Four shows, performed by African American stand-up comedians in Los Angeles in front of Black audiences and White audiences, were examined. The different sections of the events and the components of the joke sequences are analyzed, looking for aspects that facilitate joke acceptability and finding that audience-referred jokes are resorted to differently in Black rooms and White rooms, and punch lines can be followed by accounts even though the audience affiliated to them. In addition to these practices, other resources show an intention to relate with the audience, such as questions that involve the audience in the show and jokes that gravitate to parties in the event. Finally, the evidence shows that the whole event unfolds as an informal, naturally developing encounter between audience and comedian, thanks to a colloquial register, fillers allowing transition across joke sequences, and “pags” that expand previous punch lines positively received by the audience. It is argued that through these resources the interactional context of a joke is constantly oriented to and shaped to be an informal environment where jokes on sensitive topics, such as sex and race, can be accepted more easily

The interactional context of humor in stand-up comedy

SCARPETTA, FABIOLA;SPAGNOLLI, ANNA
2009

Abstract

Four shows, performed by African American stand-up comedians in Los Angeles in front of Black audiences and White audiences, were examined. The different sections of the events and the components of the joke sequences are analyzed, looking for aspects that facilitate joke acceptability and finding that audience-referred jokes are resorted to differently in Black rooms and White rooms, and punch lines can be followed by accounts even though the audience affiliated to them. In addition to these practices, other resources show an intention to relate with the audience, such as questions that involve the audience in the show and jokes that gravitate to parties in the event. Finally, the evidence shows that the whole event unfolds as an informal, naturally developing encounter between audience and comedian, thanks to a colloquial register, fillers allowing transition across joke sequences, and “pags” that expand previous punch lines positively received by the audience. It is argued that through these resources the interactional context of a joke is constantly oriented to and shaped to be an informal environment where jokes on sensitive topics, such as sex and race, can be accepted more easily
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.
Pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2381091
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 33
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 30
social impact