Connect with us


No Joke: American University has Comedian in Residence

The initiative is the first in the country, and is set to bring in new information about the way comedy shapes and brings attention to important social issues.



American University is trying something new to connect the public to social issues through comedy: a Comedian in Residence.

The new position is part of the Laughter Effect, which focuses on helping people understand the world and social issues through comedy. This is the second year since the launch of the Effect by American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact.

The comedian in residence title for the year goes to writer and performer, Bethany Hall. Hall is a regular on TruTV’s “The Chris Gethard Show.” The job is a one-year fellowship that began in January of 2018.

The creators of the Laughter Effect hope to start conversations on campus about things that are not normally simple to talk about.

Hall told the Washington Post, “My goal is to speak to people’s hearts,” and “to make people laugh with me who aren’t socially on the same page that I am.”

Caty Borum Chattoo, director of the Center for Media & Social Impact, realized that the research done on the study of comedy and social issues was vast but not specific. This was when they decided to bring Hall directly to the source, on campus.

“Those of us who are not professionally funny people — we may be funny professionals, but not professional funnies — we can’t write comedy, we can’t make it great and hilarious and engaging, and something that will be shared by millions of people,” Borum Chattoo told the Washington Post.

They hope to use this year-long fellowship as a stepping point to creating future programs that combine comedy and social issues throughout the country.

“And so if we have somebody like Bethany and her incredible network of comedians who become interested in talking about issues that matter through comedy . . . we might have a whole new area of work to study and learn from,” Borum Chattoo said.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Savannah is a third year Journalism major with a French minor at Colorado State University. She works as a Communications Intern for the CSU Alumni Association, and hopes to one day work in a French speaking country.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Government4 days ago

Bernie Sanders is Running for President in 2020

The Bern is coming back in 2020.

by , The Catholic American University
Government5 days ago

Utah Congressman Creates an Anti-Socialism Caucus in Congress

Is the Red Scare making a comeback in the 21st century?

by , The Catholic American University
Government1 week ago

Former Astronaut Mark Kelly Will Run for Senate in 2020

If elected in 2020, Kelly will become fourth-ever American astronaut elected to Congress.

by , The Catholic American University
Government3 weeks ago

Gen Z Alongside Millennials Prefer Socialism Than Capitalism

The kids are all left-wing.

by , The Catholic American University
Government2 months ago

New Year, New Laws for 2019

New year means new laws.

by , The Catholic American University
Equality2 months ago

Nancy Pelosi Elected Speaker of the House

Democrats continued to control the House on Thursday by electing Nancy Pelosi who returned to be the first woman to...

by , Mercy College
Government2 months ago

The House to Approve Legislation of Reopening of the Government

Late Thursday night, the new Democratic House passed bills that would reopen the government without paying for Trump’s border wall....

by , Mercy College
Government2 months ago

Elizabeth Warren Announces She is Running for President in 2020

On New Years Eve, Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, announced that she will become a candidate to enter the 2020...

by , Mercy College

Top Reads