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Chapter 16 Are You Having a Laugh, Comedy and Festivals in the 21st Century

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-3005

ISBN: 978-1-910158-55-5

Published: February 2016

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus on World Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-2822

Abstract

Humour and comedy are emergent topics for academic researchers whose work is illuminating our understanding of the power and purpose of humour and comedy for people and society (Lockyer and Pickering, 2005; Jeffries, 2014). However, much of this output discusses the impact of humour and comedy itself and little has been written about it in the context of a festival. This chapter takes as its focus two established and successful festivals: the International Festival of Comics (FIBD) in Angoulême, France; and Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival (DLCF) in England. 2 This choice reflects several factors. The first is that the authors have had personal experience of both, Radosevic with FIBD, and Maughan with DLCF. These personal insights have been aligned with selected theoretical perspectives to provide an analysis which seeks to draw out factors of relevance to those studying and/ or working in a festival, in particular how a festival and its management culture need to change through time and with time (life cycle theory); the relationship of a festival to its artistic and cultural roots (liminal/liminoid effects); and the impact of commercial culture on both. Comedy and the desire to laugh are universal. The cartoonist Robert Makoff discussed the distinction between humour and comedy in the following way: “all comedy has humour, but not all humour is comedy. Humour is the much broader category of anything that may make us laugh, such as a loud fart at a funeral, which is funny but not comedy. Comedy is a form of professional entertainment, consisting of jokes and sketches intended to make people laugh” (Mankoff, 2014). The works of Aristophanes, born in 446 B.C., are noted for their political satire and abundance of sexual innuendo, features that we easily recognise today in humour based comics and stand-up comedy. The history of contemporary comics is traced back to artists such as Hogarth and subsequently to satirical magazines of the nineteenth century. Comedy as a feature of performance has a special place in theatre, dance and music, and of course in the UK within the music hall tradition. However, whole festivals devoted to comics or performed comedy feature less prominently in the festival culture tradition.

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Contributors

  • Christopher Maughan (Author)
  • Ljiljana Radošević (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)

Cite as

Maughan & Radošević, 2016

Maughan, C. & Radošević, L. (2016) "Chapter 16 Are You Having a Laugh, Comedy and Festivals in the 21st Century" In: Newbold, C. & Jordan, J. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-3005

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