Tuesday, 9/30/14

Happy Tuesday!  Today you’ll view/read some more comedy texts (that you selected via your post comments, you little comedy wizards!) and then you will choose a model text to analyze and reflect on in tomorrow’s post.

1. Let’s start with a video, because it’s been a while since we’ve had a nice little viewing party and discussion in this class.  Follow along on the transcript as you watch comedian Aamer Rahman talking about “reverse racism” in his comedy special called Fear of a Brown Planet:

What point is he making?  How might his message have been different if delivered without humor (in a serious tone)?

2. Read through the comics about Native Americans with a partner (new friends!) and discuss what the messages are and how they might be received differently because they are conveyed humorously.  Remember they are all also on our Humor Unit Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/paperwithpencil/humor-unit/

3. Watch Louis CK  talk about why he hates cell phones on Conan O’Brien’s show and follow along with the transcript.  Be ready to discuss what his message is and how it might be received differently because he is using humor to convey it.  Underline important points.

What point is he making?  How might his message have been different if delivered without humor (in a serious tone)?

4. Brainstorm all the comedy we’ve watched/read so far this trimester and the issues addressed by each.

5. Choose one example that will serve as your model text. You will produce a text in this genre for your final assessment.

6. Homework: Complete the planning sheet for Post 5.  See below for information about your post requirements.

Post #5 Tomorrow: Now that we have viewed/read multiple examples of humor, you must choose a model text, in the genre of your choice, that you will analyze and reflect on in tomorrow’s post.  (We’ll be in the library computer lab.)  In your post, you’ll answer those old familiar questions from the summer homework:

  • What are the topics addressed by this text or collection of texts?
  • How does this text or collection of texts use humor to address these topics?
  • Which part did you find funniest and why?

In addition, you will be identifying which theory of humor you believe applies to your chosen text.  Just as I wrote before you published your fourth post, please know that some or all of your posts may be shared with the whole class, so keep that in mind and make sure that your finished product represents your best possible work.

Humor Unit Culminating Project: The next big assignment will be creating your own comedic product, so in choosing your model text, think about whether you would like to:

  • create and film a stand-up comedy bit (like Aamer Rahman’s piece today, or Steve Byrnes’ bit about girls growing up, or any of the other bits we watched)
  • create a character representative of a group you are interested in discussing and film a Q+A session (like Azie Dungey’s character Lizzie Mae in Ask a Slave)
  • create and film a humorous news segment about a current topic of your choice (like Jon Stewart’s coverage of Ferguson events on The Daily Show)
  • write a list (like the ones we looked at from McSweeneys)
  • write an open letter (like the ones we looked at from McSweeneys)
  • write a comic (like the ones we looked at today on immigration)

In order to earn a 4 on this assignment, you will need to either choose one of the first three bullets, or two from the last three bullets.

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