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© 2020

The Dark Side of Stand-Up Comedy

  • Patrice A. Oppliger
  • Eric Shouse
Book

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Comedy book series (PSCOM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Darkness from the Outside

  3. Darkness from the Inside

  4. Back Matter
    Pages 317-320

About this book

Introduction

This book focuses on the “dark side” of stand-up comedy, initially inspired by speculations surrounding the death of comedian Robin Williams. Contributors, those who study humor as well as those who perform comedy, join together to contemplate the paradoxical relationship between tragedy and comedy and expose over-generalizations about comic performers’ troubled childhoods, addictions, and mental illnesses. The book is divided into two sections. First, scholars from a variety of disciplines explore comedians’ onstage performances, their offstage lives, and the relationship between the two. The second half of the book focuses on amateur and lesser-known professional comedians who reveal the struggles they face as they attempt to hone successful comedy acts and likable comic personae. The goal of this collection is to move beyond the hackneyed stereotype of the sad clown in order to reveal how stand-up comedy can transform both personal and collective tragedies by providing catharsis through humor.

 

Patrice Oppliger is Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Boston University, USA. Her most recent book is Tweencoms Girls: Gender and Adolescence in Disney and Nickelodeon Sitcoms.

Eric Shouse is Associate Professor of Communication at East Carolina University, USA. His work has been published in HUMOR, Comedy Studies, and Text and Performance Quarterly.

Keywords

Comedy Dark Humour Addiction Mental Illness Stereotype Performance Stand-Up Comedy

Editors and affiliations

  • Patrice A. Oppliger
    • 1
  • Eric Shouse
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mass CommunicationBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.School of CommunicationEast Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA

About the editors

Patrice Oppliger is Assistant Professor of Mass Communication at Boston University, USA. Her most recent book is Tweencoms Girls: Gender and Adolescence in Disney and Nickelodeon Sitcoms.

Eric Shouse is Associate Professor of Communication at East Carolina University, USA. His work has been published in HUMORComedy Studies, and Text and Performance Quarterly.

Bibliographic information