The Stand Up Comedy and The Parrhesiast

Simone Cantino

Abstract


In the present essay the author examines the american Stand up comedy as a form of art and entertainement which involves many different aspects (for instance One man show and Preaching). The intent of this essay is to look into the correlation that the comedian creates between laughter and the search for truth (both personal and universal).

By comparing different bits and excerpts taken from the comedy acts of american authors such as Lenn Bruce, George Carlin and Bill Hicks, the author finds a relation between the elements of satire in the Stand up comedy genre and the concept of ‘parrhesia’ and parrhesiast.

The purpose of the essay is to demonstrate how the peculiar figure of the stand up comedian can assume a precise philosophical and ethical role. The act of showing the people their own hypocrisies and self deceptions by using the laughter is a way  to stimulate a reflection and, potentially, determine a growth of self awareness in the mind of the people of the audience. Stand up comedy should be seen not only as a form of entertainment, but also as a way for developing a critical thinking and can be considered, in some cases, a tool for achieving some kind of revelation and change.


Keywords


Satire; Stand up comedy; Comedian, Truth; Lenny Bruce; George Carlin; Euphemism

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

References


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Filmography

American: The Bill Hicks Story, Dir. Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas USA (2009).

Chewed Up, Dir. Louis C.K., USA (2006).

Doin’it Again, Dir. George Carlin, USA (1990).

IT’s Bad for Ya, Dir. George Carlin, USA (2008).

Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth, Dir. Robert E. Weide, USA (1998).

Live at the Beacon Theater, Dir. Louis C.K., USA (2011).

Live, Dir. Lenny Bruce, USA (1963).

Revelations, Dir. Bill Hicks, USA-GB (1991).

Richard Pryor: Omit the Logic, Dir. Marina Zenovich, USA (2013).

Thoughts & Prayers, Dir. Anthony Jeselnik, USA (2015)




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2165

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-20257

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