MISSOURI, August 29, 2013 —The standup comedian for family entertainment has disappeared. Bob “thanks for the memories” Hope, one of the last of these great comedians, died on July 27, 2003(2003-07-27) at age 100.

Families used to watch such comedians as Red Skelton, Uncle Miltie, Sid Ceasar, Henny Youngman, Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, Fred Allen and so many more. They knew how to make you laugh. More importantly, their jokes and routines were clean and they were for family viewing.

Most of the shows were filmed live, and sometimes the bloopers and reaction from the comedian’s partner on stage drew ‘belly laughs” that brought tears to your eyes.

There were weekly comedy shows that were totally clean, such as the Lucille Ball show, the Golden Girls, the Jackie Gleason show the “Honeymooners.”

The audience loved to watch Red Skeleton interact with his guests. He was so natural that he made his guest burst out laughing. It appeared that it was not staged but if it was they fooled the audience and that is what it is all about. Every Monday, employees would gather at the water cooler and quote a scene from a show that they had seen over the weekend and the laughter started all over again.

The comedy shows not only had a funny “Headliner” but they were supported with a cast of funny people. How about Art Carney on the “Honeymooners”, Sally Struthers in “All in the Family” and what about the Bob Hope show with entertainers like Phyllis Diller and Jerry Colona.”

A lot of these comedy shows always had their own band. Les Brown performed with Bob Hope and it was common to see Harry James on the shows.

Today comedians use incredibly vulgar language. As a result, many viewers turn the program off, especially the senior population.  Their routines did not leave anything to the imagination.

Free speech is an incredible right, and some of our Armed Service personnel have died to protect this freedom. However, many of us wish these so called comedians would clean up their mouths and acts and represent the advanced society that we are supposed to be living in.

Let’s get some culture and class back into clean and wholesome entertainment so that the whole family can have a good clean laugh.

Comedians can add to our health, as laughter is a healer.  It has been said that what comes out of your mouth is who you are.

However, that’s from a time and place I am from.


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Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles is a fifty-four-year career in technology retiring at the directors level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a free-lance columnist, published three books, over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, radio interviews, one television commercial and finally married for sixty-five years, four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great grand children. 

Charles is also a Navy veteran.

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