Because I Tell a Joke or Two: Comedy, Politics and Social Difference

Because I Tell a Joke or Two: Comedy, Politics and Social Difference

by Stephen Wagg
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415129214

ISBN-13: 9780415129213

Pub. Date: 03/20/1998

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Because I Tell a Joke or Two explores the complex relationship between comedy and the social differences of class, region, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationhood. It shows how comedy has been used to sustain, challenge and to change power relationships in society. The contributors, who include Stephen Wagg, Mark Simpson, Stephen Small, Paul Wells

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Overview

Because I Tell a Joke or Two explores the complex relationship between comedy and the social differences of class, region, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationhood. It shows how comedy has been used to sustain, challenge and to change power relationships in society. The contributors, who include Stephen Wagg, Mark Simpson, Stephen Small, Paul Wells and Frances Williams, offer readings of comedy genres, texts and performers in Britain, the United States and Australia. The collection also includes an interview with the comedian Jo Brand.
Topics addressed include:

• women in British comedies such as Butterflies and Fawlty Towers

• the life and times of Viz, from Billy the Fish to the Fat Slags

• queer readings of Morecambe and Wise, the male double act

• the Marx brothers and Jewish comedy in the United States

• black radical comedy in Britain

The Golden Girls, Cheers, Friends and American society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415129213
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
03/20/1998
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction
1'At Ease, Corporal': Social class and the situation comedy in British television, from the 1950s to the 1990s1
2The Lancashire Shaman: Frank Randle and Mancunian Films32
3Butterflies and Caustic Asides: Housewives, comedy and the feminist movement50
4Tarts, Tampons and Tyrants: Women and representation in British comedy65
5Certain Liberties Have Been Taken with Cleopatra: Female performance in the Carry On films94
6Punching Your Weight: Conversations with Jo Brand111
7The Straight Men of Comedy137
8Suits and Sequins: Lesbian comedians in Britain and the US in the 1990s146
9'Yeah, and I Used to be a Hunchback': Immigrants, humour and the Marx Brothers165
10'Where Everybody Knows Your Name': Open convictions and closed contexts in the American situation comedy180
11Cringe and Strut: Comedy and national identity in post-war Australia202
12'Serious T'ing': The black comedy circuit in England221
13'They Already Got a Comedian for Governor': Comedians and politics in the United States and Great Britain244
14VIZ: Gender, class and taboo273
15Heard the One About the White Middle-Class Heterosexual Father-in-Law?: Gender, ethnicity and political correctness in comedy291
Index313

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