All joking aside : American humor and its discontents by Rebecca Krefting

By Rebecca Krefting

In this exam of stand-up comedy, Rebecca Krefting establishes a brand new style of comedic creation, "charged humor," and charts its pathways from construction to intake. a few jokes are tears within the cloth of our beliefs―they problem myths approximately how reasonable and democratic our society is and the behaviors and practices we enact to keep up these fictions. Jokes loaded with vitriol and brought with verve, charged humor compels audiences to motion, artfully summoning political critique.

Since the institutionalization of stand-up comedy as a different cultural shape, stand-up comics have leveraged charged humor to bare social, political, and financial stratifications. All Joking Aside bargains a background of charged comedy from the mid-twentieth century to the early aughts, highlighting dozens of gifted comics from Dick Gregory and Robin Tyler to Micia Mosely and Hari Kondabolu.

The approval for charged humor has waxed and waned during the last sixty years. certainly, the background of charged humor is a story of intrigue and subversion that includes dive bars, public remonstrations, fickle audiences, motion picture stars became politicians, air carriers, emergent applied sciences, neoliberal mind-sets, and a cavalcade of comedian misfits with an ax to grind. alongside the best way, Krefting explores the fault strains within the sleek economic climate of humor, why males are gave the impression to be funnier than girls, the puzzling acclaim for modern day minstrelsy, and how identities are packaged and bought within the marketplace.

Appealing to an individual drawn to the politics of humor and producing implications for the research of any type of well known leisure, this historical past displays on why we make the alternatives we do and the collective strength of our consumptive practices. Readers might be overjoyed by means of the large array of comedian expertise spotlighted during this publication, and for these attracted to comedy with substance, it is going to supply another punchline.

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Extra resources for All joking aside : American humor and its discontents

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While advertisers and network executives can be fairly indifferent to po­liti­ cal worldviews—­they support what­ever programming is most likely to generate profit within the confines of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations—­they are incredibly attuned to the consumptive proclivities of target demographics. An entertainment industry executive put it this way: “You know, getting Latino shows in En­glish on TV is a mathematical formula. ”31 He was referring specifically to Hispanic programming but his point is generalizable.

Cultural practices used in an effort to build cultural unity and as- Making Connections 17 sert rights are part of a larger effort to create cultural citizenship. Draft concept papers about cultural citizenship, written by early members of the Latino Cultural Studies Working Group (LCSWG) in the late 1980s, offer primary sources that lay the groundwork for thorough consideration of how cultural forms can enact cultural citizenship. Cultural citizenship recognizes that while some inhabitants of the US and US territories are not legal citizens, they are, in fact, cultural citizens existing in the daily workings and maintenance of the United States as an economy, society, and culture.

In this instance, charged humor repels viewers who either disagree with the joke’s premise or lack awareness of privileged social locations and attracts viewers who know all too well the validity of his critique. Charged humor asks viewers to think critically. ”24 In the case of charged humor, it locates the humorist in the national imagination and shows us where there is trouble. It is intended to be self-­situating and a call for viewers to refigure dominant beliefs and ste­reo­types about minorities and their respective communities.

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