‘A pleasure working with you’: Humour theory and Joan Rivers

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This article uses humour theory to examine Joan Rivers’ performance in Live at the Apollo. It outlines the three main branches of humour theory (superiority, incongruity and relief) and examines specific comic moments from the performance to show to what uses these theories can be put; in doing so, it foregrounds pleasure, and the relationship between joke-teller and audience, as the key paradigms in such an analysis. It concludes by discussing the similarities and differences between the three theories, and what might be achieved analytically by using them in conjunction with one another.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalComedy Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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