Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered by Scott Balcerzak

By Scott Balcerzak

movie students and lovers have used unique 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 idea to reveal a tricky background of maleness of their personas. He argues that opposite to renowned notions of vintage Hollywood background, those male comedians rearranged or, every now and then, rejected heteronormative protocols.

Balcerzak starts off by means of defining the actual buffoonish masculinity portrayed by means of early movie comedians, a gender and style build stimulated by way of the cultural anxieties of the 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 buildings of Fields's movie persona-the self belief guy and the husband-to exhibit Fields to be a conflicted and subversive determine. In bankruptcy three, Balcerzak considers the assimilation and impression of Eddie Cantor as a Jewish superstar, whereas he turns to the cross-media effect of Jack Benny's radio character in bankruptcy four. In Chapters five and six, he strikes past the person performer to envision the advanced masculine brotherhood of comedy duos Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey.

Buffoon males exhibits that the advanced background of the male comic in the course of the early sound period has a lot to inform us approximately multimedia comedic stars at the present time. fanatics and students of movie historical past, gender stories, and broadcast reviews will savour Balcerzak's thorough exploration of the era's interesting gender constructs.

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