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The 1491s are a Native American sketch comedy group, with members based in Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Montana.

Their comedy sketches depict contemporary Native American life in the United States, using humor and satire to explore issues such as stereotypes and racism (internal and external), tribal politics, and the conflict between tradition and modernity. Their over 150 YouTube videos have frequently gone viral, including their first video, the Twilight parody “New Moon Wolf Pack Auditions!!!!”; a Los Angeles Times reporter described the group's output as "dozens of videos, some crass, some cryptic, some laugh-out-loud hilarious."[1] Group member Dallas Goldtooth has cited British comedy legends Monty Python's Flying Circus as an influence.[1]

The group's name is a reference to the year 1491, the last year before the arrival of Christopher Columbus and widespread European colonization of the Americas began. They have been featured on The Daily Show,[2][3][4][5][6] and have made videos for social and legislatives issues such as full inclusion of Indigenous women in the Violence Against Women Act.[7][8] As member Bobby Wilson explains, "There’s so much expectation put on indigenous people in the arts, especially in the media. It comes from a longstanding tradition of non-Native people, most often white men, writing stories for Hollywood and the stage. We’re fighting those tropes. If they show up in our work, it’s just to lampoon them."[9]

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, with New Native Theatre, co-commissioned the 1491s to write a play for their American Revolutions series of new plays about US history. The commissioned play, set to premiere in April 2019, laces its comedy between the American Indian Movement at Pine Ridge Reservation (including the Wounded Knee incident) in the 1970s and the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre, yielding the title Between Two Knees.[10][11]

From the beginning, the group has created all of its pieces collectively.


The individual members of the 1491s include:


  1. ^ a b c "An environmental activist who uses comedy to help stop oil pipelines". Los Angeles Times. September 13, 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  2. ^ "The 1491s". Al Jazeera America. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  3. ^ "Behind the Scenes of Our Tense Segment on The Daily Show". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  4. ^ "The making of the 1491s - The Tulsa Voice - June B 2015". The Tulsa Voice. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  5. ^ "On the Cutting Edge of Native Comedy With the 1491s". Indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  6. ^ "Warning: Native Humor! 5 New Videos by the 1491s - ICTMN.com". Indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com. 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  7. ^ "Justice denied for Native American women". Al Jazeera America. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  8. ^ "Video Urges Action on VAWA". Indian Law Resource Center. 5 September 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "A Troupe That Turns Tropes Into Takeoffs". AMERICAN THEATRE. 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-09-18. 
  10. ^ "Oregon Shakes' 2019 Season to Feature Translated Shakespeare". AMERICAN THEATRE. 2018-04-05. Retrieved 2018-09-18. 
  11. ^ "A Troupe That Turns Tropes Into Takeoffs". AMERICAN THEATRE. 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2018-09-18. 
  12. ^ "Dallas Goldtooth". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  13. ^ "Migizi Pensoneau". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  14. ^ Duty, Shannon Shaw (18 December 2013). "Community comes out to support CASA program". Osage News. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 

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