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The Cultural Set Up of Comedy

Affective Politics in the United States Post 9/11

How do various forms of comedy—including stand-up, satire, and film and television—transform contemporary invocations of nationalism and citizenship in youth cultures? And how are attitudes about gender, race, and sexuality transformed through comedic performances on social media? The Cultural Set Up of Comedy seeks to answer these questions by examining comedic performances by Chris Rock and Louis C.K., news parodies The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, the role of satire in the Arab Spring, and the groundbreaking performances by women in Bridesmaids. Breaking with the usual cultural studies debates over how to conceptualize youth, the book instead focuses on the comedic cultural and political scripts that frame them.

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“Webber’s allusions to state-sponsored satire as politics (even war) by other means importantly align comedy with propagandistic news sources and attempt at providing ideological cues to people through perverse blends of information and entertainment.”

Media, Culture & Society

Table of Contents


1. The Cultural Set Up of Comedy

2. Re-signifying the F-word: Comedy as Political Resistance or Entrenchment?

3. Breaking the ‘Crass Ceiling’: Women as Comedians

4. The Tone of Political Comedy in The Daily Show and The Colbert Report

5. Globalizing Political Humor

Conclusion: After Comedy



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