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"THIS IS GENERALLY FOLLOWED BY A BLACKOUT": POWER, RESISTANCE, AND CARNIVALESQUE IN TELEVISION SKETCH COMEDY

by McCosham, Anthony

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis offers a genre analysis of North American television sketch comedy. While aiming to offer a proper characterization of the genre as a whole, it is specifically concerned with discussing and analyzing ways the genre negotiates power relationships, especially in its use of political and racial humor. The paper's initial focus is establishing a history of the development and conventions of television sketch comedy. Overall, the genre, with its mixture of parody and irreverent humor, is positioned as an example of Bakhtin's carnivalesque. The remainder of the paper examines the genre's use of political and racial humor and how power is resisted within these comedic topics. Ultimately, despite continuing struggles with institutional limitations, resistant humor is possible in television sketch comedy through the liberating powers of the medium and an active audience's quest for such humor. Sketch shows discussed include Saturday Night Live, In Living Color, and Chappelle's Show.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Bowling Green State University

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:sketch comedy television comedies saturday night live program chappelle s show

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2007

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