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The role of laughter and wit in society is present throughout the archive, in particular, the notion of laughter being a way to overcome hardship and inspire social struggles. Interviews with Mel Brooks, Lenny Bruce, Carol Channing, Dick Gregory, Eugene Ionesco, Moms Mabley, Zero Mostel, Mort Sahl and Lily Tomlin are a few highlights exploring comedy and its complex role in challenging social norms and power structures. Terkel's own cackling laugh and jovial wit are also often part of the madcap audio landscape.

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Introduction

The role of laughter and wit in society is present throughout the archive, in particular, the notion of laughter being a way to overcome hardship and inspire social struggles.