(This is not a researched article – I have forgotten so many “more than funny people” – please leave your favorites in the comments)

I was talking to someone who calls himself a standup comic. He is a very intelligent and funny person and although I haven’t seen him perform, we work together and his smart humor is extremely entertaining.

My issue with him is his stubborn refusal to hear about the comics of the past.

Not counting the stages before the 20th century – this article is simply a rant.

There was Vaudeville, Broadway and the motion pictures. Then came the radio and the pictures with sound.

The comedians from the early part of the 20th century transform like the Darwinian human photo. Starting with Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and many more I do not know about. Then on to the comedy of The Marx Brothers, Abbot and Costello, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, George Burns, Fred Allen, Milton Berle, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart…

Never using foul language or touching racy topics – always rated G even if they did stray into the racist and woman bashing arena at times; it was a different time when humor was humor, not political events. .

In the 1950s all inclusive resorts began to incorporate comedians into their entertainment offerings. Acts such as Alan King, Danny Thomas, Martin and Lewis, Don Rickles, Joan Rivers and Jack E. Leonard flourished in these venues.

There was Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner standing up and ad-libbing their way through stand up routines. Sid Cesar, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Mort Sahl and so many others.

In the 1970’s through the 80’s there was Larry Miller, Sandra Bernhard, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Paul Reiser, Kevin Pollak, Sam Kinison, Paul Mooney, Robin Williams, Bill Maher, Marc Maron and Phyllis Diller.

Gary Shandling, Norm Macdonald, Eddie Murphy, Bernie Mac, Louis CK, Chris Rock, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, John Candy…there are so many…I give up.

This is not a history of comedy lesson, this is just me trying to make a point. My point? Yes you can be funny if you are funny, but you can be something more than funny if you read up, listen or watch the comedians (male and female) who occupied the spotlight before you were born. (Or your even your grandparents had met or married)

I don’t know the history of comedy, I do know about laughter. The timing, the ability to ad-lib and to switch gears quickly in order to save a routine.

Something more than funny.

The Honeymooners, The Odd Couple (perfect coupling of Tony Randall and Jack Klugman) who’s on first with Abbott and Costello, Charlie Chaplin how he blends comedy and drama beautifully, Robin Williams in Lincoln Center, Richard Pryor on the Sunset Strip, Eddie Murphy in his first two comedy specials, Woody Allen, Roseanne Barr, Saturday Night Live during its heydays and All in the Family. So much more to add here but I don’t have time.

Yes there were cringe worthy moments – it was a different time and the cancel culture be damned should they even think about knocking humor with no malice. 99 percent of the humor was simply to “make em laugh.” The comedy stages were not a platform to spew out hatred or fascists ideology. It was a place to get away from reality.

One day the children of tomorrow will be questioning every move we make. Why did we wear clothing made by children in sweat shops, continue to pollute the world and permit a dictator to invade and destroy a neighboring country out of greed.

Just because things are not socially acceptable today that doesn’t make the past cancellable. Learn from the past and be better. If you are a comedian, be more than funny.