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Today's top stand-up comedians sell out arenas, generate millions of dollars, tour the world and help shape our social discourse. So, how did this all happen? The History of Stand-Up chronicles the incredible evolution of this American art form—from its earliest pre-vaudeville practitioners like Artemus Ward and Mark Twain to the present-day comedians of HBO and Netflix. The story has a connective tissue—humans standing on stage, alone, trying to get laughs. That experience connects all stand-ups through time, whether it's at the Palace, the Copacabana, Grossinger's, the Apollo, Mister Kelly's, the Improv, the Comedy Store, Madison Square Garden, Upright Citizens Brigade or at an open mic in a backyard.
Wayne Federman is a stand-up comedian, actor, professor and author. He has appeared on The Tonight Show five times, and had his own special on Comedy Central. He has acted in numerous films and TV shows, including Curb Your Enthusiasm, Silicon Valley, Larry Sanders, Community, Legally Blonde, Knocked Up, Step Brothers, 50 First Dates and Funny People.