Bradley Allen Hunt Humanities and Social Science
Marginalization and the American Comedic Voice
‘Comedy’–as a genre, term, and concept–receives relatively little attention and academic exploration when juxtaposed with more ‘central’ fields of literary studies. Comedy is considered ‘low art’ by some, simply ‘illegitimate’ by others, and even believed to be derived from sin itself by a few literary critics. By examining the early travel writings and letters of Mark Twain, as well as the contemporary television program “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” I attempt to determine from where the marginality of the American comedic voice originates, and what effect it has on the so-called ‘power’ or ‘weight’ of American comedic texts. I will also spend time with the existing (albeit, small) body of criticism concerning comedy in order to better conceptualize and articulate the concepts examined in my primary texts.