American Standup Comedy by Women and the Discourse of Cultural Negotiation in American Life

Maria Rhodora G. Ancheta


This paper tracks the development of stand-up comedy in American popular culture, and examines the potency of female humor in the textualized routines of Ellen Degeneres and Judy Tenuta, two American female stand-up comics. The paper posits that in Degeneres and in Tenuta, we see two examples of late 20th century contemporary humor by women in the United States, and in examining the forms this humor takes, stand-up comedy, in this case, and the strategies it uses, moments of identification and connection are isolated, permitting the American female comic to create liberative spaces to reveal potent and latent values in current American society.

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