Stand-up comedy is at its peak for the past 10 to 15 years. Many actors are making stand-up comedy an even better enjoyment and entertainment than a comedy movie.
Robin Williams made stand-up an art form. Others have followed. But back in the 70s and 80s, stand-up comedy was an unknown. People were not used to the idea to get to a club and have someone tell jokes for an hour. Sometimes, stand-up comedy included participation from the audience, or the comedian making jokes at the audience. Not many people can handle that.
Which is why it took stand-up comedy more than 10 years to fully grow into an art form and a category of its own. You can trace the beginnings up to the late 70s and early 80s, and one city in America stands out.
That city is Boston. During that period, stand-up comedians like Steven Wright, Colin Quinn, and Dennis Leary burst upon the national scene. They gave the audience a taste of the hard-edge social and political commentary that is now an art form.
The period of the 70s and 80s is known in comedy as “The Boston Gold Rush”. This documentary covers some of the beginnings of stand-up comedy.