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HUMOUR-RESEARCH  1998

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Subject:

Standup Comedy and 'Otherness'

From:

"alicia b. dattner" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sun, 13 Sep 1998 01:25:37 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (27 lines)

Hello,

My name is Alicia, and I'm a standup comic.  I'm writing a paper on some
theories I'm working with which at the moment are very broad and should
probably be narrowed down.  Presently I'm interested in difference
('otherness') as it relates to humor, especially standup.  In my empirical
studies, I've observed a sharp contradiction in standup comedy (and humor
in general).  It purports to challenge authority, injustice, status quo,
etc, yet the majority of comedy is produced by heterosexual white males,
who are in effect reinscribing the power they say they're fighting.  Not
only is it difficult for 'marked' people (i.e. women, people of color,
etc.) to break into comedy, for some reason, it is difficult for us to
'sell' an act that is unconventional, absurdist, fringe, etc.  (for
example, how many female comics do you see who are like Andy Kaufman?).
Why is this?  If anyone has information or ideas on the topic, I'd like to
hear from you.

Thank you

Alicia B. Dattner
Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts




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