On the Uses of Obscenity in Live Stand-Up Comedy

@article{Seizer2011OnTU,
  title={On the Uses of Obscenity in Live Stand-Up Comedy},
  author={Susan Seizer},
  journal={Anthropological Quarterly},
  year={2011},
  volume={84},
  pages={209 - 234}
}
  • Susan Seizer
  • Published 2011
  • Sociology
  • Anthropological Quarterly
This essay explores the use of swear words in stand-up comedy. Employing examples from the performances of two comedians who work the Midwest regional comedy club circuit, I analyze the non-referential pragmatic functions served by employing the register of dirty words. I critique flat-footed readings of the comedic use of obscenity, including that which informs recent Supreme Court censorship rulings, and argue instead for recognition of the communicative artistry displayed in such work. 
Laughing matters: Stand-up comedy and enjoyment in the age of late capitalism
Stand-up comedy has emerged as an immensely resonant youth-oriented pop-cultural form within the Indian landscape. This article studies the form and content of stand-up comedy to foreground itsExpand
Stand-up Comedy and Young India: The Expression and Construction of Identity
ABSTRACT In this essay, I explore the genre of live comedy outside its traditional Western setting in popular and academic understanding. I argue that its ever-growing popularity in urban India isExpand
The hands of Donald Trump
Commentators from a broad range of perspectives have been at pains to explain Donald Trump’s transition from billionaire businessman to populist presidential candidate. This article draws on culturalExpand
Introduction: Come to The Dark Side
Comedians experience darkness in their personal lives. Some adopt dark personae. Others develop stage acts that revolve around a variety of dark topics. However, at some point, darkness must beExpand
A new public sphere? English-language stand-up comedy in India
The genre of English-language stand-up comedy is increasingly becoming popular in India’s metropolitan cities. This study uses the concept of the public sphere to examine YouTube videos of aExpand
Dialogic catharsis in standup comedy: Stewart Huff plays a bigot
Abstract This essay investigates the cathartic creative process of a standup comic who recounts, in a video-taped interview with the author, the act of transforming a painful meeting with a bigot inExpand
Irreverence Rules: The Politics of Authenticity and the Carnivalesque Aesthetic in Black South African Women's Stand-Up Comedy
This article argues that the aesthetic practices of black women stand-ups in South Africa take up the concrete ways black people all over the world use performances, within theatrical or everydayExpand
Understanding obscenity and offensive humour: What's funny?
Humourisation of the offensive occupies a position of distinctive prominence in our study of how we experience humour. The offensive is often found to be closely linked with obscene expressions andExpand
Rewriting the Colonial Gaze? Black Middle-Class Constructions of Africa in Sihle Khumalo’s Travel Writing
Abstract Guided by autobiographical, travel, and life writing theories in general, this article examines Sihle Khumalo’s travelogs to argue that contemporary ways of knowledge production about AfricaExpand
Negotiating race in stand-up comedy: interpretations of ‘single story’ narratives
ABSTRACT This paper explores how narratives of personal experiences among audience members in Midwestern comedy clubs shape their receptivity to the racial discourses deployed by stand-up comedians.Expand
...
1
2
3
4
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 46 REFERENCES
Jokes, gender, and discursive distance on the Tamil popular stage
In this article, I analyze a sequence of dirty jokes embedded in a monologue performed on the south Indian Tamil popular stage. In this performance I do not find vulgarity but rather a reflection ofExpand
Stand-up comedy : a folkloristic approach
Building on both a textual analysis and ethnographic fieldwork, this dissertation employs folkloristic analysis to examine stand-up comedy, a professional verbal comic performance with its roots inExpand
The Laugh-Makers: Stand-Up Comedy as Art, Business, and Life-Style
Stebbins begins with a history of stand-up comedy, giving vital background about the industry as it emerged and flourished in the United States and subsequently developed into a popular form ofExpand
Text and performance in Africa
  • K. Barber
  • Sociology
  • Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • 2003
If written texts usually involve some kind of performative dimension, oral performances also entail the constitution of a text. American linguistic anthropology uses the term ‘entextualization’ forExpand
Voices of Modernity: Language Ideologies and the Politics of Inequality
1. Introduction 2. Making language safe for science and society: from Francis Bacon to John Lock 3. Antiquaries and philologists: the construction of modernity and its others in seventeenth- andExpand
“Speaking Shadows”: A History of the Voice in the Transition from Silent to Sound Film in the United States
In this paper I examine the media discourse surrounding the voice in the silent to sound film transition in American cinema. When the technologies of synchronized sound became widespread in the lateExpand
Stigmas of the Tamil Stage: An Ethnography of Special Drama Artists in South India
A study of the lives of popular theater artists, Stigmas of the Tamil Stage is the first in-depth analysis of Special Drama, a genre of performance unique to the southernmost Indian state ofExpand
Rebellious Laughter: People’s Humor in American Culture
Bringing together everyday language, social interaction and cultural warfare, this work forms a social history of humour in American culture. It argues that jokes provide a cultural barometer ofExpand
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious
While in this book Freud tells some good stories with his customary verve and economy, its point is wholly serious.
Text and performance
About the book: What distinguishes some texts as 'art'? This book critically examines texts which can be considered 'literary', ranging from poetry, drama and fiction to performance art and onlineExpand
...
1
2
3
4
5
...