Joan Rivers – Reading the meaningpurchase PDF
Authors: Louise Peacock
,,analysing performance,Pavis,Kowzan,semiotics,Joan Rivers,stand-up comedy,
This article explores the potential of semiotics as used in theatre and performance studies as a model for analysing how meaning is interpreted in stand-up comedy. Focussing on an example of the work of Joan Rivers, the article employs strategies and models drawn from Tadeusz Kowzan and Patrice Pavis to explore how stand-up comedy can be read through the lens of semiotics. The article considers the challenges presented by the simultaneously diachronic, synchronic and polysemic nature of stand-up performance and evaluates the semiotic tools available to the spectator–analyst. Finally, a model, which draws on both Kowzan and Pavis, is offered and tested through the analysis of Rivers’ performance.