Clean Comedians

Although the loud, bombastic, and potty-mouth comedians tend to get the most publicity, it should be noted that clean comedians are also finding prominence in the world of entertainment. Their core audience has traditionally been in corporate outings and conventions. However, in today’s world we can find these non-vulgar talents becoming more prevalent in “mainstream” areas such as Television and nightclubs. And of course they continue to do well in small, traditional niches such as class reunions, tossncook church groups, etc.

In actuality, this trend toward the mainstream has been somewhat forced by the financial issues running rampant in the corporate world. Many top-flight clean comedy acts have felt the pinch of corporate cutbacks in spending for non-essential employee benefits. Hiring a comedian, zmiiv for instance, to give a motivational talk at a meeting seems to be categorized as non-essential by corporate executives. Its refreshing to see these comedians find new outlets for their talents.

Here are two prime examples of successful clean comedians:

Clean Comedians Example #1: Brian Regan

Brian Regan is probably the first name on anybody’s list of clean comedians. He has developed an act that is absolutely killing audiences, hoodpay from kids to grandparents to evangelical Christians, with nary an expletive.

It hasn’t always been that way with Regan, however. When he started out in 1981 he was known to spice up a joke by dropping an occasional F-bomb, but eventually he eliminated them from his act.

“I started thinking, ‘If you’re that close to the finish line anyway, why not just put the ball over the line?'” he says. “It seemed kind of silly to be 95 percent clean. You might as well be 100 percent clean and see what happens.”

Though his comedy can best be described as goofy-but hilarious-observational humor (“holding up a circus-funhouse mirror” to society is how he describes it), he doesn’t purposely rnkhabri avoid stepping on toes.

“I don’t want my comedy to be completely devoid of a point of view,” he says. “I’ll give them the gift of knowing I’m not going to throw any four-letter words in there and that I’m not going to hit on any sexual topics. But other than that, I need to retain the right to be Rare movies on DVD able to say something on-stage. I have to be able to risk bumping up against a topic here or there that might have someone go, ‘Wow, I don’t agree with that.’ That’s okay. I don’t want it to be so wholesome it has no substance whatsoever.”

Ryan Hamilton is a clean comedian who grew up in Idaho. He now makes his home, and mostly performs in New York City, where he has made quite a name for himself. His forte is clean humor, with a little Mormon flavor. This interesting twist has med him him one of the top clean comedians in the industry. In fact he was recently named one of Rolling Stone magazine’s ‘Five Comics to Watch’ and appeared at Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs festival. Not bad for a guy who never resorts to vulgarity to get a laugh.

Hamilton says he tries to be authentic and true to himself when he comes up with his mix of observational, energized comedy. “For me, it doesn’t feel like I’m changing myself as a person, or making concessions…. I talk about whatever I think is funny,” he said. “I don’t think of a (vulgar) joke and go ‘Oh, I can’t do that.’… It just doesn’t come up when I’m writing.”

Hamilton goes on to say that his focus on clean comedy isn’t so much a moral decision as it is a matter of authenticity. He said he doesn’t just want to be clean, though. He wants to do comedy that leaves people feeling happier than when they arrived, as opposed to the negative, heavy mood that lingers long after a pessimistic or cynical comedian leaves the stage.

“You can go to a show and laugh a lot and come out feeling heavy because even though what the comic is talking about might be super funny, it can still have a heavy tone,” he said. “You can cry laughing and come out of the show feeling, ‘Whew, I kind of feel sorry for that guy’s life. His life is really hard, and boy, there are a lot of problems in the world.’… And even though there is an important place for that in comedy, I’ve just kind of made a decision that I want people to laugh a lot and come out feeling good.”

To sum it up, He says “I want to be a good comedian who happens to be Mormon rather than The Mormon Comedian. Amen to that!


With so many vulgar comedians running rampant on cable, I think we can all be grateful for talents such as Ragen and Hamilton. It’s good to know that humor doesn’t have to be shocking, and that it’s not necessary to be offensive in order to be funny.

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