Before Rogers, African-American funny men had to either work in pairs or groups, only conversing with each other, and they had to play a character, while popular white comedians, such as Bob Hope and Jack Benny got to play themselves.
His humor was clean, topical, and political. Rogers is often called the Jackie Robinson of comedy, because he opened the door for other performers such as Dick Gregory and Bill Cosby.
He was known as the Unknown Pioneer of (Black) Comedy. He insisted on not wearing blackface when performing his comedy act and stood firm with his conviction. His catchphrase was “Oh Yeah!” and it was a part of his act for over 50