ABSTRACT

244 245Stand-up comedy is a live artistic performance wherein a stand-up comedian thrills and entertains a live, seated or standing audience with a series of jokes, one-liners, hilarious short stories, acts and gestures. Stand-up comedy is, in the words of Mintz (1985: 71), “an encounter between a single standing performer behaving comically and/or saying funny things directly to an audience”. Similarly, according to Greenbaum (1999: 33), “stand-up comedy is an inherently rhetorical discourse; it strives not only to entertain, but to persuade, and stand-up comics can only be successful in their craft when they can convince an audience to look at the world through their comic vision”. This makes stand-up comedy necessarily an art form that thrives on several devices along the lines of jocularity or hilarity which may include but are not limited to exaggeration, witty distortion and creative incongruity, mimicry, clownish stylisation, manipulative and figurative language use. In the same way, Brodie (2008: 154) alluded to the scholarly works of Mintz (1985) and Zolten (1993) to suggest that the text (speech) of a stand-up comedian could be considered to consist of several smaller text units which are noticeably analogous to classic folkloric genres such as riddles, jokes, legends, toasts, memorates, blazons populaires, etc. He goes further with his assertion to point out that the performance of stand-up comedy goes beyond the mere collection of these items and classifies it as a contiguous entity.