In a recent conference entitled, “How to Think about Inequality,” author James Piereson discussed key topics explored in his books, Shattered Consensus and The Inequality Hoax.
In Shattered Consensus, Piereson suggested that America is on the abyss of a new and historic phase of economic and political upheaval he calls the “Fourth Revolution.” He cites three prior turning points in our nation’s history: Jefferson’s “Revolution of 1800,” which created popular political parties as we know them, the Civil War and the New Deal. Piereson said he doesn’t know when The “Fourth Revolution” will occur or what form it will take.
But as today’s electorate respond to the rhetoric of current Presidential hopefuls one could argue that Piereson may be wrong in his timing. Between our dangerously unsustainable debt and the raw emotions of primary voters so evident in their passion for their respective candidates, we are far from the edge of Piereson’s Fourth Revolution. We are in the midst of it.
Three Christian girls in Pakistan, who rejected the advances of some wealthy Muslim young men, were recently mauled by them. One of the girls died.
The London-born Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) and human rights activist, Wilson Chowdhry, who broke the story, reported that one of the men had said: “Christian girls are only meant for one thing, the [sexual] pleasure of Muslim men.”
The incident occurred on January 13 in Lahore. The three girls—aged 17, 18, and 20—were walking home after a hard day’s work. Four Muslim youths in a vehicle followed the girls and accosted them. The men “misbehaved,” yelled “suggestive and lewd comments,” and harassed the girls to get in their car for “a ride and some fun.”
The girls declined the “invitation,” and added that they were “devout Christians and did not practice sex outside of marriage.”
The oldest joke on record, a Sumerian proverb, was first told all the way back in 1900 B.C. Yes, it was a fart joke: “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap.” Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it — something was definitely lost in time and translation (you have to imagine it was the Mesopotamian equivalent of “Women be shopping”), but not before the joke helped pave the way for almost 4,000 years of toilet humor. It’s just a shame we’ll never know the name of the Sumerian genius to whom we owe Blazing Saddles. But with the rise of comedy as a commercial art form in the 20th century, and with advances in modern bookkeeping, it’s now much easier to assign credit for innovations in joke-telling, which is exactly what Vulture set out to do with this list of the 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy.
A few notes on our methodology: We’ve defined “joke” pretty broadly here. Yes, a joke can be a one-liner built from a setup and a punch line, but it can also be an act of physical comedy. Pretending to stick a needle in your eye, or pooping in the street while wearing a wedding dress: both jokes. A joke, as defined by this list, is a discrete moment of comedy, whether from stand-up, a sketch, an album, a movie, or a TV show.
For clarity’s sake, we’ve established certain ground rules for inclusion. First, we decided early on that these jokes needed to be performed and recorded at some point. Second, with apologies to Monty Python, whose influence on contemporary comedy is tremendous and undeniable, we focused only on American humor. Third, we only included one joke per comedian. And fourth, the list doesn’t include comedy that we ultimately felt was bad, harmful, or retrograde.
The list was put together by Vulture senior editor Jesse David Fox; New York senior editor Christopher Bonanos; comedians Wayne Federman, Phoebe Robinson, Halle Kiefer, and Rebecca O’Neal; comedy historians Yael Kohen (author of We Killed) and Kliph Nesteroff (author of The Comedians); and journalists Elise Czajkowski, Matthew Love, Katla McGlynn, Ramsey Ess, Dan Reilly, Jenny Jaffe, Lucas Kavner, and The Guardian’s Dave Schilling. (Fox, Bonanos, Keifer, O’Neal, Czajkowski, Love, McGlynn, Ess, Reilly, Jaffe, Kavner, and Schilling wrote the blurbs.)
Without further ado, here are the 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy. They are listed below in chronological order, complete with video or audio. Use the timeline slider to jump to different eras or specific comedians.
Christians, homosexuals and women are fleeing asylum centres in Germany in ever growing numbers due to acts of violence, intolerance and crime perpetrated by Muslim men.
According to German newspaper Die Welt, the violence toward ethnic minorities, religious minorities and women continues to skyrocket across German asylum centres. Muslim men tear up Bibles and assault Christians, sexually abuse women and children, and beat up homosexuals. The news has led to calls from human rights campaigners to say enough is enough.
In Stuttgart a case of abuse toward an Assyrian Christian by a Muslim roommate led to a petition for separate housing that was signed by over 17,000 people online. The petition, organised by the Central Oriental Christians, asked the City of Stuttgart to, “please accommodate the displaced Christians in Stuttgart-Neugereut and keep them from further distress and persecution to which they are exposed in a decentralised accommodation.”
The matter was brought to the city and a separate asylum centre for 30 Christians was approved by the council. Spokesman for Stuttgart Sven Matis told the paper that after speaking to the district assistant they would be able to approve accommodation for the 30 Christians in Neugereut by the end of April.