Red Buttons never got a dinner

Stand-up comedy is one of my major passions. Stand-up is replete with styles and subgenres like any great art form. There are comedians that, while sparse on witty material, use their timing and rhythm to sell a bit, while other comics rely solely on their writing to fuel their performances. There's really no right way to do comedy, and that's a major factor that buttresses my enduring love of the form.

Another aspect of comedy that captivates me is how much it has changed over the years. The core components that comprise a good joke might be eternal, but the censorship and sensibilities of the era in which a bit is crafted are always in flux. Nowhere is this concept more evident than how roasts have evolved and remained paradoxically unchanged throughout the decades. In the clip above, Red Buttons murders during his set on the roast of Frank Sinatra with clean comedy that – if slightly revised- would crush today.