A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy by Ian Brodie

By Ian Brodie

In A Vulgar Art Ian Brodie makes use of a folkloristic method of stand-up comedy, attractive the discipline’s imperative approach to learning interpersonal, inventive communique and function. simply because stand-up comedy is a slightly large type, those that examine it frequently start by means of pertaining to it to anything they recognize―“literature” or “theatre”; “editorial” or “morality”―and research it for this reason. A Vulgar Art starts off with a extra primary statement: anyone is status in entrance of a bunch of individuals, chatting with them without delay, and attempting to lead them to snigger. So this booklet takes the instant of functionality as its concentration, that stand-up comedy is a collaborative act among the comic and the audience.

Although the shape of speak at the degree resembles speak between pals and intimates in social settings, stand-up comedy is still a occupation. As such, it calls for functionality open air of the comedian’s personal group to realize greater and bigger audiences. How do comedians recreate that surroundings of intimacy in a roomful of strangers? This booklet regards every thing from microphones to garments and LPs to Twitter as techniques for bridging the spatial, temporal, and socio-cultural distances among the performer and the audience.

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Extra resources for A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy

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He is speaking to a young child in the audience, who Murphy imagines to have expected performances of his characters from Saturday Night Live. The following section does double-duty, as he notes how inextricable his material is from the flow of his entire performance, while what he says also serves as an illustration of an extract from a performance that is not—by most definitions of the word—a joke. It is also worth noting that the bit takes place within five minutes of the end of the performance, which allows for references to elements previously performed: Here’s a little joke for y’all {Turning to crowd at large} y’all can listen to it too [L] ’cause I know lots of times people see my show and then go to work and try to they’re like | {in Caucasian voice} “and then he said ‘goonie-googoo’ [L] and he had a GI Joe up his ass!

1978, 242) Amidst testimonial and bullshitting is the personal anecdote, a narrative told as if true but subject to contestation and negotiation. The historicity of events and the worldview that informs them are open to challenge: the narrator simultaneously challenges the worldview of the audience. A further remove from the narrative-genre-spotting exercise is the recognition that stand-ups are not always “telling stories”: they are making observations and offering insights. 5 Lastly, stand-up comedians often speak in the second person: they project events or opinions onto the audience, sometimes passively (asking, “Have you ever .

They are, however, prejudicial in terms of both commonality and difference: they have both esoteric and exoteric expectations associated with them, dependent on the particular category of keyword projected. With each new cue proffered—as I move beyond visual identify markers to their articulation of dites and narratives—my understanding of their worldview is challenged, deepened, reaffirmed, nuanced, and developed until expectations are as grounded in experience as they are in prejudices. And as they arise, I scrutinize and evaluate each cue in terms of its group referent: is this position on a topic, this articulated understanding, this articulated experience, something consistent with my understanding of the universe, something identifiably inconsistent, or something apart from but not wholly other, something new but not threatening?

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