Cerebral Standup Sunday: Emily Levine

Are you frustrated by the daily conundrum of a humor buff:  to laugh or to learn?  Tune into Emily Levine’s performances and flounder in indecision no more–you can indulge in both at the same time.   I found myself listening to genuinely humorous humor theory in Levine’s performance on Ted Talks: Smart Laughs (available on Netflix instant view, or, you know, right here). Her delivery is over-thought, rapid, and dry, much like if Woody Allen were presenting at the American Studies Association conference.

Some of her observations in the beginning reminded me a bit of Bahktin’s theory of the carnivalesque, but Levine directly  synthesizes two academic texts that mention humor, The Garden of Priapus and Trickster Makes this World   putting the various theories into action as she applies them to her life, standup comedy, and society.  For me, Levine has taken some of the sting out of E.B. White’s haunting adage: “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.”  Levine’s frog will live to croak another day. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: