Corporate Comedy

Written by Will Baum
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Corporate Comedy" may sound to some like an oxymoron. Corporations take on certain responsibilities, making a necessary effort not to offend, to remain in good taste. Comedy is quite the opposite. Comedy is often based on shock and surprise. But there is a middle ground.

Hundreds of comics, many who may in a nightclub environment "play blue," have sets honed for corporate events, cleaning up their acts without losing what's known as "the funny." These are professionals who can often earn more than their nightclub rate doing corporate comedy.

For others, playing clean is in their blood. Bill Cosby is famous for deriding comics who have to rely on four-letter words to get a laugh. Revered among comics for his ability to tell a simple story from his life or from the life of his family, Cosby is the master of the monologue. Long before his huge success with "The Cosby Show" on TV, Cosby was understood to be one of the top comics of his generation. His many books, including "Fatherhood," and "Cosbyology," have served to seal his place as one of the country's all-time top comic storytellers.

Corporate Comedy Makes Events Memorable

An appearance by someone of Bill Cosby's stature makes a corporate gathering into an event to be remembered. There are plenty of not-as-legendary comedians who can have the same effect. Among corporate comedy's big name regulars are columnists Dave Barry and Calvin Trillin, comics Jay Leno and Jeff Foxworthy, and impressionist Rich Little. The Internet is an excellent source of information about the best of corporate comedy.


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