This comprehensive survey of sources and scholarship should prove invaluable to anyone organizing a course in American humor, and to graduate students or advanced undergraduates as well. There are excellent summaries of respected histories of the field and such serious, well-planned chapters as 'The Comics,' 'Humor in Periodicals,' 'Standup Comedy,' 'Women's Humor,' 'Racial and Ethnic Humor,' and 'Political Humor.' . . . Well-written and clearly presented, this volume will greatly assist those making their way in this fascinating interdisciplinary area. Choice
Focusing on a multitude of genres, this unusual collection stresses the overall importance of humor as an index to popular thought. Primarily descriptive rather than theoretical, each chapter is organized to provide an overview of a specific genre of expression or a significant topic in modern humor. Subjects range from literature, the comic strip, film, broadcast humor, the magazine, and standup comedy, to racial and ethnic humor, women's humor, and political humor. Each genre or topic is traced historically and analyzed with respect to those characteristics that make it unique. A bibliographical essay and checklist is provided for each chapter to facilitate further study.