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FMS 490 Standup Comedy As Social Discourse Lesson 2: The Holy Trinity of Contemporary Comedy (Plus 2) Part 2.

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Presentation on theme: "FMS 490 Standup Comedy As Social Discourse Lesson 2: The Holy Trinity of Contemporary Comedy (Plus 2) Part 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 FMS 490 Standup Comedy As Social Discourse Lesson 2: The Holy Trinity of Contemporary Comedy (Plus 2) Part 2

2 2 Lesson 3 Agenda 3 Faces of Black Comedy Dick Gregory: From Comic To Cultural Critic Bill Cosby: Super Negro Nice Guy to America’s Dad (& Super African American) Richard Pryor: Comic Provocateur Socio-Cultural Critic Let’s Watch Some Standup!

3 3 Section 1: Three Faces of Black Comedy

4 Dick Gregory: Using the Mic As A Weapon 4 Socio-Political Commentator “…I am as far away from you as Delta Airline is; anytime there is any problem, I will be back.” Speech at St. John's Baptist Church Birmingham, Alabama – May 20, 1963

5 Bill Cosby: Universalist Racounteur Creator of Communal Experience “…And you got it rainin' It's not a shower is it? Okay. Lord me and you, right ? 'Cause I knew it all the time.” 5 Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow… Right (1964)

6 The Black Side of the Trinity 6 “You know what your problem is? You don't know how to deal with the white man! You got a white-man complex. I know how to deal with him. That's why I'm in the position I'm in today." Articulator of Culture & Provocateur “"Wino & Junkie” (1974)

7 Section 2: Dick Gregory: From Comic To Cultural Critic 7

8 Breaking the Color Line 8 Playboy Club Chicago 1960 The Black Mort Sahl The “Sick” Comics Celebrity As A Tool “If I’ve said anything to upset you, maybe it’s what I’m here for. Lenny Bruce shakes up the puritans; Mort Sahl, the conservatives; and me—almost everybody!”

9 Putting Your Mic & Your Body Where Your Ideology Is 9 Please go to the screening section for the lesson & watch: Dick Gregory: Shoveling Snow.

10 50 + Years of Speaking Truth to Power vs. Mainstream Fame 10 WATCH Dick Gregory: BBC Special; Dick Gregory- Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Standup & Dick Gregory: Black State NEXT

11 Section 2: Bill Cosby: Super Negro to America’s Dad (& Super African American) 11

12 The Televisualized Persona 1960s Model for Minority Universalist vs. Assimilationist Super Negro Alexander Scott Please go to the screening section for lesson & watch “Early Cosby Mix.” 12 I-Spy NBC ( )

13 The Televisualized Persona 1980s Super African American Family Friendly/Family Values Cliff Huxtable Act-Based Comedy 13 The Cosby Show NBC ( )

14 14 Comic ICON …Who Happens to Be Black “It may seem that I’m an authority because my skin color gives me a mark of a victim. But that’s not a true label. I won’t deal with the foolishness of racial overtones on the show. I base an awful lot of what I’ve done simply on what people will enjoy.” Please go to the screening section for the lesson and watch “Bill Cosby: Himself.”

15 15 Section 3 : Richard Pryor: Comedic Social Discourse Personified

16 Constructed Persona In The Beginning: “Dick Gregory used to have stuff in Jet magazine. That’s how I started reading his material and doing it on stage. That was my first breakthrough....Then I moved on to Bill Cosby... and I made a lot of money as Bill Cosby.” 16

17 The Persona & Times Were Changing “The days of pretending to be as slick and colorless as Cosby were numbered. There was a world of junkies and winos, pool hustlers and prostitutes, women and family screaming inside my head, trying to be heard.” 17

18 Cultural Commentary By Any Means Necessary “I was a Negro for twenty-three years—I gave it up... there was no room for advancement.” 18 Watch “Live in Concert”

19 19 Three Faces of Pryor Standup Film TV

20 For Your Consideration: (Posted on the eBoard) 20 How do the comics’ performances given in the early sixties differ from their acts later in their career? How do they differ from each other? How does the content of the their acts relate to the evolution of their personae and their relationship to the political and social era when they came of comic age?

21 For Your Consideration: Bruce, Carlin and Pryor are considered part of the “Trinity” and Cosby and Gregory are not. Why? Consider the trajectories of the comics’ careers and their influence on their comic progeny. (Posted on the eBoard) 21

22 Next Time: All the Funny Ladies Pt. 1: In the Beginning… 22


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