We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans in Comedy - AUDIO CD
It was one of the most reliable jokes in Charlie Hill’s stand-up routine, the line almost always guaranteed to get a big laugh: “I’m from Wisconsin, of the Oneida Nation. My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York, but we had a little real estate problem.” In We Had a Little Real Estate Problem, acclaimed comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff focuses on one of comedy’s most significant and little-known stories: how, despite having been denied representation in the entertainment industry except for racist caricatures and humorless stereotypes, Native Americans have greatly influenced and advanced the art form.
The account begins in the late 1880s, when Native Americans were forced to tour in wild west shows instead of going to prison. (One modern comedian said it was as “if a Guantanamo detainee suddenly had to appear on X-Factor.”) This is followed by a detailed look at the life and work of seminal figures such as Depression-era humorist Will Rogers, whose Cherokee citizenship is known to few, and Hill, who in the 1970s was the first Native American comedian to appear The Tonight Show yet never achieved the fame of his peers David Letterman and Robin Williams.
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio and Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (February 16, 2021)