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Famous Comedians of the 80s and 90s: The Outrageous Humor of Sam Kinison

The 80s and 90s were a time of great comedians who helped shape the landscape of stand-up comedy. However, none can quite match the outrageous humor that Sam Kinison brought to audiences across the country. With his combination of screaming rants, biting social commentary, and absurd perspectives, Kinison became a sensation in the comedy world, garnering fans and critics alike.

Who is Sam Kinison?

Sam Kinison was a stand-up comedian from Yakima, Washington, who rose to fame during the late 80s and early 90s. He began his career as a Pentecostal preacher but eventually left the church to pursue a career in comedy. His experience as a preacher heavily influenced his stand-up act, which often centered on religion and morality.

But what made Kinison stand out from his peers was his willingness to tackle taboo subjects that others shied away from, such as sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

The Outrageous Humor of Sam Kinison

The Scream

One of the most memorable aspects of Kinison’s act was his signature scream, which he employed to punctuate his jokes and add emphasis to his punchlines. The scream was so iconic that it became synonymous with Kinison and has since become a staple of popular culture.

But despite its popularity, the scream was more than just a gimmick. It was a way for Kinison to express his frustration and outrage at the world around him, to give voice to the frustrations and injustices that he saw in society.

Religion and Morality

As a former preacher, Kinison had a unique perspective on religion and morality that he used to great effect in his stand-up act. His jokes often poked fun at the hypocrisy of organized religion and the absurdity of religious beliefs.

One of his most famous bits involved a retelling of the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, in which he ridiculed the idea of a divine figure sacrificing himself for the sins of mankind. The bit was controversial at the time, but it solidified Kinison’s reputation as a fearless comic who was unafraid to take on sacred cows.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

While Kinison was known for his biting commentary on religion and morality, he was equally famous for his jokes about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. His material was raunchy and explicit, but it was also wildly funny.

Whether he was talking about his own drug use or his experiences with women, Kinison’s jokes were always delivered with a sense of absurdity that made them both shocking and hilarious.

The Legacy of Sam Kinison

Despite his tragically short life – Kinison died in a car accident in 1992 at the age of 38 – his impact on the world of comedy can still be felt today. His unique voice and outrageous humor paved the way for a new generation of comedians who were unafraid to tackle taboo subjects and push the boundaries of what was considered acceptable.

His legacy lives on in the countless comedians who have been inspired by his work and in the popular culture references to his signature scream. Although he may be gone, Sam Kinison’s contributions to the world of comedy will never be forgotten.


Sam Kinison was a true original – a comedian who pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable and brought a unique perspective to the world of stand-up. With his screaming rants, biting social commentary, and absurd perspectives, Kinison became a sensation in the comedy world and inspired a new generation of comedians.

Although he left us too soon, his impact on the world of comedy remains as strong as ever. Whether you’re a fan of his outrageous humor or simply enjoy hearing a good scream, Sam Kinison’s contributions to the world of comedy will be remembered for generations to come.

So the next time you find yourself watching one of Kinison’s old performances on YouTube, take a moment to appreciate the legacy of this truly unique comedian and the fearless humor that he brought to the world.