When I was in college (BYU in the mid 90’s) the big thing to do on the weekend was to watch improv shows. There were several rival improv groups attempting to dominate the scene. (Actually, I don’t really know if they were rivals or not, it’s just more fun to re-imagine them as warring improv troops—go with me here.) We Mormon kids were on the hunt for entertainment and at that time, improv was it. Well, improv and acapella. We loved ourselves some acapella groups.
I think these improv groups were so popular because 1. they were funny and 2. it was something else to do on a weekend that wasn’t a movie. Plus it was clean—we could trust it.
Finding “clean” comedy can be hard to do. Or should I say, finding comedy that is clean AND funny can be hard to do. Too often I find myself saying "so and so is really funny, but just watch out for (insert warning of any potentially inappropriate content)". Comedy is one of those fields that too often crosses the line. When it doesn’t, we Mormons sure like to spread the word. (If only I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me “Brain Regan is really funny…and so clean!”)
I've been thinking about all this because a couple weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to a show done by The Left Field comedy group. The group is compromised of several “graduates” of Humor U, BYU’s stand-up comedy group on campus (improv is SO 90s). The show I attended was fresh, creative, hysterical…and yes, it was clean too. (You may recognize their most famous member Stephen Jones as he starred in the viral 2 million+ hits You Tube video, Study Like a Scholar, Scholar.) FYI - The group was filming a DVD of their stand-up so look for that sometime this summer.
I left the night surprised by the talent level of these young comedians and excited for their futures. It remains to be seen what kind of influence this young troupe will have but I for one am hoping one or more or all of them will find lots of success, not just for being clean, but funny too.
These are a little old but I found a couple You Tube videos of a Humor U taping. Not as good as the show I saw but gives you a little taste of what you can expect. Enjoy.
Do you have a favorite "clean" comedian? Spread the word in the comments!
Erin Hallstrom is the Associate Publisher for LDS Living.
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