– Welcome to Season 2.5
– David Grubbs, our reporter from the field
– We get the dirt on Nathan
– What’s on the blog?
– Listener feedback
– Mr. Gallops, Talking Horse Comedian
– Second City
– Birds on Life
– The life of a working comedian
– Dog hotel
– Our first bleep
– Where have all the jesters gone?
– The handicapped, the short, and the studied
– Insulting the powerful
– Reading Shakespeare into the Middle Ages
– How universal are jesters?
Vaudeville and Minstrelsy
– American literary humor
– Medicine shows
– The complicated politics of blackface
– Racism and Disney cartoons
– A New Kind of Comedy
– Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor
– Taking comedy personally
– The Second City
– Saturday Night Live
Radio, Television, and the Internet
– Increased sophistication and multiplying clichés
– Why Second City is funnier than Saturday Night Live
– How the Internet changed it all
– We talk about joke stealing for ten minutes
– Faking it
– Effusive praise for Dave Chappelle
Mean and Amoral Comedy
– How prudish is Nathan?
– Why the absurd requires the congruous
– The difference between mean and amoral
– Easy targets
– Please excuse our technical issues
– The Celebrity Roast
What we need to know about comedy
– Mean, mean Grandma Gilmour
– The future of the entertainment industry
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation. Trans. Seamus Heaney. New York: Norton, 2001.
Harrison, Jim. The Farmer’s Daughter. New York: Grove, 2009.
Montgomery, Marion. With Walker Percy at the Tupperware Party: In Company with Flannery O’Connor, T.S. Eliot, and Others. South Bend, Ind.: St. Augustine’s Press, 2009.
Otto, Beatrice K. Fools Are Everywhere: The Court Jester Around the World. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2007.
Ruhl, Sarah. Dead Man’s Cell Phone. New York: Theatre Communications Group, 2008.
Twain, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York: Norton, 1998.
Updike, John. Rabbit, Run. New York: Knopf, 1996.