The six categories of comedians

Interesting chat with a comic last night who's reading book associated with "MAKE ’EM LAUGH: The Funny Business of America" that ran on PBS. The book/series breaks down comics into six categories. This comic was saying that it forced him to think about which category he belonged to and that realizing that helped him sort out what his voice should be and what he should talk about onstage. FYI, the categories and some reps for each one (from this Make 'Em Laugh page)...

Nerds, Jerks, & Oddballs
"the outsider has been a source of constant amusement"
Harold Lloyd
Bob Hope
Phyllis Diller
Jonathan Winters
Andy Kaufman
Robin Williams
Cheech & Chong
Woody Allen
Steve Martin

Breadwinners and Homemakers
"reflect the ongoing changes at home and in the workplace"
Burns and Allen
The Honeymooners
The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Cosby Show
Roseanne
The Simpsons

Knockabouts
"physical comedy and slapstick"
Charlie Chaplin
Buster Keaton
Laurel and Hardy
The Three Stooges
Martin and Lewis
The Marx Brothers
Lucille Ball

The Groundbreakers
"invoked freedom of speech to bring the biggest and most dangerous laughs to the American public"
Mae West
Moms Mabley
Lenny Bruce
Richard Pryor
George Carlin

The Wiseguys
"the wiseguy who defies convention by speaking the truth no matter the consequences"
W.C. Fields
Larry David
Groucho Marx
Phil Silvers
Jack Benny
Paul Lynde
Joan Rivers
Redd Foxx
Eddie Murphy
Chris Rock

Satire and Parody
"make fun of the world around them using the slings and arrows of parody and satire"
Will Rogers
Johnny Carson
Jon Stewart
Stephen Colbert
Sid Caesar
Mel Brooks
SNL

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