Ep. 63 - Native Americans and Comedy, with Adrianne Chalepah and Kliph Nesteroff


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“My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem.”--Charlie Hill, comedian and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.

In this week’s episode, Julie and Eve talk to comedian, writer, and actor Adrianne Chalepah and comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff about Native Americans and comedy. An enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, Adrianne has been a stand-up comedian for more than a decade. She’s the founder of the indigenous femme comedy troupe, Ladies of Native Comedy, and she plays the role of Shannon Diabo on Peacock’s hit show “Rutherford Falls.” Kliph was a stand-up comic for eight years. He’s the author of The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels, and the History of American Comedy and, most recently, We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy.

In her conversation with Eve and Julie, Adrianne describes how before becoming a professional comedian, she was kicked out of public school for being a class clown and then sent to a U.S. government-run boarding school for Native American children. She also discusses whether the increasing success of Native American comedians like herself and others is indicative of lasting change.

Kliph shares stories about Charlie Hill, the first Native American comedian to appear on network television and how he revolutionized opportunities for Native American comedians.

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