Understanding Comedy Through College Comedies (Paperback)
Understanding Comedy through College Comedies explains the nature of comedy through the study of college comedy films, including classics (College, The Freshman); romantic/screwball comedies (Where the Boys Are, Ball of Fire, Sterile Cuckoo); famous comedian comedies (Horse Feathers, The Nutty Professor, The Klumps); intergenerational college comedies (That's My Boy, Back to School, Old School); social comedies (The Graduate, Breaking Away, Risky Business); political comedies (Getting Straight, Strawberry Statement, Last Supper); ethnic comedies (School Daze, Soul Man, How High); and college farces (Charlie's Aunt, Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, Slackers). In this book, Norman Kagan explains comic terminology, concepts, and theories, including Freud's "displaced sexual content" in Decline of the American Empires, Langer's "vitalism" in Slacker, Bergson's "anesthesia of the heart" in The Squid and the Whale, and Frye's "reversal of literary modes" in Storytelling. The reader will discover the reasons why they are laughing, new reasons to laugh, and new films that will provide new sources of laughter.
Norman Kagan has taught communications, cinema, mass media, and essay writing at the City University of New York and elsewhere. As Writer/Producer of the USIA's Science Report, his programs were policy instruments broadcast on 600 television stations in 110 countries. He has written and produced news and documentary films; and, published eight books on film.