A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy by Ian Brodie

By Ian Brodie

In A Vulgar Art Ian Brodie makes use of a folkloristic method of stand-up comedy, attractive the discipline’s crucial approach to learning interpersonal, creative communique and function. simply because stand-up comedy is a slightly extensive classification, those that research it frequently commence through referring to it to anything they recognize―“literature” or “theatre”; “editorial” or “morality”―and examine it for that reason. A Vulgar Art starts off with a extra basic remark: a person is status in entrance of a gaggle of individuals, chatting with them at once, and attempting to lead them to chortle. So this e-book takes the instant of functionality as its concentration, that stand-up comedy is a collaborative act among the comic and the audience.

Although the shape of speak at the degree resembles speak between associates and intimates in social settings, stand-up comedy is still a career. As such, it calls for functionality outdoor of the comedian’s personal group to realize greater and bigger audiences. How do comedians recreate that surroundings of intimacy in a roomful of strangers? This publication regards every little thing from microphones to garments and LPs to Twitter as concepts for bridging the spatial, temporal, and socio-cultural distances among the performer and the audience.

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A complex network of venue management and staff, along with technicians and event coordinators, work with the stand-up comedian, collectively creating the impression of the solo, intimate performance. A space identified as a comedy venue—whether the permanent comedy club or a theater or festival tent temporarily labeled as such—already frames how the performance ought to be received. The specific setting provides two interpretations: firstly, an unadorned, stripped-of-artifice stage synecdochically indicates the unadorned, stripped-of-artifice performances that take place thereupon, highlighting the “authenticity” of the performance—or rather, that what is occurring on the stage is not a “performance” but one half of a direct, sincere, intimate exchange between the performer and audience—simultaneously, there is a continued definition of the situation by the performance team (comedian, emcee, club managers, and staff) to frame these performances as occurring firmly in the realm of play.

Who is listening? What is their reaction? Why is the performance being performed at all? In terms of the text, how is it different from other performances of this text? How is it modified by the performer to the particular performance context? Let’s make some self-evident observations. First of all, stand-up comedy is concerned with and directed toward audience reaction: the manner in which it is received is, in a manner of speaking, the whole point. Second, the texts of stand-up comedy are, or are meant to be, the performer’s own creations, as an individual artist making original contributions to a realm of performance.

But these additional common factors do not proceed syllogistically by necessity but suggestively by implication, and the larger the group, the less the utility of these generalities as models. For these reasons, as folkloristics has developed over time, the focus has been on smaller and smaller groups that can be described less by implication than by explicit enumeration of details. Moreover, the common factors, as real and quantifiable by the folklorist as they may be, are often held with far less significance by the participants than the factors that differentiate one set of participants from the other.

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