Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Dick Gregory, National Treasure

Born in 1964, I was blessed to be brought up by a father who grew up during a peculiar period between 1955 and 1970 when the entire concept of political comedy was invented from whole cloth. I was the 2nd generation. My father, Allan, was the first.

There is nothing in the comedic lexicon from 1975 to 2008 that can compare to what began in the mid 1950s and extended to 1975.

Ernie Kovacs. Bob and Ray. Lenny Bruce. Dick Gregory. Bob Newhart. Bill Cosby. Smothers Brothers. Flip Wilson. Richard Pryor. Carol Burnett.

Dick Gregory, in this clip from Feb. 2008, shows what being a comedian is all about, and why so many thousands of people have been inspired by the concept of intelligent, informed and thoughtful comedy that tries to change the world while still being humble and funny.

Watching this clip makes me really miss my dad, Allan Edgar Watts. My father was a brilliant comedian who knew, like Dick Gregory, that a joke is only funny if down deep it is about love and justice and the underdog winning.

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