You may not know the name Kliph Nesterhoff but I’d like to change that because I want you to love his work as much as I do. Mr. Kliph (pronounced Cliff) Nesterhoff is a historian, not of wars and politics but of comedy and classic showbiz. You may not think the world needs a comedy/showbiz historian but try reading some his work before you make up your mind on that point.
Imagine Herodotus with a stack of comedy albums, a library of obscure films and an insatiable passion for research and you have Kliph Nesterhoff. For a while now, over at WFMU’s site, he’s written some of the best stuff you’ll find about the history of comedy and old time Hollywood Maybe I’m just a geek for showbiz history but I have the same thought every time I read one of his exhaustively researched and exquisitely written pieces: “I wish I wrote that”.
His most recent work is a piece on George Carlin’s early years. The article focuses on Carlin in the early 60’s when he was working coffee shops and small clubs in Los Angeles as part of the largely forgotten duo of Burns and Carlin. and then on his time as part of the Hollywood system as a writer and actor. If you’re a fan of George Carlin’s work or Hollywood history in general I highly recommend checking it out. It features long lost clips of a very young Carlin and includes lots of things you probably never knew about the late American icon.
Once you’re ready for some advanced comedy studies check out Mr. Nesterhoff’s other pieces for WFMU, you’ll be glad you did.