Gervinus und seine politischen Ueberzeugungen; ein biographischer Beitrag by AnonymousGervinus und seine politischen Ueberzeugungen; ein biographischer Beitrag by Anonymous

Gervinus und seine politischen Ueberzeugungen; ein biographischer Beitrag


Paperback | October 11, 2009

Pricing and Purchase Info

$23.09 online 
$25.95 list price save 11%
Earn 115 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


Comedy is a brutal business. When comedians define success, they don't talk about money-they talk about not quitting. They work in a business where even big names work for free, and the inequalities of race, class, and gender create real barriers. But they also work in a business where people still believe that hard work and talent lead to the big time. How do people working in comedy sustain these contradictions and keep laughing?

In Behind the Laughs, Michael P. Jeffries brings readers into the world of comedy to reveal its dark corners and share its buoyant lifeblood. He draws on conversations with comedians, as well as club owners, bookers, and managers, to show the extraordinary social connections professional humor demands. Not only do comedians have to read their audience night after night, but they must also create lasting bonds across the profession to get gigs in the first place. Comedy is not a meritocracy, and its rewards are not often fame and fortune. Only performers who know the rules of their community are able to make it a career.

Michael P. Jeffries is Associate Professor of American Studies at Wellesley College. He is the author of Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America (Stanford, 2013) and Thug Life: Race, Gender, and the Meaning of Hip-Hop (2011).
Title:Gervinus und seine politischen Ueberzeugungen; ein biographischer BeitragFormat:PaperbackDimensions:122 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.26 inPublished:October 11, 2009Publisher:BiblioLifeLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1115745476

ISBN - 13:9781115745475


Table of Contents

Contents and Abstracts
chapter abstract

This chapter introduces the book's thesis. Contrary to popular belief, comedy workers are not anti-social outcasts, but a highly social group with a deep commitment to their comedy communities. The pride in, and emphasis on, community becomes a psychological wage that offsets the unfairness and exploitation of the comedy business, and gives performers the support they need to pursue their dreams against long odds. However, comedy communities are experienced differently depending on intersections of race, class, and gender. Despite the collective identity affirmed by comedy workers from different backgrounds, women and people of color face numerous disadvantages and forms of mistreatment that white men do not.

1Chemistry of a Comedian
chapter abstract

This chapter offers an introduction to comedy workers in their own words. Performers describe the qualities and personality traits they share, which makes it impossible to reduce them to the most commonly held stereotypes of comedians as narcissistic social misfits. The chapter describes the process through which the interviewees enter the comedy world, and recounts the earliest and most important lessons they learn about comedy. In discussing both topics - their personal qualities, and their early comedy careers - performers reveal themselves to be highly social animals. They move through comedy with great awareness of their surroundings, and strong connections to the people around them.

2From Funny to Family
chapter abstract

3Succeeding at Not Failing
chapter abstract

4Celebrity in the Making
chapter abstract

5Privilege, Patriarchy, and Performance
chapter abstract

chapter abstract

Editorial Reviews

"Melding intimate interviews with astute analysis, Behind the Laughs reveals how the exploitation of comedians is neither funny nor simple. This is a well-researched book that pulls back the curtains on the business of comedy, revealing fascinating stories and troubling inequalities."