Google Doodle Pays Tribute To Charlie Hill: Here’s All You Need To Know About Him!

A new Google Doodle commemorates Native American comic Charlie Hill, who made history.

Charlie Hill Biography: Birth, Early Life, Education, Career, Awards, cause of death
Charlie Hill Biography: Birth, Early Life, Education, Career, Awards, cause of death

Google honored Charlie Hill, the first Native American comedian to appear on national television, with a Doodle on what would have been his 71st birthday.

Hill refused to conform to prejudiced notions of Native Americans when he was a young comic in the 1970s. Rather, his work tackled discrimination toward Native Americans throughout history, focusing on White spectators, forced displacement of indigenous peoples, and even Christopher Columbus and the Plymouth Rock Pilgrims.

Hill, at 26, debuted on “The Richard Pryor Show” in 1977, marking the first time a Native American stand-up performed on a national television show. The show’s creators urged him to represent a racist caricature of a Native American person, according to Google’s caption for the Doodle tribute, but Hill declined.

“You [White viewers] probably thought for a long time that Indians didn’t have a sense of humour,” he stated during his appearance on Pryor’s show. “We never thought you were really amusing.”

Charlie Hill Biography: Birth, Early Life, Education, Career, Awards, cause of death

BirthJuly 6, 1951
DeathDecember 30, 2013 (62 years)
EducationMajored in Speech and Drama
OccupationComedian, Actor and Writer
Years Active1978-2010
Awards and RecognitionIvy Bethune Tri-Union Diversity Award, Honoured for his ‘lifetime of promoting positive images of Native Peoples and bridging cultural differences through the healing power of hunour’
SpouseLenora Hatathlie (1980-2013) (his death)
ChildrenNabahe, Dine Nizhoni, Nanbah and Nasbah

Charlie Hill was born in Detroit, Michigan, and is best known for penning the hit television show ‘Roseanne.’ Hill made her debut network appearance in 1977 on ‘The Richard Pryor Show.’ He was also the first Native American comic to perform on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.’

Read on to find out more about Charlie Hill’s outstanding work as a native artist. Learn about his origins, work, career, award, and death cause.

Charlie Hill’s Childhood, Family, and Education

Charlie Hill was a native American who was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 6, 1951. When his family returned to their farm on the Oneida reserve in 1962, he was a child. Charlie Hill has Mohawk and Cree ancestors as well. He graduated from West De Pere High School in 1969 and went on to study speech and theatre at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He was a member of Hanay Geiogomah’s Native American Theatre Ensemble in the early 1970s. Among other things, the ensemble presented Coyote Tracks and Foghorn at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in Manhattan’s East Village, where it was based. Charlie Hill relocated to Los Angeles after college and worked as an actor and comedian.

Charlie Hill’s Professional Career

Charlie Hill made his network debut in 1977 on ‘The Richard Pryor Show.’ Hill was the first comedian to appear on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Carson” at the time. He later appeared on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ and ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ several times.

Charlie Hill was chosen three times to host the ‘First Americans in the Arts’ awards show in Hollywood. Hill also performed stand-up comedy in international venues and was a regular at ‘The Comedy Store’ in Hollywood. The Native-American actor and comedian appeared in Gerald Vizenor’s 1984 film ‘Harold of Orange.’


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