Rusty Warren, an often overlooked comedy trailblazer of the 1950s and 60s, has passed away at the age of 91.
In a time when comedy was considered to be a “boys club”, Warren was one of the few female comedians of that era that embraced it head on. And while she never reached the acclaim that others at the time got, she managed to still break down barriers nonetheless. And given the frank and bawdy routines that she would perform onstage back when it was still considered taboo to not be “ladylike,” she was once heralded as the “mother of the sexual revolution.”
From 1959 until 1977, Warren released 15 albums. Given their explicit nature, they were often labeled as “party albums,” not unlike those of Redd Foxx. Her biggest hit, though, was her 1960 album Knocker’s Up. Despite the album’s dealing with sexual topics, it managed to remain on the Billboard 200 for over three years. Other albums Warren released included Rusty Warren Bounces Back, Rusty Warren in Orbit, Rusty Rides Again, More Knockers Up!, Bottoms Up, and Sexplosion.
Despite never becoming a bigger household name – and her act being too risqué for 1960’s television -, she managed to work steadily on the nightclub circuit before retiring at the age of 60 and relocating to Hawaii.
Check out some of Rusty’s work.