...We had a little real estate problem.” –Charlie Hill, comedian and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
(RE-RELEASE) 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. 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 also shares stories about Charlie Hill, the first Native American comedian to appear on network television and how he revolutionized opportunities for Native American comedians. (This episode was originally released on 9/2/21.)
An enrolled member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and a member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, Adrianne Chalepah 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 Nesteroff 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.
We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy
A Best Book of 2021 by NPR and Esquire
“[Nesteroff] has carved out a niche as the premier popular historian of comedy because of his knack for unearthing such forgotten stories…[We Had a Little Real Estate Problem] provides context for an argument about the importance of representation.” —Jason Zinoman, The New York Times
“[A]n illuminating and stereotype-busting history of Native Americans and comedy.” —The Washington Post
We Had a Little Real Estate Problem: The Unheralded Story of Native Americans & Comedy, by Kliph Nesteroff
Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever., edited by Betsy Bird
Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, by Vine Deloria Jr.
Adrianne Chalepah on Hitch Hikers (video)
Charlie Hill on The Richard Pryor Show, 1977 (video)
Vaughn Eaglebear of Pow-wow Comedy Jam (video)