CNN’s ‘History Of Comedy’ Creators Talk With Comedy Hype: What Great Comedians Have In Common, In Living Color In Today’s World, And More

Tonight, CNN is set to air the second season of ‘The History Of Comedy’ at 10 P.M. ET/PT.The feature which comes from Sean Hayes (of Will And Grace) alongside producing partner Todd Milliner, will now offer another examination of topics in comedy.

For the new season; Mo’Nique, Kennen Ivory Wayans, Jim Norton, and Judd Apatow have all been named to sit down with cameras for the 6 part docu-series. Comedy Hype had the opportunity to briefly chat with both Hayes and Milliner to get more insight on their perspective on today’s world of comedy. We woud learn that there was a focus to explore other narratives in comedy with season 2 of the series to not just stay in one period of time.

Years ago, it felt that comedians were much bolder and were even celebrated when they crossed the line. Keenen Ivory Wayans’s In Living Color is proof that nothing was off limits when it came down to jokes years ago. The sketch comedy series had a popular sketch about a mentality disabled superhero, which in today’s world would lead to a flood of calls and social media protest. But what has changed from them to now? We tried to get a clear answer from the comedy history connoisseurs.

Check out three things that stood out for us in our talk with Hayes and Milliner.

CH:  We imagine that you guys have been looking over reels upon reels of comedians from over the years. With that insight, what are some of the main characteristics that you’ve noticed our comedic greats all have?

Hayes: A fresh voice. A specific voice. Something that you haven’t seen or experienced before. I think that’s what people are drawn to. When you turn on Netflix…. it’s very specific clear point of view. I think that’s what everyone looks for in stand-up.

Milliner: For me, it would be someone that can make an observation or put a spin on something that is common and every day, that I haven’t heard before.

CH: Given the current climate of today’s comedy being under a microscope, do you think a show like ‘In Living Color’ could be around today?

Hayes: The only answer I can say is I hope so.

Milliner: We often talk about that. It seems like the only sketch show that kind of stood the test is SNL, even MTV and ‘In Living Color’ had a really long run. I miss having other big sketch shows on the air, I really do. I got to believe in my heart that we can do it again. I hope someone tries it, maybe we will. I think you need that voice. Kennen was brilliant. I hope we can find that voice that can do it. I wish there was another show that was equally diverse in sketch

CH:  Can you both tell us your definition of comedy.

Milliner: The funniest things to me don’t make me laugh, they kind of make me shake my head and smile. They take something so familiar to me and made me feel like I know that comedian because we’ve gone through the same thing. It happened to me a lot with like Ellen…. comedy is anything that takes the familiar that heightens it to the point that makes me chuckle.

Hayes: One word. relatable. If you can relate to something, you can laugh at it.

Season 2 of ‘The History Of Comedy’ is set to air tonight at 10 P.M. ET/PT on CNN. Check out last season’s trailer, below.