Because I Tell a Joke Or Two: Comedy, Politics, and Social Difference

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Psychology Press, 1998 - Humor - 322 pages
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Because I Tell a Joke or Two explores the complex relationship between comedy and the social differences of class, region, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and nationhood. It shows how comedy has been used to sustain, challenge and to change power relationships in society. The contributors, who include Stephen Wagg, Mark Simpson, Stephen Small, Paul Wells and Frances Williams, offer readings of comedy genres, texts and performers in Britain, the United States and Australia. The collection also includes an interview with the comedian Jo Brand.
Topics addressed include:
* women in British comedies such as Butterflies and Fawlty Towers
* the life and times of Viz, from Billy the Fish to the Fat Slags
* queer readings of Morecambe and Wise, the male double act
* the Marx brothers and Jewish comedy in the United States
* black radical comedy in Britain
* The Golden Girls, Cheers, Friends and American society.
 

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Contents

Stephen Wagg
1
THE LANCASHIRE SHAMAN
32
BUTTERFLIES AND CAUSTIC ASIDES
50
TARTS TAMPONS AND TYRANTS
65
CERTAIN LIBERTIES HAVE BEEN TAKEN WITH CLEOPATRA
94
PUNCHING YOUR WEIGHT
111
SUITS AND SEQUINS
146
YEAH AND I USED TO BE A HUNCHBACK
165
WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
180
SERIOUS TING
221
THEY ALREADY GOT A COMEDIAN FOR GOVERNOR
244
VIZ
273
HEARD THE ONE ABOUT THE WHITE MIDDLECLASS
291
Index
313
Copyright

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Brett Mills
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About the author (1998)

Wagg is Senior Lecturer at Roehampton Institute, London.

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