Comedic professor discusses laughter

For Immediate Release:  Oct. 7, 2013

Jerry Zolten

BLOOMSBURG— Comedian-turned-professor Jerry Zolten will discuss “You Are What You Laugh At” Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 7 p.m. in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Kehr Union, Multipurpose B. The free lecture looks at the history of stand-up comedy and relates it to social issues.

Zolten is an associate professor of communication arts and sciences at Penn State Altoona and a self-described “recovering” stand-up comic. His lecture draws on video and audio clips to present an overview of stand-up comedy history from 19th century minstrel shows to the comedy revolution of the 1960s. He talks about changing techniques and content, the greats of the genre and comedy’s effect on ethnic stereotypes, freedom of speech and other social change. He has been a guest on local and national radio programs and has written extensively about comedy history and psychology as well as gender, ethnic and freedom of speech issues.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. BU serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.