By Rebecca Krefting

In this exam of stand-up comedy, Rebecca Krefting establishes a brand new style of comedic construction, "charged humor," and charts its pathways from creation to intake. a few jokes are tears within the cloth of our beliefs―they problem myths approximately how reasonable and democratic our society is and the behaviors and practices we enact to keep up these fictions. Jokes loaded with vitriol and added with verve, charged humor compels audiences to motion, artfully summoning political critique.

Since the institutionalization of stand-up comedy as a unique cultural shape, stand-up comics have leveraged charged humor to bare social, political, and monetary stratifications. All Joking Aside deals a background of charged comedy from the mid-twentieth century to the early aughts, highlighting dozens of proficient comics from Dick Gregory and Robin Tyler to Micia Mosely and Hari Kondabolu.

The approval for charged humor has waxed and waned during the last sixty years. certainly, the heritage of charged humor is a story of intrigue and subversion that includes dive bars, public remonstrations, fickle audiences, motion picture stars became politicians, air carriers, emergent applied sciences, neoliberal mind-sets, and a cavalcade of comedian misfits with an ax to grind. alongside the best way, Krefting explores the fault traces within the smooth financial system of humor, why males are seemed to be funnier than girls, the difficult acclaim for modern day minstrelsy, and how identities are packaged and offered within the marketplace.

Appealing to an individual attracted to the politics of humor and producing implications for the research of any type of well known leisure, this heritage displays on why we make the alternatives we do and the collective energy of our consumptive practices. Readers can be thrilled by way of the vast array of comedian expertise spotlighted during this publication, and for these attracted to comedy with substance, it is going to provide an alternate punchline.

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Extra resources for All joking aside : American humor and its discontents

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But I’ve actually known a lot of illegal immigrants in my life and my friends are not ­here to invade and conquer America, in my experience they are ­here to clean up America’s shit, make America’s food while America sleeps [laughter]. So if we ever talk about groups of people using meta­phors we should at least use an accurate meta­phor.  ​elves [laughter]. How would it change the public policy debate if we all said illegal elves [laughter]? 26 Language like “alien,” “foreigner,” and “illegal” immediately establishes an individual as not belonging in a legal and cultural sense.

If you can answer yes to more than a couple of these about any comic, then most likely they are mainstream. Perhaps it is most accurate to say that charged humor does not help your chances of achieving mainstream recognition, status, and fame. But, it does not preclude those chances—­some charged comics like Richard Pryor, Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, Chris Rock, Margaret Cho, and Kathy Griffin are ­house­hold names in spite of the odds. But many other practitioners of charged Making Connections 31 humor struggle at the regional level, traveling the national circuit of comedy clubs as forever a feature comic or “road dog,” or are making a living cobbling together corporate, cruise line, and college gigs along with special per­for­mances for human rights organizations, freelance writing work, and online web projects.

Dick Gregory In the early 1960s, a veteran and former postal worker by the name of Dick Gregory took the profession of stand-­up comedy by storm. A comedic tour de force, in five years time he released seven comedy albums and published three books—­one an autobiography and the others, print collections of his jokes set alongside pictorials—­while also performing frequently and becoming increasingly involved in the African American civil rights movement. 1 In his own words: “If I’ve said anything to upset you, maybe it’s what I’m ­here for.

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All joking aside : American humor and its discontents by Rebecca Krefting
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