Non-Fiction Books:

A National Joke

Popular Comedy and English Cultural Identities


Paperback / softback

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A National Joke by Andy Medhurst
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National Joke investigates the Englishness of a century of English comedy, examining its components and asking what makes it English, and how comedy reflects and participates in ideasof Englishness. From the music hall tradition to contemporary sitcoms such as The Royle Family , Andy Medhurst considers how English comedy reflects national concerns with class, race, gender and sexuality, and traces the recurrence of themes and structures, such as male duos like Morecombe and Wise to Reeves and Mortimer, and camp comedy from Kenneth Williams to Julian Clary. Arguing that comedy plays a pivotal role in the construction of cultural identity, Medhurst presents case studies of comic traditions and representations, and examines key figures in English comic history, including Mike Leigh, Alan Bennett and Victoria Wood.

Author Biography

Andy Medhurst works in the Department of Media and Film at the University of Sussex. He has been teaching and writing about issues of identity, representation and popular culture since 1982. He is the co-editor of Lesbian and Gay Studies and the author of a forthcoming book on Coronation Street.
Release date NZ
September 20th, 2007
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
15 Halftones, black and white
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