From toothpick legs to dropping vaginas: Gender and sexuality in Joan Rivers’ stand-up comedy performancepurchase PDF
Authors: Sharon Lockyer
,masculine discourses,ageing female body,self-deprecation,Joan Rivers,stand-up comedy,sexuality,gender,
This article employs sociocultural analysis to examine Joan Rivers’ stand-up comedy performances in order to reveal how she successfully operates in a sphere of artistic expression that has been, and continues to be, male-dominated. The analysis uncovers how Rivers’ stand-up comedy performance involves a complex combination of elements and how it fuses features that are regarded as ‘traditionally masculine’, such as aggression, with features frequently used by other female stand-up comedians, such as self-deprecating comedy and confessional comedy. Furthermore, the analysis exposes the complex ways in which constructions of gender and sexuality are negotiated and re-negotiated in Rivers’ stand-up comedy performance, and illustrates how dominant ideological identity constructions can be simultaneously reinforced and subverted within the same comic moment.