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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From the Publisher

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 an Associate Professor of Theatre at Long Island University Post, US, 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 Shakespeare Festival and The Goodman Theatre of Chicago,...

other books by Rick Desrochers

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

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1441132325

ISBN - 13:9781441132321

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Extra Content

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

?Rick DesRochers has brought the vaudeville tradition into the 21st century through the imaginative pairings between different comic performers ? for example, Will Rogers and Stephen Colbert or the Marx Brothers and Larry David ? in order to show how certain styles of comedy have persisted over time. DesRochers does all of this in a fashion that is grounded in original source materials, including perhaps the fullest discussion to date of the theatrical work of the Marx Brothers before they went to Hollywood, and is presented in a vivid, engaging, style that would be highly accessible to undergraduate students.? ?Henry Jenkins, USC Annenberg Lab