Comedy and critique

Stand-up comedy and the professional ethos of laughter

Author: Smith, Daniel R.

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 1529200164

Category: Social Science

Page: 216

View: 7859

Comedy and Critique explores British professional stand-up comedy in the wake of the Alternative Comedy movement of the late twentieth century, seeing it as an extension of the politics of the New Left: standing up for oneself as anti-racist, feminist and open to a queering of self and social institutions. Daniel Smith demonstrates that the comic sensibility pervading contemporary humour is as much ‘speaking truth to power’ as it is realising one’s position ‘in’ power. The professionalisation of New Left humour offers a challenge to social and cultural critique. Stand-up comedy has made us all sociologists of self, identity and cultural power while also resigning us to a place where a comic sensibility becomes an acknowledgment of the necessity of social change.

Comedy and Critical Thought

Laughter As Resistance

Author: Fred Francis,Iain MacKenzie,Krista Bonello Rutter Giappone

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781786604071


Page: 246

View: 1959

First volume to reflect on both the comedy within critical theory and the role of comedians as practitioners of critique.

Comedy and Cultural Critique in American Film

Author: Ryan Bishop

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 0748677801

Category: Reference

Page: 192

View: 6808

How does comedy in film attempt cultural criticism? How does cinema use its own visual technology to reflect on and critique its power within both politics and visual culture? Comedy and Cultural Critique in American Film addresses these questions in detail as it argues for the centrality of comedy in film as a means of staging cultural criticism. Focusing on the powerful and sustained shifts in visual culture that cinema helped to generate, foster and question in the twentieth century, it examines the issues of technology that allow film comedies to engage in self-reflexive cultural criticism and to produce and critique the use of visual technology within US and global cultural politics. Grounded in the theoretical writings of thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard, Paul Virilio, Friedrich Kittler and Jacques Derrida in relation to repetition, automation, material systems of information media, the level of address in a communicative act, and the shifting role of the image, this book considers comedy as integral for a critical engagement of the constructs of culture. It brings a new perspective to comedy in film, invaluable to students and scholars in Film Studies.

Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America

Author: John Limon

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822380501

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 160

View: 8117

Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America is the first study of stand-up comedy as a form of art. John Limon appreciates and analyzes the specific practice of stand-up itself, moving beyond theories of the joke, of the comic, and of comedy in general to read stand-up through the lens of literary and cultural theory. Limon argues that stand-up is an artform best defined by its fascination with the abject, Julia Kristeva’s term for those aspects of oneself that are obnoxious to one’s sense of identity but that are nevertheless—like blood, feces, or urine—impossible to jettison once and for all. All of a comedian’s life, Limon asserts, is abject in this sense. Limon begins with stand-up comics in the 1950s and 1960s—Lenny Bruce, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Elaine May—when the norm of the profession was the Jewish, male, heterosexual comedian. He then moves toward the present with analyses of David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paula Poundstone. Limon incorporates feminist, race, and queer theories to argue that the “comedification” of America—stand-up comedy’s escape from its narrow origins—involves the repossession by black, female, queer, and Protestant comedians of what was black, female, queer, yet suburbanizing in Jewish, male, heterosexual comedy. Limon’s formal definition of stand-up as abject art thus hinges on his claim that the great American comedians of the 1950s and 1960s located their comedy at the place (which would have been conceived in 1960 as a location between New York City or Chicago and their suburbs) where body is thrown off for the mind and materiality is thrown off for abstraction—at the place, that is, where American abjection has always found its home. As the first study of its kind, Stand-Up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America will appeal to a wide audience including those interested in cultural studies, Jewish studies, gender and queer theory.

Film Comedy and the American Dream

Author: Zach Sands

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135160029X

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 170

View: 6202

Film Comedy and the American Dream is an examination of national identity in the era of the American superpower as projected in popular comedic films that center on issues of upward mobility. It is the story of what made audiences laugh and why, and what this says about the changing shape of the American Dream from the end of the Second World War through the first part of the twenty-first century. Through a combination of narrative and thematic analyses of popular comedic films, contextualized within a dynamic historical framework, the book traces the increasing disillusionment with this central ideology in the face of multiple forms of systemic exclusion. It argues that film comedy is a major component of the discourse surrounding the American Dream because these movies often evoke humor by highlighting the incongruities that exist between the ideals that define this nation versus the actual lived experiences of its citizens.

The Idea of Comedy

History, Theory, Critique

Author: Jan Hokenson

Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press

ISBN: 9780838640968

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 287

View: 1827

One of the few constants in Western critical though for over two millennia has been the inexhaustible fascination with comedy: what it is and how it works. Yet comedy has eluded every definition. Why have so many of the leading critics and philosophers of the West proposed theories and counter-theories of comedy while often admitting that it enthralls and baffles the mind in equal measure? The Idea of Comedy: A Critique assembles a rich corpus of materials from different languages and eras to construct a history of the commentaries and reflections, the theoretical postulates and conjectures, and the often acrimonious debates about comedy-through the centuries from Plato and Aristotle to our contemporaries. The aim is dual: to situate comic theories in their historical moment, as participants in the wider intellectual currents of their time, and to trace underlying types of consensus and dispute running through different theories and intellectual generations. The book brings into view the full landscape of comic theory as a field of ideas, a terrain of thought extending from antique to recent conceptions.

Comedy and Distinction

The Cultural Currency of a ‘Good’ Sense of Humour

Author: Sam Friedman

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135009007

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 2751

This book was shortlisted for the 2015 BSA Philip Abrams Memorial Prize. Comedy is currently enjoying unprecedented growth within the British culture industries. Defying the recent economic downturn, it has exploded into a booming billion-pound industry both on TV and on the live circuit. Despite this, academia has either ignored comedy or focused solely on analysing comedians or comic texts. This scholarship tends to assume that through analysing an artist’s intentions or techniques, we can somehow understand what is and what isn’t funny. But this poses a fundamental question – funny to whom? How can we definitively discern how audiences react to comedy? Comedy and Distinction shifts the focus to provide the first ever empirical examination of British comedy taste. Drawing on a large-scale survey and in-depth interviews carried out at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the book explores what types of comedy people like (and dislike), what their preferences reveal about their sense of humour, how comedy taste lubricates everyday interaction, and how issues of social class, gender, ethnicity and geographical location interact with patterns of comic taste. Friedman asks: Are some types of comedy valued higher than others in British society? Does more ‘legitimate’ comedy taste act as a tangible resource in social life – a form of cultural capital? What role does humour play in policing class boundaries in contemporary Britain? This book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, social class, social theory, cultural studies and comedy studies.

Satire TV

Politics and Comedy in the Post-network Era

Author: Jonathan Gray,Jeffrey P. Jones,Ethan Thompson

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814731996

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 283

View: 3495

This work examines what happens when comedy becomes political, and politics become funny. A series of original essays focus on a range of programmes, from 'The Daily Show' to 'South Park'.

Political Culture and Media Genre

Beyond the News

Author: K. Richardson,K. Parry,J. Corner

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137291273

Category: Social Science

Page: 239

View: 6035

Exploring the forms and meanings of mediated politics beyond the news cycle, this book encompasses genres drawn from television, radio, the press and the internet, assessing their individual and collective contribution to contemporary political culture through textual analysis and thematic review.

Ancient Comedy and Reception

Essays in Honor of Jeffrey Henderson

Author: S. Douglas Olson

Publisher: Walter de Gruyter

ISBN: 161451125X

Category: History

Page: 1097

View: 9531

This collection provides an overview of the reception history of a major literary genre from Greco-Roman antiquity to the present day. Looking first at Athenian comic poets and comedy in the Roman Empire, the volume goes on to discuss Greco-Roman comedy’s reception throughout the ages. It concludes with a look at the modern era, taking into account literary translations and stage productions as well as modern media such as radio and film.

The Runaway Bride

Hollywood Romantic Comedy of the 1930s

Author: Elizabeth Kendall

Publisher: Cooper Square Press

ISBN: 1461661250

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 312

View: 1959

In the 1934 classic It Happened One Night, heiress Claudette Colbert races away from the altar and a conventional marriage and throws herself into a wisecracking rough-and-tumble affair with Clark Gable. The new brand of movies following in the wake of Capra's kooky masterpiece-and the women starring in them-are the focus of Kendall's The Runaway Bride, a look at the films that mirrored the climate of the Great Depression while at the same time helping Americans get through it. Kendall details the collaborations between the romantic comedy directors and the female stars, showing how such films as Alice Adams (with Katherine Hepburn), Swing Time (where Ginger Rogers enjoys "A Fine Romance" with Fred Astaire), The Awful Truth (with Irene Dunne), and The Lady Eve (wherein Barbara Stanwyck's shapely leg repeatedly trips naïve millionaire Henry Fonda) came to be, and what they said about the 1930s. Written with erudition and enthusiasm, The Runaway Bride is a trip through some of Hollywood's most memorable moments, and a key to the national issues of an era as revealed in its films.

Born Standing Up

A Comic's Life

Author: Steve Martin

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1847395848

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 224

View: 3346

Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger - 'big laugh' or 'quiet' - and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had 'reached the top of the rollercoaster'. BORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.

Tragedy and Comedy

A Systematic Study and a Critique of Hegel

Author: Mark William Roche

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 9780791435458

Category: Philosophy

Page: 450

View: 2310

The first evaluation and critique of Hegel's theory of tragedy and comedy, this book also develops an original theory of both genres.

We Killed

The Rise of Women in American Comedy

Author: Yael Kohen

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0374287236

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 308

View: 3686

Traces the careers and achievements of comediennes and challenges opinions about why women cannot be effective comedic entertainers, with coverage of celebrities, including Joan Rivers, Lily Tomlin, and Tina Fey.

Peak Inequality

Britain's ticking time bomb

Author: Dorling, Danny

Publisher: Policy Press

ISBN: 1447349083

Category: Social Science

Page: 328

View: 4305

Inequality is the key political issue of our time. Danny Dorling wrote his seminal work Injustice: Why social inequality persists in 2010, and as an early proponent of rapidly reducing economic inequalities, he is now much sought-after as one of the foremost contributors to the debates surrounding it. Here Dorling brings together brand new material alongside a carefully curated selection of his most recent writing on inequality from publications as wide ranging as the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian, New Statesman, Financial Times and the China People’s Daily. Covering key inequality issues including politics, housing, education and health, he explores whether we have now reached ‘peak inequality’. He concludes, crucially, by predicting what the future holds for Britain, as attempts are made to defuse the ticking time bomb while we simultaneously try to negotiate Brexit and react to the wider international situation of a world of people demanding to become more equal.

Groucho Marx

The Comedy of Existence

Author: Lee Siegel

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300216637

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 176

View: 7134

Born Julius Marx in 1890, the brilliant comic actor who would later be known as Groucho was the most verbal of the famed comedy team, the Marx Brothers, his broad slapstick portrayals elevated by ingenious wordplay and double entendre. In his spirited biography of this beloved American iconoclast, Lee Siegel views the life of Groucho through the lens of his work on stage, screen, and television. The author uncovers the roots of the performer’s outrageous intellectual acuity and hilarious insolence toward convention and authority in Groucho’s early upbringing and Marx family dynamics. The first critical biography of Groucho Marx to approach his work analytically, this fascinating study draws unique connections between Groucho’s comedy and his life, concentrating primarily on the brothers’ classic films as a means of understanding and appreciating Julius the man. Unlike previous uncritical and mostly reverential biographies, Siegel’s “bio-commentary” makes a distinctive contribution to the field of Groucho studies by attempting to tell the story of his life in terms of his work, and vice versa.