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By John Limon

Stand-Up Comedy in concept, or, Abjection in the USA is the 1st learn of stand-up comedy as a sort of paintings. John Limon appreciates and analyzes the categorical perform of stand-up itself, relocating past theories of the comic story, of the comedian, and of comedy typically to learn stand-up in the course of the lens of literary and cultural concept. Limon argues that stand-up is an artform top outlined via its fascination with the abject, Julia Kristeva’s time period for these facets of oneself which are obnoxious to one’s feel of id yet which are nevertheless—like blood, feces, or urine—impossible to jettison as soon as and for all. All of a comedian’s existence, Limon asserts, is abject during this sense.Limon starts with stand-up comics within the Nineteen Fifties and 1960s—Lenny Bruce, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols, Elaine May—when the norm of the occupation was once the Jewish, male, heterosexual comic. He then strikes towards the current with analyses of David Letterman, Richard Pryor, Ellen DeGeneres, and Paula Poundstone. Limon accommodates feminist, race, and queer theories to argue that the “comedification” of America—stand-up comedy’s break out from its slim origins—involves the repossession through black, woman, queer, and Protestant comedians of what used to be black, girl, queer, but suburbanizing in Jewish, male, heterosexual comedy. Limon’s formal definition of stand-up as abject artwork hence hinges on his declare that the nice American comedians of the Fifties and Nineteen Sixties positioned their comedy on the position (which could were conceived in 1960 as a situation among long island urban or Chicago and their suburbs) the place physique is thrown off for the brain and materiality is thrown off for abstraction—at where, that's, the place American abjection has continuously discovered its home.As the 1st learn of its sort, Stand-Up Comedy in conception, or, Abjection in the USA will entice a large viewers together with these drawn to cultural reviews, Jewish reports, gender and queer idea.

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Extra info for Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America (New Americanists)

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So it’s a hell of a fruit’’ caps this impulse of the bit. ‘‘Hell of a’’ insists on the language of hoary appreciation (‘‘helluva’’ might better capture the flatness of expression) in the transfiguring presence of a really childish enthusiasm, partly sensuous and partly taxonomic. Note that ‘‘half a peach, half a plum, so it’s a hell of a fruit’’ also takes the form of a fractured, fractional computation. And justifying the pronouncement is a piece of deduction. Vaguely in the background is some dubious major premise: sums of positives are positive.

Years later, nostalgic fans of academic persuasion could satisfy 6030 Limon / STAND UP COMEDY / sheet 35 of 160 themselves that the humor of Brooks and Reiner fit none of the paradigms erected by joke analysts. As an experiment, ask anyone who can recite the classic Brooks-Reiner routines, and who once thought of humor as a sign of grace, to identify the defining passage of all ‘‘The 2000 Year Old Man’’ records. Here is the consensus answer. ’’ Brooks answers (before Reiner has formulated a question): Fruit is good, you mention fruit.

Judge Horn: All right, wait a minute, wait a minute! 3 18:27 The moment is loony—it is difficult to avoid the sensation that the trial is enacting a Lenny Bruce routine, and when Bruce in fact turned it into a routine, the joke was how often the judge and prosecutor, like F. ’’ Wollenberg’s hapless premise is that the obscene word cannot have a function in a funny routine because the word is not itself funny. This is puzzling, but we can divine what prompts Wollenberg to this paralogism. If the audience laughs, Wollenberg must believe, then either the performance is, so to speak, above obscenity (it has artistic merit), or it is other than obscenity (an amused audience is not a prurient one).

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