Eddie Tafoya grew up scurrying like a beetle through the dust, streetgrime, alleyways, and lavender dawns of Albuquerque’s Old Town, Downtown, and Uptown. Educated in the parochial schools, the University of New Mexico, and Binghamton University, he has made a lifetime study of things comical, biblical, philosophical, verbal, and mystical. Since 1996, he has been a fixture in the Department of English and Philosophy at New Mexico Highlands University, where he teaches classes in creative writing, American literature, the New Testament as revolutionary literature, and stand-up comedy as literature. He lectures around the Southwest on the history, theory, and impact of American comedy and, when time allows, works as a stand-up comedian, a venture that has taken him to various venues from Wisconsin to Arizona and to feature spots on television shows like The After After Party with Steven Michael Quezada and The Duke City Comedy League. He also appeared in Shaun Shaul’s documentary Alone Up There: A Journey to Understand Stand-up Comedy. Recently, he was invited to appear in Time Studio’s docuseries The Right to Offend, a four-hour documentary event that “takes viewers on a hilarious, controversial, and raw journey through black comedy history, its trademark style, and its underappreciated legacy of driving social change.” It will premier in early 2022.
His books include Finding the Buddha: A Dark Story of Genius, Friendship, and Stand-Up Comedy; The Legacy of the Wisecrack: Stand-up Comedy as the Great American Literary Form, Icons of African American Comedy, and the forthcoming volume, The Marxist Revolution: How Chico, Harpo, and Groucho Changed How we Laugh. He lives, writes, and teaches in Albuquerque.