Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Jon Shields

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Some people theorize that comedians have become more political. This thesis reviews a decade-by-decade history of stand-up comedy since the 1960s, as well as the development of late night political talk shows in the 1990s. It analyzes changes to the political landscape that may influence how political a comedian wants their set to be. This thesis quantifies how much time establishment and climber stand-up comedians spend on political content during their shows. Lastly, it analyzes changes to the political and comedic landscapes, noting the recent emergence of a political institution in the landscape that houses comedians with political agendas motivating their performances.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.