Painfully Funny: 6 Comedy Videos About Christopher Columbus


In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. And that’s where the benign part of the story ends. After sailing that ocean blue, he did a lot of terrible things to Indigenous peoples of the Caribbean; he was the first European to mistreat the Natives, and not the last, but he was undoubtedly the worst. The American public has only recently come to understand what a horrible person Columbus was, and the long process of phasing out Columbus Day, a Federal holiday since 1937, seems to have started.

RELATED: Columbus Day Is Out in Seattle Public Schools; Indigenous Peoples’ Day Is in

The story of Columbus—whether the sanitized version or grisly truth—is so well known that it’s bound to be fodder for the critics, skeptics and goofballs of our time: Comedians. Here’s a slate of clips that runs the gamut from innocence to experience. Decades ago, Andy Griffith and Flip Wilson riffed on the smiley-happy account of Columbus’ voyage; in more modern times, Russell Peters and Louis CK (caution: racy language) take a more progressive view. College Humor hits the nail on the head with “Columbusing” while the befuddled everyday folk on the other end of Jimmy Kimmel’s microphone can’t even find the hammer, much less the nail. 

1. College Humor, “Columbusing: Discovering Things for White People”

2. Flip Wilson, “Christopher Columbus”

3. Louis CK: “Indians, White People, and God’s Earth”

4. Andy Griffith, “The Discovery of America”

5. Russell Peters, “Great Discoverer”

6. Jimmy Kimmel Live, “The Story of Christopher Columbus… According to Hollywood Blvd”

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