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Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered by Scott Balcerzak

By Scott Balcerzak

movie students and lovers have used particular phrases to explain the vintage Hollywood comic: he's a "trickster," a "rebel," or a "buffoon." but the performer is sort of continuously defined as a "he." In Buffoon males: vintage Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity, Scott Balcerzak reads the performances of striking comedians comparable to W. C. Fields, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey, and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello via humor and queer conception to show a complex historical past of maleness of their personas. He argues that opposite to well known notions of vintage Hollywood heritage, those male comedians rearranged or, now and then, rejected heteronormative protocols.

Balcerzak starts off by means of defining the actual buffoonish masculinity portrayed via early movie comedians, a gender and style build encouraged through the cultural anxieties of the Nineteen Thirties and '40s. In bankruptcy 1, he considers the onscreen pairing of W. C. Fields and Mae West to spot a queered sexuality and drag character in Fields's functionality, whereas in bankruptcy 2 he examines the 2 significant structures of Fields's movie persona-the self assurance guy and the husband-to express Fields to be a conflicted and subversive determine. In bankruptcy three, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and effect of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish superstar, whereas he turns to the cross-media effect of Jack Benny's radio personality in bankruptcy four. In Chapters five and six, he strikes past the person performer to envision the complicated masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey.

Buffoon males indicates that the complex background of the male comic in the course of the early sound period has a lot to inform us approximately multimedia comedic stars this present day. lovers and students of movie heritage, gender reports, and broadcast reviews will enjoy Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's interesting gender constructs.

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