While trying to map out the various components of my final project, I came upon the realization that I am going to need a lot of background information. My project is divided into three different components and each component needs its own research. The three parts of my project are as follows:
1) 10-12 page research paper about the rise of women in comedy, what modern-day women 18-34 think is funny, and exploring the idea of “women’s humor” and the age-old belief that “women aren’t funny.” I want to explore these ideas through the lens of generational differences and gender. I’m going to look at this through the constructs of Second City to Saturday Night Live, television and the comedy club scenes of New York, LA and Chicago. I want to view this concept as a bottom-up exploration of the topic.
2) Bi-weekly observation journal in the form of a blog to use to write down my ideas and explore potential topics for my comedy sketches. I have always wanted to keep a blog and this part of the project provides me an interesting opportunity to force myself to do something that I have always wanted to do, but have not set aside time for.
3) One comedy sketch per week. By the end of the semester I will have compiled a full comedy sketch show. I need to do some additional research on what exactly constitutes as a comedy sketch show (i.e. how many sketches, an overarching topic, etc.) I was maybe thinking of recording a table read of the sketches if I have time. I would love some suggestions on books, articles or blogs.
Some questions that I want to explore are if the existence of “women’s humor” is proof of success, failure or a combination of both. If the stigma of women not being funny has contributed to this or further propelled women to work harder. Within my final research paper I want to position myself against the idea that the way women are funny will always be “marginal” to “funny,” which is broadly understood as a male concept
Current Source List:
- We Killed –Yael Kohen
- The Compass: Improvisational Theater That Revolutionized American Comedy
- Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live –Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller
- Something Wonderful Right Away: An Oral History of the Second City and the Compass Players –Jeffery Sweet
- Books that people wrote about themselves or that were written about, impersonal analysis history and first person prose reports*
I would like to conduct interviews with people or local comedians. I would also appreciate any book/article/blog recommendations.