The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy: Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert…

Hardcover | July 31, 2014

byRick Desrochers

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The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of the vaudeville era and performance acts, like the Marx Brothers and The Three Keatons, and moving through the silent and early sound films of the early 1930s, the author looks at how comic writer/performers continue to sell a brand of themselves as a form of social commentary in order to confront and dispel stereotypes of race, class, and gender. The first study to explore contemporary popular comic culture and its influence on American society from this unique perspective, Rick DesRochers analyzes stand-up and improvisational comedy writing/performing in the work of Larry David, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and Dave Chappelle. He grounds these choices by examining their evolution as they developed signature characters and sketches for their respective shows Curb Your Enthusiasm, 30 Rock, The Colbert Report, and Chappelle's Show.

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The Comic Offense from Vaudeville to Contemporary Comedy examines how contemporary writer/performers are influenced by the comedic vaudevillians of the early 20th century. By tracing the history and legacy of the vaudeville era and performance acts, like the Marx Brothers and The Three Keatons, and moving through the silent and early s...

Rick DesRochers is Associate Professor and Director of Theatre and Multi-Media Performance at Lehman College, City University of New York, USA, and an Associate Artist at the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference. He has served as the Literary Director of New Play and Musical Development for the Joseph Papp Public Theater/New York S...

other books by Rick Desrochers

Format:HardcoverDimensions:176 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:July 31, 2014Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1441132325

ISBN - 13:9781441132321

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Preface 1. The Vaudeville Aesthetic And The Migration To Radio And Television 2. "What's Real Got To Do With What We Do?"-Groucho Marx To Larry David 3. "The Girlie Show" As The New Burlesque-Mae West To Tina Fey 4. Truth And Truthiness Go To Washington-Will Rogers To Stephen Colbert 5. The Mask Of Minstrelsy-Bert Williams To Dave Chappelle Epilogue Notes Works Cited Index Works Cited Index

Editorial Reviews

Through imaginative pairings, including Groucho Marx and Larry David, Mae West and Tina Fey, and Will Rogers and Stephen Colbert, The Comic Offense demonstrates how today's cutting edge comedy builds upon the legacy of Vaudeville, demonstrating yet again that everything old is new again. Along the way,readers will develop a deeper understanding of how comedy has spoken to us across time about issues of gender, racial, and ethnic identity. The analysis is insightful; the examples are provocative; and the writing is engaging.