By John Limon
Stand-Up Comedy in idea, or, Abjection in the USA is the 1st examine of stand-up comedy as a kind of artwork. John Limon appreciates and analyzes the explicit perform of stand-up itself, relocating past theories of the shaggy dog story, of the comedian, and of comedy in most cases to learn stand-up during the lens of literary and cultural conception. Limon argues that stand-up is an artform most sensible outlined via its fascination with the abject, Julia Kristeva’s time period for these facets of oneself which are obnoxious to one’s feel of identification yet which are nevertheless—like blood, feces, or urine—impossible to jettison as soon as and for all. All of a comedian’s lifestyles, Limon asserts, is abject during this sense.Limon starts off with stand-up comics within the Nineteen Fifties and 1960s—Lenny Bruce, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Elaine May—when the norm of the career used to be the Jewish, male, heterosexual comic. He then strikes towards the current with analyses of David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paula Poundstone. Limon comprises feminist, race, and queer theories to argue that the “comedification” of America—stand-up comedy’s get away from its slim origins—involves the repossession by way of black, woman, queer, and Protestant comedians of what used to be black, lady, queer, but suburbanizing in Jewish, male, heterosexual comedy. Limon’s formal definition of stand-up as abject paintings therefore hinges on his declare that the good American comedians of the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties situated their comedy on the position (which may were conceived in 1960 as a situation among manhattan urban or Chicago and their suburbs) the place physique is thrown off for the brain and materiality is thrown off for abstraction—at where, that's, the place American abjection has continuously chanced on its home.As the 1st examine of its type, Stand-Up Comedy in thought, or, Abjection in the US will entice a large viewers together with these drawn to cultural experiences, Jewish stories, gender and queer thought.
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Additional info for Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America (New Americanists)
The joke on moderation—the joke that extravagance here takes the form of moderation—is easier to admire than laugh at; the temperateness of nectarines, as opposed to their tempered parentage, is not an important datum for children or, therefore, memory for adults. There is, I believe, some humor in this respite. ’’ ‘‘Just nice’’ has the feel of oﬀ-English, the language of ﬁrst-generation immigrants telling fables to their grandchildren, with the result that the structure ‘‘not extreme, not extreme, perfect mean’’ is nudged from dead center.
Heterosexuality may be read, in Koestenbaum, as the adding of a third term to homosexual dyads; homosexuality may be read, in Castle, as the subtracting of a third term from heterosexual triads. The relevance of this numerology to my concerns derives from the coincidence that the structure of a ‘‘tendentious’’ joke, in Freud, either begins with a heterosexual dyad (insistent man, resistant woman) and adds a third term, another man, potential rival, for the sake of civilizing the excitations of smut, or begins with a male-male dyad (powerful man, weak man) and adds a third term, again another man, for the sake of defusing aggression.
She did not pay for her outrage. Her crime, by an alchemical plea bargain, paid. I have tried to infer what is most abject in comedy (the city and its commercial ﬁlth, the body and its excrement) from its angelic geometry (the theorems of the indivisibility of performer and audience), and this is the largest tenet of the Euclidean faith: from two points (comedian and crowd) of the stand-up circle diametrically opposed, stand-up is the resurrection of your father as your child. 1 Johnny Carson was a similar case to a lesser degree.