Clean Comedy Day – April 28, 2023

Clean Comedy Day is celebrated every April 28 and pays tribute to good, clean humor. While comedy can be a vehicle for the subversive, it doesn’t always have to rely on filth to be funny. In fact, the more you can do without resorting to shock value and crudeness, the easier your jokes can reach everyone. Clean Comedy Day celebrates this more family-friendly form of entertainment by keeping it sensible so that everyone can join in on the laughs.

History of Clean Comedy Day

Clean Comedy Day was initiated in 1995 by the Comedy Barn Theater in Tennessee, which aims to focus on holding comedy shows that both adults and kids can enjoy. Racy humor is not for everyone, and it certainly isn’t for children. The main merit of doing clean comedy is being able to speak to a wider variety of people. Doing so will help foster a greater appreciation for the art of comedy, especially for those who have been turned off by the rise of profane humor and humorists today.

In other words, you’ll get a more diverse group of fans waiting for your next show. Legendary comics have, in the past, spoken on the merits of doing clean comedy. Bob Newhart once stated that getting laughs from cleaner material is a challenge that provides him with a sense of satisfaction and affirmation as a comedian when able to pull it off. Meanwhile, David Brenner criticized comedians who over-use vulgarity in their material, saying that doing so is merely “an attempt to sell weak jokes.”

Thus, the key to good comedy lies not within its shock value, but in how well-written the jokes are and how sharp the wit and timing of the performer are. Historically, writers such as Aristophanes and William Shakespeare wrote witty material that has proven to last through the ages. To celebrate Clean Comedy Day, hundreds of venues around the world host clean comedy events and competitions that challenge comedians to can the blue jokes for something more wholesome and broader. The goal of the day is to show that comedy can still be funny even without profanity, innuendos, or edginess.

Clean Comedy Day timeline

1860s
The Roots of Vaudeville

American performer Tony Pastor is the first to perform the brand of ‘polite’ vaudeville that would later dominate the American comedy landscape for the next few decades.

1934
The F.C.C. is Established

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is formed, aiming to curb the spread of obscenity and indecent content throughout America's broadcast outlets.

1995
The First Clean Comedy Day

The Comedy Barn Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, holds the first Clean Comedy Day.

2015
Government Recognition

The Tennessee Legislature officially proclaims April 28 as Clean Comedy Day, in tribute to the Comedy Barn Theater's work on delivering clean comedy to the public.

Clean Comedy Day FAQs

Why is ‘clean comedy’ much less common than ‘crude comedy?’

While the current media landscape shines the spotlight on more direct, cruder humor due to changes in social attitudes, it doesn’t mean that clean comedy is not thriving. In fact, a simple internet search can lead you to many clean comedians who are practicing strictly witty, structured comedy all over the world, as well as comedy clubs and events that promote clean laughs.

Is it more difficult to become a 'clean' stand-up comedian?

Not necessarily, but the challenges are different. Going clean just means that you do not use the failsafe tools of profanity, offensiveness, and dirtiness in your jokes, which force you to think harder about your material. Doing so will help you develop your act in a way that can help you grow as a comedian.

What are the types of comedy?

There are two common types of comedy, namely stand-up comedy and sketch-comedy.

Clean Comedy Day Activities

  1. Take your kids out for a night of laughs

    On Clean Comedy Day, you don't need to worry about the threat of foul language or themes that are inappropriate for the minds of your children. Take your whole family out to a show at your local club that has agreed to take part in clean comedy. It is a night of laughs for all, and what is better than that?

  2. Listen to the jokes of legends

    There have been many comedians in recent history that have made their careers through clean humor. Indulge yourself in some videos, podcasts, or recordings and laugh with wholesome characters such as Jim Gaffigan, Bob Hope, Sinbad, or Jerry Seinfeld.

  3. Crack your own

    Everyone is born with a funny bone. Crack some (clean) jokes to your friends or family and let out your inner clown.

5 Clean One-Liners From Your Favorite Comedians

  1. Yeah, what gives?

    "Why do they call it 'rush hour' when nobody is moving?" – Robin Williams

  2. From the master of wit

    "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." – Groucho Marx

  3. How convenient is that

    "It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every single day just happens to exactly fit into one newspaper." – Jerry Seinfeld

  4. Take it easy

    "For fast-acting relief, try slowing down." – Lily Tomlin

  5. Makes you think

    "Hard work pays off in the future but laziness pays off now." – Steven Wright

Why We Love Clean Comedy Day

  1. It promotes fun and laughter for all, including the little ones

    Kids like to laugh. It's what they consume in their daily dose of cartoons, films, and television shows, and the humor in these media is tailored to their minds. Clean Comedy Day is a holiday that celebrates laughter for both adults and children.

  2. It celebrates comedy as an art form

    Comedy does not always have to be vulgar, controversial, or socially charged. The goal of comedy is to make sure everybody has a good time, and therefore, should not be made at the expense of others. By doing so, the jokes become more universal and relatable.

  3. It teaches us to laugh at ourselves

    Laughter is the best medicine, as the adage goes. Comedy is a vehicle for us to laugh at ourselves and see things in a lighter view, and the more relatable and less condescending it is to us, the better the cure.

Clean Comedy Day dates

YearDateDay
2022April 28Thursday
2023April 28Friday
2024April 28Sunday
2025April 28Monday
2026April 28Tuesday

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