Comic technique Essay
How is amusing technique utilised in Little store of horrors and Jerry Springer the opera ( compare/contrast )
The assorted techniques used in comedy can be both cosmopolitan and specific. Comedy originating from surprise, daze or the incongruousness of characters or state of affairss is common in many genres and organic structures of work. As comedy, and musical comedy, begins to travel in new waies, certain amusing techniques can be expanded or enhanced. In musical comedies and operas, peculiarly, new amusing techniques and new utilizations of bing techniques are coming approximately. Because musical comedies involve interplay between words ( or libretto ) , physical motion, and music, the humourous state of affairss possible are wider than they are in stand-up comedy, for illustration. Yet the same nucleus techniques and principles are common to a broad scope of amusing genres.
This essay will analyze amusing techniques in three distinct and contrasting genres of comedy. A musical movie,Small Shop of Horrors, will be examined and its usage of amusing technique analysed.Jerry Springer: The Operawill be shown to use common amusing techniques in uncommon ways. Finally, both these productions will be compared to the genre of stand-up comedy, with peculiar mention to comedians Stewart Lee, Jonny Sweet and Russell Kane. Similarities and differences in amusing techniques will be discussed, and possible grounds for these similarities and differences will be suggested.
Small Shop of Horrorsis a dark, comedic narrative of a man-eating works. Originally a 1960 movie directed by Roger Corman, the narrative was transformed into an off-Broadway musical in 1982, having music by Alan Menken and libretto by Howard Ashman. Ashman and Menken besides worked together on several Disney movies, such asThe Little MermaidandBeauty and the Beast. The musical was later staged on Broadway, and so in 1986 a movie version was made by manager Frank Oz. The movie follows the secret plan of the musical quite dependably, though several vocals are omitted. Additionally, a happier stoping is provided in the movie version, after the original decision to the plot line – in which the works devours the chief human characters, and so goes on a violent disorder – did non travel down good with trial audiences. Alternatively, the movie version ends with the romantic twosome, Seymour and Audrey, queering the immorality works and traveling into their dream marital place.
A basic outline of the secret plan: the action takes topographic point in and around a flower store in a hapless urban vicinity. Seymour ( Rick Moranis ) and Audrey ( Ellen Greene ) work at the store, which is owned by Mr. Mushnik ( Vincent Gardenia ) . Seymour is an orphan who has been informally adopted by Mushnik. Seymour and Audrey both long for an flight from their “ Skid Row ” surroundings – Audrey in peculiar dreams of life in an archetypical 1960s suburban dream-home. Audrey ‘s opprobrious fellow provides much of the amusing stuff of the musical. Orin Scrivello, DDS ( Steve Martin ) is a clowning sadist who joyously tortures his dental patients and besides dominates and physically maltreatments Audrey herself.
Seymour finds a eccentric Venus fly-trap type works after a solar occultation. He by chance discovers that this works feeds on human blood. The unusual manner and size of the works make it an attractive force at the flower store, conveying a batch of concern to Mushnik, and doing Seymour celebrated. Because the works demands more human nutrient, and besides because he is in secret in love with Audrey, Seymour indirectly kills Orin, so feeds him to the works. Audrey and Seymour recognise their common romantic feelings, and the works grows larger and more demanding. The works eats Mushnik, and like Orin ‘s decease earlier, the musical movie version presents this as at least partially inadvertent. The earlier phase production presented Seymour ‘s homicidal actions as more deliberate, but the movie version tones this down, in maintaining with its igniter tone and happier stoping.
The works so lures Audrey to the store and efforts to eat her, but Seymour is able to deliver her from the works ‘s trap. It comes to illume that the works is really an foreigner from outer infinite, set on universe domination. As the works turns on Seymour, conveying the edifice down, Seymour is able to catch an electrical mercantile establishment and electrocute the works. The movie ends with Seymour and Audrey traveling into their dream suburban place. However, there is a touch of horror as the camera zooms in on their flowerbed to demo a little version of the slayer works embedded at that place.
Several amusing techniques are utilised inSmall Shop of Horrors. First, and possibly most evidently, there is a batch of absurdness. The whole construct of a elephantine speaking plant-puppet is of class slightly pathetic, andASmall Shop of Horrorsframes this capable affair in such a manner that it is played for laughs. In contrast to Seymour ‘s nerdy, wimpish character, the works is predatory, plucky and extraordinary. The works “ sings ” several boisterous, fetid vocals, including ‘I ‘m a Mean Green Mother from Outer Space ‘ . Besides, likely as it is a marionette, the works gets away with some mild curse, proclaiming “ tough breast ” and “ oh crap! ” before being admonished by Seymour. Individual lines of duologue are intentionally made to sound silly: Seymour ‘s averment that “ this is between me and the vegetable ” ; or the sarcasm in Audrey ‘s pressing exclaiming – “ you ‘re hysterical! ” – to Seymour, when his emotional affect is comparatively blunt and mild-mannered throughout.
Elementss of physical comedy and slapstick besides permeate the movie. Seymour ‘s hapless, luckless nature is demonstrated comically through events such as a shelf of florist supplies fall ining on him ; A his dropping and interrupting a tray of clay flowerpots ; the works drawing Seymour ‘s pants down to uncover his underclothes ; and the flower store fall ining on Seymour in the concluding scenes. All of these state of affairss are played for laughs – the audience does non anticipate Seymour to be earnestly hurt because this is pantomime, or anticing. Further physical comedy is apparent in Seymour ‘s tango dance with a broom as he sweeps the store floor, and of class this is extremely reinforced by the attach toing tango music. The clang, or contrast, between the classy, romantic intensions of tango dance ; and the dirty, everyday undertaking of sweeping, creates physical comedy as Seymour dances with the broom. This underscores his singledom, and his low societal position.
Steve Martin ‘s portraiture of the sadistic tooth doctor, Orin, besides makes heavy usage of buffoonery and physical comedy. His overdone physical gestures, bizarre dance moves, and elastic, gurning facial looks are typical anticing techniques. Camera angles help his anticing – at one point, Orin is singing his character vocal, flanked by doo-wop vocalists and framed by a immense brace of lips. The camera is located “ inside ” the patient ‘s oral cavity, giving a surreally comedic border to the shooting.
The comedic technique of surprise is besides used in the word picture of Orin, and the musical and lyrical content is cardinal to this component of surprise. As a leather-clad Orin is introduced in the movie, he ‘s a leather-wearing, motorbike-riding, Elvis-a-like. We have no hint as to his profession until the musical and lyrical surprise halfway through his character vocal:
When I was immature and merely a bad small child,
My mama noticed amusing things I did.
Like shootin ‘ puppies with a BB-Gun.
I ‘d poison rainbow fishs, and when I was done,
I ‘d happen a pussy-cat and knock in its caput.
That ‘s when my mama said. . .
( What did she state? )
She said my male child I think someday
You ‘ll happen a manner
To do your natural inclinations wage. . .
. . . .
You ‘ll be a tooth doctor.
You have a endowment for doing things hurting!
Son, be a tooth doctor.
Peoples will pay you to be inhumane! ( Oz, Howard, Menken 1986 )
The initial wordss set up the audience to believe that Orin is a consecutive slayer or a violent hood, and so it is a lyrical surprise to larn he is, in fact, a healthcare professional. This surprise is reinforced by the musical beat and form of the vocal as the “ punchline ” of ‘you ‘ll be a tooth doctor ‘ is reached.
Black wit is a comedic technique used in the portraiture of Orin ‘s dental tormenting – his slapstick bringing and grandiloquent hilarity in the Gore of dental medicine make it possible for us to express joy every bit good as wince. Similar black wit abounds in the portraiture of slaying and dead organic structures. As Seymour retarding force ‘s Orin ‘s cadaver toward the flower store in order to feed him to the works, the organic structure bag thumps comedically down some stairss. When the works devours foremost Orin, so Mushnik and – partly – Audrey, there is no blood or Gore, merely a brace of human legs kicking comedically out of the works ‘s oral cavity.
Small Shop of Horrors,a mainstream movie release, decidedly violates fewer societal conventions and tabus than doesJerry Springer: The Opera. However, some of the wit inSmallShop of Horrorsderives from the amusing techniques associated with forbidden misdemeanor. Sexual wit is present – for illustration, when a vengeful works blames at Seymour “ I ‘m traveling to break your balls! ” synchronised with a tendril hiting into Seymour ‘s fork. The works itself represents some grade of sexual wit. Earlier in the movie, when little, is bulblike, veiny cod or caput looks clearly penial ; subsequently, as the works grows and learns to open its oral cavity, the ocular resemblance of the works ‘s “ oral cavity ” to a vagina is striking, and certainly non unintended. In one scene, a adult female leans over a desk in a tight skirt, and the works leers lecherously at her natess. In the scene where the works lures Audrey to the store and efforts to eat her, the allusions to sexual intercourse are unmissable – the works wraps its tendrils around the wedding-dress-clad Audrey, imploring her to feed it with blood. The iconography of a soon-to-be-deflowered bride is obvious. Further sexual wit is evident in Orin ‘s interaction with his masochistic dental patient ( played by Bill Murray ) who actively seeks out and enjoys Orin ‘s penalizing dental intervention. As Seymour sits in the waiting room, the calls and pant of pleasance emanating from the closed intervention room are comedically designed to sound like sexual intercourse instead than painful dental work.
Furthermore, the comedic framing of dark or forbidden topics such as slaying or domestic maltreatment allows the audience to laugh at these affairs in the context of the movie. When a elephantine animatronic works slayings somebody in a slapstick, exsanguine manner, it is amusing. Likewise, Seymour ‘s gormless character and nerdy, socially-awkward address allows us to express joy at, for illustration, his taking apart of a cadaver. Audrey ‘s black oculus and broken arm, given to her by Orin, are framed cartoonishly, so that the tabu topic of domestic force is non entirely disconcerting and dejecting for the audience. Giggling mentions to the handlocks involved in Audrey ‘s sex life are evocative of Benny Hill ‘s comedy. Audrey herself is a imitation, designed to arouse laughter instead than empathy. Her manner and costume is tacky, her manner of address raspingly airheaded. Throughout the movie, Audrey athleticss a comedy cleavage. Her dreams of suburban cloud nines are presented as cockamamie and faintly pathetic, instead than sincere and heartfelt. When Audrey imagines herself as a romantic, domestic princess, a sketch bird alights on her manus, in a postmodern mention to the Disney movieSnow White.
Kitschy postmodernism pervadesSmall Shop of Horrors. The 1960s manner of the original movie is referenced through costume design and, notably, the musical vocabulary of the mark, which draws to a great extent on early 1960s stone and axial rotation, doo-wop and early Motown. The three of female storytellers, who map besides as a Grecian Chorus supplying commentary on the action, are styled after the miss groups of the 1950s and 1960s. The misss ‘ outfits, which alternate between coordinated, sequined glamor and Skid Row street apparels, highlights the contrast between the glitzy musical stylings of the musical and the economically-disadvantaged scene of the narrative. Such incongruousness is a amusing technique utilised to a great extent in the following production I will look at,Jerry Springer: The Opera.
The multi-award winning opera, which Richard and I worked on for four old ages, was conceived as an infernal version of Jerry Springer ‘s telecasting talk show as imagined by the deceasing titular host. It is set in Hell, with invitees drawn from Judaeo-Christian myth to magnify the opera ‘s subjects of wickedness and guilt. Using faith in such an allegorical manner is n’t unusual, a fact noted in positive reappraisals in both the Church Times and The Catholic Herald. In fact, many of the facets of the opera described as profane by the Christian Right were drawn straight from Milton, Blake and mediaeval enigma dramas, although non, true, the spot where Jesus says he might be “ a spot cheery ” . ( Lee 2006 )
Jerry Springer: The Operais a controversial musical based on the rubbishy American Television planThe Jerry Springer Show.About wholly sung,Jerry Springer: The Operautilizations Judeo-christian subjects in an irreverent mode, and features a batch of grownup linguistic communication – every major swear-word allowed on British Television is included in the opera ‘s libretto. The opera debuted in London in 2003, and ran for merely under two old ages, subsequently touring the UK in 2006. Ironically, as the opera pokes merriment at American TV civilization, AJerry Springer: The Operasubsequently found success in the U.S. , debuting in New York City in 2008.
Jerry Springer: The Operauses a broad assortment of amusing devices, which are reinforced through the libretto, the music, and the phase production. The most instantly dramatic amusing device is that of incongruousness. The capable affair of Jerry Springer ‘s Television show, and hence of the opera, is inexpensive, rubbishy yellow journalism amusement – a confessional circus of assorted societal and sexual misfits who lay their secrets bare in forepart of a baying, gladiatorial studio audience. Guests on the show confront each other, frequently shouting, pluging and drawing hair, supplying a voyeuristic, car-crash spectacle for both the studio audience and the telecasting audience at place. In striking contrast, the medium through which this topic affair is conveyed is opera – an arch, high-brow art signifier associated with the upper echelons of society. In the gap sequence of the opera, it is comedic when, from the twirling coloratura of the overture, poke jaring vocal lines such as: “ My ma used to be my pa. Snip, snip. . . I used to be a lap-dancing pre-operative transexual. A biddy with a dick. “ ( Lee, S. & A ; T. , Thomas, R. 2005 ) . It ‘s amusing. As Copeland ( 2007 ) notes, ‘the repudiation of opera ‘s high-sounding poses seldom fails to do us laugh ‘ .
The comedy of incongruousness is what Copeland identifies in his appraisal of the opera ‘s contradictions:
In Jerry Springer — The Opera, uncultivated marries highbrow — and in what issues from their brotherhood is anything but middlebrow. Get downing with the two halves of the show ‘s rubric, “ high ” and “ low ” map as the production ‘s yin and yang, forcing and drawing the audience in deliriously contradictory waies. ( Copeland, 2007 )
The contrast between the libretto and the music to which it is set underpins the comedic incongruousness of the opera. The words are trash-talk, loaded with profanity. The music sways from the neo-Baroque to devotional-sounding choruses, to classic stone opera in the manner of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Musical medley and lampoon both underpin and contradict the phase action and libretto. The vocalists ‘ proficient virtuosity jars with the grammatically hapless linguistic communication they affect. When composer Richard Thomas was asked what attracted him to working onJerry Springer: The Opera, he stated:
[ The great thing about ‘The Jerry Springer Show ‘ is that ] “ it ‘s got calamity. It ‘s got force. There are people shouting at each other, and you ca n’t understand what they ‘re stating. It ‘s perfect for opera. “ ( Copeland, 2007 ) .
Another widely-used comedic device, present throughout JerrySpringer: TheOperais the misdemeanor of tabu and societal conventions. Comedic devices within this genre include scatological wit, sexual wit, and race wit. One does non hold to look far to happen illustrations of these devices in the opera. Scatological wit is one of the cardinal grounds the character of Montel is amusing. He is a fetishist who appears on phase have oning merely a crisp, and confesses to his girlfriend that he likes to dress up in this manner and so dirt himself. His confessional message is conveyed through a vocal with the chorus “ I merely want to denounce my bloomerss ” .
Sexual wit is all over the phase. Jerry Springer ‘s Television show typically focuses on sexual aberrance and difference, and so in the opera we are presented with a representative spectrum of sexual monsters. Incest is introduced uproariously through the chant “ three nipple cousin fucker ” , while light-minded mentions to transgender anal sex sneak, like surprise onslaughts, into the character Tremont ‘s vocal ‘Talk to the Hand ‘ . Commenting Grecian Choruss of supposed studio audience members chime in from both sides of the phase. As with the existent Television plan, audience engagement is gladiatorial. Part of the comedy of this opera arises by working the uncomfortableness of the theatre audience that they are portion of this circus: they ‘re express joying bad luck, and at incest gags and firing crosses.
Race wit is an effectual amusing device introduced through the inclusion inJerry Springer: The Operaof a tap-dancing Ku Klux Klan company.There is sarcasm as the Klan is introduced and a member of Springer ‘s Television crew, who is colored, thoughtlessly and enthusiastically, applauds them. Dancing Klansmen onstage sing one of theleitmotivof the opera: A “ this is our Jerry Springer minute! “ A The absurdity of dancing Klansmen adds comedy, while the race wit facet is furthered through music and dance – “ wind custodies ” and tap-dancing conjure images of blackface folk singers. Meanwhile, the attach toing music is a lampoon or medley of the subject to the omnipresent American Television sketch, The Simpsons.
Black wit, the method of making comedy by doing visible radiation of dark or evil things, is prevailing. When Jerry Springer is changeable and fatally hurt onstage, it is amusing. Despite the blood pouring from his thorax as he dies, the state of affairs is made visible radiation of as he exclaims: “ I ‘m baffled. Why did I acquire shot? “ A
Comedy through repeat is another common device in the opera. Several repeating chorus choruss provide the audience with a sort of awaited “ punch line ” , and after the first hearing they besides know to anticipate profane linguistic communication and sexual or scatological wit, rising the expectancy of the repeat. For illustration, the undermentioned chorus figures reappear throughout the opera: “ what the screw? what the screw? what the screw, screw, sleep together? “ ; “ this is my Jerry Springer minute ” ; “ dunk me in cocoa and throw me to the tribades ” . The expectancy of these repeated phrases heightens their comedy value.
Physical comedy and buffoonery are besides employed in the opera. Sometimes this is simple incongruous anticing, such as when security guards do high boots and blow bubbles during a musical figure. This achieves wit though the consequence of opposite outlooks. The character of Montel, coggling around the phase in his crisp, possesses a definite component of clownery, as do the dance Klansmen.
The amusing device of sarcasm is undoubtedly present inJerry Springer: The Opera, though its marks are split. It appears that Jerry Springer himself is a mark of sarcasm, as the libretto makes mention to the duality between his claimed moral high quality to his invitees, and his ain publicized sexual injudiciousnesss. The ostentation associated with Springer ‘s programs to run for political office in the US is pricked, contrasting such high-brow aspirations with the low-brow nature of how he makes his life. Anti-Americanism in Europe at the clip of the opera ‘s production may hold helped the map of the sarcasm against Springer himself, his Television show, and by extension rubbishy American society.
Organised faith is besides the mark of some sarcasm. There are irreverent portraitures, within traditional Judeo-christian templets, of Purgatory, Hell, God and Satan. Echoes of Dante ‘s Divine Comedy, and Milton ‘s Paradise Lost, resonate. Copeland ( 2007 ) provinces:
If you ‘re get downing to believe Paradise Lost, you ‘re absolutely in sync with the production. In fact, Act 3 opens with a televised warning, a hortatory dictum that advises the audience to fix itself for “ heroic subjects and mock-heroic language. “ We stand warned that the balance of the production “ may non be suited for viewing audiences without a strong appreciation of Judeo-christian mythology. “ Indeed, a full grasp of what follows requires more than a ephemeral acquaintance with both Testaments of the Bible — and if Paradise Lost proves helpful to our apprehension, William Blake ‘s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell emerges as the eventide ‘s one absolute “ must-read. “ ( Copeland 2007 )
A farther historical resonance lies with commedia dell’arte, the Italian comedic signifier of the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries which used masked characters and jury-rigged duologue. Several characters ofJerry Springer: TheOperacan be seen to reflect forbidden characters of the commedia dell’arte. Arlecchino, or Harlequin, was a commedia dell’arte character who was ‘an acrobat and a humor, childlike and amative ‘ ( Columbia 2009 ) . Harlequin-esque features can be seen in the opera ‘s character of Montel, the “ childlike and amative ” nappy-wearer. The commedia dell’arte character of Il Dottore could be seen as a mention point for Jerry Springer himself – Prairie state Dottore is characterised as ‘pompous and deceitful ‘ ( Columbia 2009 ) . As the Jerry Springer Show deals chiefly with unfaithful lovers, there are plentifulness of theoretical accounts of the commedia dell’arte character Inamorato, who traditionally ‘wore no mask and had to be facile in order to talk the love declamations ‘ ( Columbia 2009 ) . Another nexus to the cloaked tradition of the commedia dell’arte is the actual and metaphorical expose of characters on Jerry Springer ‘s show. The invitees ‘ confessions unmask their sexual secrets, while the cracker character of Chucky is literally unmasked in the opera as a cupboard Klansman. The ocular imagination of the hooded Klansmen in the opera provides another iconic nexus to commedia dell’arte masked stereotypes.
One farther historical resonance is to the tribunal masks of the 17th century. Masquerades were theatre pieces with music, and precursors to modern opera. Presented in private tribunals, masks frequently had allegorical or satirical intents. Milton wrote the mask “ Arcades ” in 1634, and subsequently the mask “ Comus ” . “ Arcades ” mocked Henrietta Maria of France, while “ Comus ” was rife with jeer and coded sexual wit. The secret plan features a lost lady who is captured by Comus, a character inspired by the God of jeer. Comus takes the lady to his castle, and uses thaumaturgy to bind her to a chair. Comus urges the lady to imbibe from his charming cup ( a representation of sex and drink ) , but the lady refuses. Ultimately, the lady is rescued because of her steadfast virtuousness ( Brested 1971 ) ( Creaser 1987 ) ( Hunter 1983 ) . Masquerades frequently contained coded satirical messages, even through the component of dance, and “ Comus ” , it has been argued, was an effort to cleanse the repute of its frequenter household after a sexual dirt ( Weitz 1995 ) .
Like Milton ‘s work,Jerry Springer: The Operamakes merriment of constitution figures through jeer and sarcasm, and uses sexual wit, contrast and incongruousness – among other devices – to impact comedy.
There are several countries of contrast and analogue betweenJerry Springer: The OperaandSmall Shop of Horrors.The major common subject in footings of amusing technique is the usage of black wit.Jerry Springer: The Operacreates comedic state of affairss from stuff such as slaying ( Jerry being changeable onstage ) , unfaithfulness and Hell itself.Small Shop of Horrors,similarly, frames murder, taking apart, and domestic force comedically. Sexual wit is present in both productions, although this component is markedly more reticent and less explicit inSmall Shop of Horrors.
An component of surprise through in writing or sexual linguistic communication is a cardinal amusing technique ofAJerry Springer: The Opera,with changeless explicit mentions to sexual tabu. WhileSmall Shop of Horrorsis of course more reticent in its usage of disgusting linguistic communication by its mainstream production and release, a similar comedy of surprise through bad linguistic communication is present in the works ‘s rude effusions, which are admonished by Seymour.
Both plants make usage of physical comedy and buffoonery, with Orin of LittleShop of Horrorsand Montel fromJerry Springer:theOperaboth pulling to a great extent on physical and anticing motions for amusing consequence. Physical comedy is relatively a much larger, more important constituent ofASmall Shop of Horrors,nevertheless, which is most likely due to its tamer, mainstream manner and wider general audience. I presumeASmall Shop of Horrorsto be targeted at a general audience including some young person and kids, whereasAJerry Springer: The Operais aimed entirely at an grownup audience.
Silliness as a amusing technique is common to both productions. In one you are asked to believe that a plant-shaped marionette is a liquidator ; in the other you are treated to a show of tap-dancing Klansmen. Embracing absurdity and maximizing its comedic potency is common, and successful, in both plants.
Both productions employ a grade of postmodern mention. InAJerry Springer: The Opera, an American Television programme is represented, and to some grade satirised, by a British phase production. Familiar spiritual imagination, repeatingEden Lostand Dante ‘sHell, creates wit through incongruousness.Small Shop of Horrorsis self-referential, kitschily showing the music and manner of the early-1960s in which the original movie was placed. Such an attack lends a bantering sense to the movie version, which in bend topographic points more accent on the comedy value of the movie instead than its dark capable affair.
Some of the techniques used, diversely, inSmall Shop of HorrorsorJerry Springer: The Operaare besides normally used by stand-up comics. The controversial black comedy, taboo-breaking wit and sarcasm used inJerry Springer: The Operaare in fact common proficient fresh fish for stand-up modus operandis. Here I will analyze the similarities and differences between the amusing technique utilized bySmall Shop of Horrors, Jerry Springer: The Opera,and stand-up comedy civilization, with specific mention to three stand-up cartoon strips: Stewart Lee, Jonny Sweet, and Russell Kane.
‘First and first, Lee is likely the finest comedy technician in Britain, with every agonising, teasing intermission in his uniquely expressionless bringing happening its ain laugh ‘ ( Chortle 2009 ) .
Stewart Lee ( B. 1968 ) is a stand-up comic, author and manager. He co-wrote and directedJerry Springer: The Opera,and is otherwise well-known for being a member of the 1990s comedy couple Lee and Herring. Lee and Herring worked together on phase, wireless and telecasting, with the latter conveying them the most success and acknowledgment.
As quoted earlier, Lee is widely considered to be – technically – one of the best stand-up cartoon strips in the UK, and several of his amusing techniques are typical. His bringing manner is highly slow and repetitive, interspersing his stand-up modus operandi with a running commentary on how the set is traveling. Such usage of postmodernism analogues his authorship inJerry Springer: The Opera,in which the beds of postmodernist mention are many: the Television studio within a staged production ; the existent and bogus production crew ; the mentions to a existent character ( Springer ) and his existent show, and commentary thereon ; and the mentions to spiritual imagination and past literature. Similar analogues exist between Lee ‘s usage of postmodernism and the movieSmall Shop of Horrors– an illustration would be when Seymour and Audrey ‘s love couple is interrupted by a man of affairs with a proposal for Seymour. “ If you kids would merely halt vocalizing. . . “ interrupts the adult male, puncturing the bubble of unreality. Typically with musicals, the audience is slightly expected to suspend incredulity as they watch characters communicate through vocal. Likewise, most stand-up modus operandis are presented as if they were unscripted conversations by and with the comic. Lee punctures this bubble by pulling attending to the moral force between the audience and himself as he invariably assesses how his modus operandi is traveling.
Another typical technique of Lee ‘s is his expressionless bringing and aloof demeanour ( Bennett 2009 ) . As a amusing technique, expressionless bringing is a signifier of sarcasm: the comic is stating amusing things, but in an unfunny manner. Such a chatty manner is non uncommon in stand-up comedy ; nevertheless it would interpret ill to the operatic phase. Whereas stand-up comedy involves a comic, without much background noise, talking into a mike ; opera requires music to transport and convey the significance of its libretto, and much of the play and comedy springs from the musical every bit good as the text content. Therefore, Lee ‘s deadpan and distant stand-up technique is in pronounced contrast to his work onAJerry Springer: The Opera.In contrast, deadpan technique is comedically important to the character of Seymour inSmall Shop of Horrors.Because Seymour ‘s bringing is blunt and deadpan, it is amusing when Audrey castigates him for “ being hysterical ” . It besides allows us to express joy at Seymour, a semi-intentional slaying and dismemberer of cadavers, because his bringing manner and character are so awkward, gormless and unthreatening.
An country whereAJerry Springer: The Operaportions common proficient land with Lee ‘s stand-up stuff is through the heavy usage of repeat. As mentioned earlier, the opera uses several obsceneleitmotivor catch phrases which are chanted or sung by the Grecian Chorus or “ studio audience ” . This repeat sets up audience outlook and makes each repeat funnier because it is expected. Likewise, Lee ‘s stand-up comedy act makes heavy, punctilious usage of repeat. Bennett, reexamining a 2009 unrecorded public presentation, notes Lee ‘s ‘constant reduplication of his subjects ‘ ( Bennett 2009a ) . Repeat is a amusing technique that works every bit good in opera, in stand-up, with, without, or as a nucleus constituent of musical content. Likewise, inSmall Shop of Horrors,repeat is a cardinal musical constituent, underlining the action with reprised vocals such as ‘Suddenly Seymour ‘ .
UK-based stand-up comedian Jonny Sweet was named best fledgling in the 2009 Edinburgh Comedy Awards. Like Stewart Lee, Sweet makes heavy usage of repeat as a amusing device, and his 2009 stand-up setLargely About Arthuris merely that, largely preoccupied with one amusing concern, which in Sweet ‘s instance is a amusing testimonial to his dead brother ( Bennett 2009b ) .
A amusing device absent fromJerry Springer: The Operais evident in Sweet ‘s stand-up stuff – the usage of humourous wordplaies. He references book rubrics integrating wordplaies, such asThe Furtive ForkandGuantanamo Gay( Bennett 2009b ) . Obviously, these implicative rubrics besides point to sexual wit, which places them more in line with the sexual wit inherent in JerrySpringer: The Opera.
The amusing character inhabited by Sweet is constantly that of a socially awkward middle-class individual, and this is used to amusing consequence through the technique of incongruousness. Sweet topographic points his bumbling, awkward character in incongruous state of affairss, and mirth punctually ensues.Jerry Springer: The Operacould be seen to be utilizing a similar technique on several dimensions. First, the capable affair and bringing manner of the opera are designed to put a low-brow circus – the Jerry Springer Show – within an grand and high-brow environment – opera locales. Second, Springer himself could be seen as a slightly bungling middle-class interloper, observer, or user of “ white rubbish ” confessions. His interaction with invitees is ne’er wholly comfy, andJerry Springer: The Operafeats this state of affairs for amusing consequence.
Sweet ‘s awkward, botching persona finds a mirror in the character of Seymour fromSmall Shop of Horrors.Both are socially awkward, clumsily voyaging life and societal interaction with comedic effects.
The technique of incongruousness is besides cardinal to Russell Kane ‘s comedy. Through “ Russell Kane ‘s Fakespeare ” , the stand-up writes new comedy stuff in the manner of Shakespeare, arousing modern state of affairss. For illustration, Kane ‘s Fakespeare stuff forThe Tragikal Saveings Of King Nigelis a
[ Shakespearean-styled ] ‘story of a destroyed City banker contemplating self-destruction as a more baronial terminal than shopping at Lidl. Though a capitalist, Nigellio, does hold at least one scruple left ; and the quandary the troubled anti-hero faces is whether to abandon that concluding lesson to get down puting in landmines in Sudan to change by reversal his lucks. The other option is ‘self-toppage ‘ with the noose around his cervix. To speak him through the quandary is his mistress/secretary, Donna Of Billericay ‘ ( Bennett 2009c ) .
The apposition of Shakespearian linguistic communication with contemporary concerns makes for comedy through incongruousness, in much the same manner asJerry Springer: The Operajuxtaposes tabloid telecasting stuff with operatic “ high ” art.
Kane besides portions with JerrySpringer: The Operaa preference for black comedy and techniques that create wit through the misdemeanor of tabu and societal convention. Kane ‘s “ Fakesperean ” comedy onslaughts celebrated or discredited public figures: A Jade Goody, Jordan, Michael Barrymore, Stephen Hawking, the ginger one from Girls ‘ Aloud ( Bennett 2009c ) . These are deemed ‘bad-taste jokes ‘ by Bennett – doing merriment of the wheelchair-bound Stephen Hawking, for illustration, would surely be classified as black wit by most people. Likewise, black wit is used inSmall Shop of Horrorsto arouse laughter at comparatively black amusing stuff such as domestic maltreatment, painful dental medicine, and taking apart.
Overall, there are many shared amusing techniques between the two productions discussed before, and stand-up comedy. In peculiar, there are obvious analogues between Stewart Lee ‘s stand-up work and his authorship ofJerry Springer: The Opera. Techniques common to all three countries include heavy usage of incongruousness, repeat, lampoon, and taboo-based wit. While sexual wit is common to both theatrical productions, and to boot to much stand-up comedy, merelyJerry Springer: The Operamakes much usage of race wit. Possibly becauseSmall Shop of Horrorsis a mainstream, American movie, race wit was considered more high-strung than sexual wit, which is highly commonplace.
Contrasts between the productions and stand-up comedy have their generation in the three different genres and their logistical considerations. Stand-up comedy andJerry Springer: The Operatake topographic point in a unrecorded public presentation scene, whereasSmall Shop of Horrorswas created in a movie studio. These considerations lead to picks in footings of amusing techniques used. The technique of wordplay, for illustration, is most suitable to a state of affairs where the words and wordplaies will be heard clearly. Therefore, we find wordplaies used in stand-up comedy and in movies, but less so in opera. The musical manner of opera makes it hard plenty for words to be clearly heard by the audience, so a pun-based gag is likely to travel unheard. In a movie studio, nevertheless, there is greater control over duologue lucidity and background music degrees, so puns or malapropisms can be pulled off successfully. An illustration of this would be the scene inSmall Shop of Horrorswhere an ad-man toasts Seymour with a drink, stating “ up yours ” alternatively of “ undersides up ” . This is a authoritative malapropism.
Physical comedy is possibly easier to present and pass on outside the kingdom of stand-up comedy. It is hard for a lone comedian to convey a big scope of physical comedy to the audience. In a staged production or movie, nevertheless, the possibilities for physical comedy are great, and proficient issues such as costume alterations are less of a job. Therefore, physical comedy is a cardinal technique inSmall Shop of Horrors, where there is the proficient capableness to movie dramatic vocalizing and dancing Numberss, complete with marionettes, costume alterations, and the ability to redact many takes and camera angles together. To a lesser grade, physical comedy is used inJerry Springer: The Opera.Because of the unrecorded public presentation manner of the opera, physical comedy must be seeable for the audience – there is no close-up.
The amusing technique truly pulling together all three genres is that of incongruousness. So much of what we find amusing has to make with the perceived or highlighted incongruousness of a individual in a group, or of a state of affairs in an incongruous context. This is one of the nucleus techniques critical to stand-up comedy,Jerry Springer: The Opera, andSmall Shop of Horrors.Overall, the three genres portion many amusing techniques, and in the musical productions these are underscored and enhanced through musical content escalating the comedy of the words.