A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy

  • by Ian Brodie
  • Narrated by M.J. McGalliard
  • 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In A Vulgar Art, Ian Brodie uses a folkloristic approach to stand-up comedy, engaging the discipline's central method of studying interpersonal, artistic communication and performance. Because stand-up comedy is a rather broad category, people who study it often begin by relating it to something they recognize - "literature" or "theatre"; "editorial" or "morality" - and analyze it accordingly. A Vulgar Art begins with a more fundamental observation: Someone is standing in front of a group of people, talking to them directly, and trying to make them laugh. So this book takes the moment of performance as its focus: stand-up comedy is a collaborative act between the comedian and the audience.
Although the form of talk on the stage resembles talk among friends and intimates in social settings, stand-up comedy remains a profession. As such, it requires performance outside of the comedian's own community to gain larger and larger audiences. How do comedians recreate that atmosphere of intimacy in a room full of strangers? This book regards everything from microphones to clothing and LPs to Twitter as strategies for bridging the spatial, temporal, and socio-cultural distances between the performer and the audience.


What the Critics Say

"A highly insightful, eloquently written study that explains, through application of folkloristic methodology, how stand-up comedians create an atmosphere of intimacy and evoke laughter from strangers. This will be a valuable addition to the libraries of scholars in a number of fields, as well as readers who enjoy stand-up comedy and want to learn how it works." (Elizabeth Tucker, author of Haunted Halls: Ghostlore of American College Campuses)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


What made the experience of listening to A Vulgar Art: A New Approach to Stand-Up Comedy the most enjoyable?

if you are just planning to do open mike nights this book is for you- don't expect to get rich but a great guide

Any additional comments?

a must have

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- Harold Levine "paranormalman"

Narration is bad

The book content doesn't seem bad but the narration makes it so that you can't stand to listen. It's like they fed the book into a 1970's movie robot. Buyer beware.
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- Byron Chen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-30-2015
  • Publisher: University Press Audiobooks