It's All in the Timing: The Serious Art of Comedy
What does it mean to be funny, especially in the context of performance? While laughter is human and universal, what is considered funny changes from culture to culture and age to age. This seminar seeks to examine comedic theatrical literature and performance from Terrance to Chaplin, Molière to Bugs Bunny; from the Chinese "adjunct plays" (canjun xi) to American sitcoms. Some of the comedians we will study include Richard Pryor, Tina Fey, Paul Rudnick and Dave Chapelle. We will also examine comedic moments from silent films to contemporary movies and television, exploring the work of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Lucille Ball, Prestin Sturgis, Ellen Degeneres, Tyler Perry, SNL, and more.