The first half of the 20th century consisted of numerous campaigns against racial and ethnic ridicule in the U.S. Various efforts by ethnic whites – including Italian, Irish, and Jewish groups – to end the circulation of denigrating and insulting stereotypes occurred during the early part of the century (Mintz 1996; Kibler 2009). African Americans succeeded these campaigns during the early part of the civil rights movement as they contested the legacy of blackface minstrelsy and a century’s worth of racist and insulting portrayals of blacks (largely by whites) as uncivilized and buffoonish (Boskin 1979; 1986). By challenging blackface comedy shows like Amos ’n’ Andy, one of the longest running and most popular shows on

radio and television until the civil rights period (Von Schilling 2003), groups like the NAACP sought to improve the public image of African Americans (Boskin 1986; Ely 1991; Haggins 2007). During the latter part of the civil rights period, Latinos continued this wave of public protest against racial and ethnic ridicule by challenging anti-Latino caricatures and stereotypes, like Frito-Lays’ “Frito Bandito,” a corn-chip stealing bandit, and comedian Bill Dana’s Latino minstrel character “José Jiménez,” a dim-witted and inarticulate buffoon (Bender 2003; Pérez 2014). The Polish American Congress would follow suit as they challenged the circulation of “Polack jokes” in media that ridiculed Polish immigrants as “stupid,” “crude,” and “brutish” people (Pula 1996). This wave of protests signaled a turning point in American comedy (Apte 1987; Berger 1998), one in which ethnic and racial minorities would no longer sit passively by as Anglo Americans engaged in the “pleasure of racist laughter” (Lott 2013) at their expense.