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Native American Comedians Make Their Voices Heard

We're talking with comics Adrianne Chalepah (top image) and Brian Bahe (bottom image) during this conversation.
We're talking with comics Adrianne Chalepah (top image) and Brian Bahe (bottom image) during this conversation.

Comedian Charlie Hill appeared on “The Richard Pryor Show” in 1977. To this day, Hill is the only Native comedian to appear on NBC’s Tonight Show, where many of today’s greatest comics got their start.

1977 was a long time ago. Why haven’t more Indigenous comics broken into the mainstream? Kliph Nesteroff thought a lot about that question for his new book, “We Had a Little Real Estate Problem.” He profiles Hill and several other young Native comedians whom he influenced.

Now, in 2021, as stand-up comedy begins to reckon with the direction it’s been headed the past several decades, Native comics are making their voices heard. We talk with comedians Adrianne Chalepah and Brian Bahe about their careers and the barriers Native people face while working in comedy. We also hear from Nesteroff about his book.

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