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Lively and highly readable, What Made Pistachio Nuts? examines what Henry Jenkins calls the anarchistic tradition of American film comedy. Anarchistic comedies of the 1930s mock the social order and celebrate the creativity and impulsiveness of their protagonists in a form of clowning that ultimately reestablishes the status quo.
Jenkins focuses on well-known films such as the Marx Brothers' Duck Soup and W.C. Fields' It's a Gift, as well as all-but-forgotten works like Diplomaniacs,Hollywood Party, So Long Lefty, and others. He tracks the careers of the comic stars -Eddie Cantor, Winnie LIghtner, W.C. Fields, Charlotte Greenwood, the Marx Brothers, and Wheeler and Woolsey- as they moved from vaudeville and the New York reviews to Hollywood.
Columbia University Press
|1||The Strange Case of the Backflipping Senators||1|
|2||"How Is It Possible for a Civilized Man to Live Among People Who Are Always Joking?" Class, Comedy, and Cultural Change in Turn-of-the-Century America||26|
|3||"A Regular Mine, a Reservoir, a Proving Ground": Reconstructing the Vaudeville Aesthetic||59|
|4||"Assorted Lunacy ... with No Beginning and No End": Gag, Performance, and Narrative in Early Sound Comedy||96|
|5||"A High-Class Job of Carpentry": Toward a Typography of Early Sound Comedy||127|
|6||"Shall We Make It for New York or for Distribution?" Eddie Cantor, Whoopee, and Regional Resistance to the Talkies||153|
|7||"Fifi Was My Mother's Name!" Anarchistic Comedy, the Vaudeville Aesthetic, and Diplomaniacs||185|
|8||"If the Whole World Were Created for Our Pleasure": Order and Disorder in Anarchistic Comedy||214|
|9||"Don't Become Too Intimate with That Terrible Woman!" Unruly Wives, Female Performance, and Gendered Laughter in Early Sound Comedy||245|
|Conclusion: The Return of the Backflipping Senators||277|