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Abstract

Stand-up comedy has been around for centuries, making people laugh for generations. Through the years the forms and techniques stand-up comedians use have shifted back and forth. Self-deprecation humor is one of these forms of humor, where the comedian pokes fun at his or herself, and it has recently become more incredibly popular in today’s society. Stand-up comedians like Louis C.K. have risen to newfound popularity by using self-deprecating humor almost completely in their sets. This paper attempts to answer the question of why audiences respond so positively to stand-up comedians who use self-deprecating humor. It does so by arguing that there are several reasons for this, including how self-deprecation is trending in other aspects of society and how self-deprecating humor rises and falls in popularity but always remain present in American humor. However the audience also feels more comfortable laughing directly at the comedian than at a certain controversial demographic, and although it is the comedian’s performance, by using self-deprecating humor, the comedian relinquishes some of his/her authority and power on stage to the audience because the audience has the power to decide whether to participate by laughing.

Publication Date

2015

Subject Major(s)

English

Keywords

Humor, self-deprecation, stand-up comedy

Disciplines

English Language and Literature

Current Academic Year

Freshman

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Jessica Gordon

Rights

© The Author(s)

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