Buffoon Men

Author: Scott Balcerzak
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 0814339662
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Film scholars and fans have used distinctive terms to describe the Classic Hollywood comedian: He is a "trickster," a "rebel," or a "buffoon." Yet the performer is almost always described as a "he." In Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity, Scott Balcerzak reads the performances of notable comedians such as W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello through humor and queer theory to expose a problematic history of maleness in their personas. He argues that contrary to popular notions of Classic Hollywood history, these male comedians rearranged or, at times, rejected heteronormative protocols. Balcerzak begins by defining the particular buffoonish masculinity portrayed by early film comedians, a gender and genre construct influenced by the cultural anxieties of the 1930s and '40s. In chapter 1, he considers the onscreen pairing of W. C. Fields and Mae West to identify a queered sexuality and drag persona in Fields's performance, while in chapter 2 he examines the two major constructions of Fields's film persona-the confidence man and the husband-to show Fields to be a conflicted and subversive figure. In chapter 3, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and influence of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish celebrity, while he turns to the cross-media influence of Jack Benny's radio persona in chapter 4. In Chapters 5 and 6, he moves beyond the individual performer to examine the complex masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey. Buffoon Men shows that the complicated history of the male comedian during the early sound era has much to tell us about multimedia comedic stars today. Fans and scholars of film history, gender studies, and broadcast studies will appreciate Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's fascinating gender constructs.

The Buffoon Men

Author: Scott Balcerzak
Publisher:
ISBN:
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ABSTRACT: This study provides an alternative understanding of Classic Hollywood's depictions of masculinity through an analysis of 1930s comedians. These figures initiated what I call the masculine comedic, an entertainment trend for much of the 20th century consisting of a popular fraternity of male comedians that aggressively excludes women. While certain female performers such as Mae West challenge this trend, they tend to be the exception that proves the rule. In contrast to other types of mainstream cinema, films of the masculine comedic provide a valid history of the cultural undercurrents driving American male identity. In each of my chapters, I explore a different current that greatly defines this alternative narrative, from the economic to the ethnic to the technological to the fraternal. The first chapter examines W.C. Fields as an ironic male icon who can be seen as a telling contrast to Mae West's iconic position as feminist icon. The second chapter considers ethnic influences upon the masculine comedic in the form of Eddie Cantor's influential progression from a Jewish stereotype onstage to a 'whitefaced' version of a 'nebbish' onscreen. I then examine technological influence through radio's effect by analyzing Jack Benny's on-air 'queer' voice and its only partly successful adaptation to cinematic stardom. The dissertation concludes with an analysis of fraternal myths as they relate to the queered relationships highlighted in three popular comedy duos: Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. All these comedians illustrate a complex range of comedic commentaries on masculine ideals and expose the fragilities of gender performance itself. As such, they reveal the often peculiar, yet revelatory, relationship between masculinity identity and comedy as it still permeates throughout much of popular culture.

Buffoon

Author: John
Publisher: 30 Degrees South Publishers
ISBN: 192821150X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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“The strangest, most original book to ever come out of Africa and possibly the most important” This is a tale of redemption after a descent into the ether – set against a primal African backdrop; it purports to be a good read but also to have redeeming social value by providing insight into the solution of a fatal and universal malady – by turns humorous, dark, historically informative and, just possibly, uplifting. Briefly, the story, given in monologue by an ‘anti- hero’, begins in eastern Zimbabwe with ‘the drinking night that had everything’, including a brush with death via car accident. It sets the tragic-comic theme of alcoholism in a setting that is luxurious, exotic and violent. The narrative maintains momentum throughout and connects the disparateness of crime, killing, genius and sainthood through a sequence of travel to all corners of the world. There is a strong metaphysical overprint to this true-life journey and the readers will come out the other side able to identify, at some level with the text, somewhat refreshed, enlightened and made stronger in their life’s affirmation. In essence, this is the purpose of Buffoon and the basis of its claim to be one of a kind. It is also a love story. Response to date from 20–30 readers of ages varying from 25–85, including eight different nationalities, essentially the ‘intelligent layman’ (architect/ lawyer/surgeons/businessmen), has been astonishing.

Beyond Method

Author: Scott Balcerzak
Publisher: Wayne State University Press
ISBN: 0814342922
Format: PDF, ePub
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Explores the methodologies and influence of acting teacher Stella Adler on her male students.

The Four Faces

Author: Retha Groenewald
Publisher: WestBow Press
ISBN: 1449788262
Format: PDF, ePub
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The king continued: “From this day forward we will refer to our four sons as The Four Faces. The future of the kingdom is in the hands of The Four Faces. It’s vital that they find the right answer. I don’t even want to think of the possibility that they could come back without the answer.” Human, Lion, Ox, and Eagle are sent on a journey to find out what their purpose is. On their quest, they journey through interesting and wonderful places; they meet strangers, friends and foes; they are challenged with the unknown and with themselves. Will they succeed?

The Hellfire Papers

Author: Derek Wilson
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 1405522585
Format: PDF, Kindle
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When the Master of St Mary's House, Cambridge, hires Tim Lacy to retrieve a collection of eighteenth-century documents willed to it by a wealthy past member of the college, he omits to mention that these manuscripts have a possible connection with the suicide of the late Dean and that there are those who remain determined to ensure that the documents never reach the College library. Supposedly penned by a scandal-mongering member of the notorious Hellfire Club, these papers, if genuine, could be of enormous historical significance and monetary value. And their significance is not lost on Lacy when an academic friend who has been helping him on the case is murdered. When it emerges that the Hellfire Club has repercussions into the highest circles of the current day, Lacy must fight to reveal a dark, long-kept secret before anyone else pays with their life...

Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy

Author: Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520295056
Format: PDF, Docs
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"Jack Benny became one of the most influential entertainers of the 20th century--by being the top radio comedian, when the comics ruled radio, and radio was the most powerful and pervasive mass medium in the US. In 23 years of weekly radio broadcasts, by aiming all the insults at himself, Benny created Jack, the self-deprecating "Fall Guy" character. He indelibly shaped American humor as a space to enjoy the equal opportunities of easy camaraderie with his cast mates, and equal ego deflation. Benny was the master of comic timing, knowing just when to use silence to create suspense or to have a character leap into the dialogue to puncture Jack's pretentions. Jack Benny was also a canny entrepreneur, becoming one of the pioneering "showrunners" combining producer, writer and performer into one job. His modern style of radio humor eschewed stale jokes in favor informal repartee with comic hecklers like his valet Rochester (played by Eddie Anderson) and Mary Livingstone his offstage wife. These quirky characters bouncing off each other in humorous situations created the situation comedy. In this career study, we learn how Jack Benny found ingenious ways to sell his sponsors' products in comic commercials beloved by listeners, and how he dealt with the challenges of race relations, rigid gender ideals and an insurgent new media industry (TV). Jack Benny created classic comedy for a rapidly changing American culture, providing laughter that buoyed radio listeners from 1932's depths of the Great Depression, through World War II to the mid-1950s"--Provided by publisher.

The Merry Men and Other Tales and Fables

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 1469775417
Format: PDF, Docs
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This enthralling anthology, first published in 1887, collects six fantastic tales of adventure written by the author of the classic horror novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson (1850-1894) was a major force in the development of the English short story, and his narrative genius comes to the fore in these tales.

A Book of Saints and Wonders

Author: Lady Augusta Gregory
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
ISBN: 1613102631
Format: PDF, ePub
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Now as to Brigit she was born at sunrise on the first day of the spring, of a bondwoman of Connacht. And it was angels that baptized her and that gave her the name of Brigit, that is a Fiery Arrow. She grew up to be a serving girl the same as her mother. And all the food she used was the milk of a white red-eared cow that was set apart for her by a druid. And everything she put her hand to used to increase, and it was she wove the first piece of cloth in Ireland, and she put the white threads in the loom that have a power of healing in them to this day. She bettered the sheep and she satisfied the birds and she fed the poor.ÊÊ