Is laughter the best medicine? Stand-up comedy in the time of a pandemic Cover Image

Śmiech to zdrowie? Stand-up w obliczu pandemii
Is laughter the best medicine? Stand-up comedy in the time of a pandemic

Author(s): Piotr Zdziarstek
Subject(s): Health and medicine and law
Published by: Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego
Keywords: stand-up; comedy; pandemic; performance studies; coronavirus; satire; audience; laughter; distance; interaction; co-presence;

Summary/Abstract: In this article, I analyze how the coronavirus pandemic has affected stand-up comedy. Due to the restrictions, comedians lost the opportunity to perform live. It was a serious problem, because it is impossible to create stand-up material without the main verifier of jokes – the audience. Some comedians have chosen to perform their acts on the internet. However, this type of virtual barrier only emphasized the fact that a fundamental part of stand-up comedy is the presence of a live audience. In the second part of this article, I explore how comedians joked about the coronavirus and how their approaches to this diffcult topic differed. As it turns out, Polish comedians focused primarily on personal stories and minor observations related to lockdown. Meanwhile, American stand-ups displayed a journalistic bias, paying more attention to how the pandemic affected society as such.

  • Issue Year: 2022
  • Issue No: 14
  • Page Range: 82-95
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish