Hill belonged to the Oneida Nation and also had Mohawk and Cree heritage, moved to the Wisconsin’s Oneida Nation as a child and eventually made a name for himself at the renowned Comedy Store in California, where he made connections that would land him multiple national TV spots
As his star grew, he still refused to appear in works that would reduce him to a stereotype. He was inspired by the Black comic Dick Gregory, whose material often targeted racism.
(SMT)Google honored barrier-breaking comedian Charlie Hill, the first Native American comic to appear on national TV, with a Doodle on what would’ve been his 71st birthday.When Hill was a young comic in the 1970s.
He refused to deign to racist stereotypes of Native Americans. his material addressed bigotry toward Native Americans throughout history, taking aim at White viewers, the forced displacement of indigenous people and even the harmful history of Christopher Columbus and Plymouth Rock Pilgrims.
In 1977, 26-year-old Hill appeared on “The Richard Pryor Show,” the first time a Native American stand-up performed on a program that aired across the US. Per Googles caption of the Doodle tribute, the show’s writers asked him to portray a racist caricature of a Native American person, but Hill declined.