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National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identity

Posted By: tot167
National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identity

Andy Medhurst, "National Joke: Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identity"
Routledge | 2007 | ISBN: 0415168783 | 240 pages | PDF | 1,2 MB

Crammed full of contemporary comedy examples and house-hold names, from the music hall tradition to contemporary sitcoms, Andy Medhurst considers how English comedy reflects national concerns with class, race, gender and sexuality and traces the recurrence of themes and structures.
Examining popular English comedies and comedians in the twentieth century, ranging from the Carry On films to the work of Mike Leigh and contemporary sitcoms such as The Royle Family, and from George Formby to Alan Bennett and Roy 'Chubby' Brown, the book argues that comedy plays a pivotal role in the construction of cultural identity.
Medhurst presents case studies of comic traditions and representations, and examines key figures in English comic history, including Mike Leigh, Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood.
Part history and part polemic, A National Joke is a book that will not only entertain, it will enlighten and inform any student, scholar, or general reader of our national comedy.

Review
In A National Joke, Medhurst…uses comedy to pin down that most elusive of things, the English national identity. The Guardian

This is an excellent study of a popular comedy that links it into a variety of English cultural identities. Unusually for a book classified as cultural studies, it is clearly written, and by an author who enjoys humour… a splendid account - The Times Higher Education

Most of the best scholarly work on comedy in the UK that has appeared during the last 25 years has come from Medhurst… At last there is an engaging but serious study of what makes English comedy both English and funny. - Critical Studies in Television











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