Musical Comedy: Camp in the 2000s

bdThis post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

In Week 7, the course focuses on “camp” as an academic concept. Ellis (2008) introduces this concept in regards to Little Richard, then discusses it in the last chapter of Rebels Wit Attitude. 

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Musical Comedy: Outkast

osplThis post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

Outkast is an Atlanta-based hip-hop duo consisting of  André “André 3000” Benjamin and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. Their are known for their eclectic and eccentric styles. Ellis describes their style in terms of “positivity.”

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Musical Comedy: Weird Al in the 1980s

wardmcThis post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

While I focus on Weird Al’s career in the 2000s as part of Week 2, it is also important to acknowledge his career in the 1980s. During this decade, MTV and emerging music video formats drastically changed popular music and cultural (what Ellis (2008) describes as postmodern [see Week 4]). These new (and often ridiculous) conventions were quickly parodied by Weird Al. Here’s “Like a Surgeon” (1985), his take on Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” (1984).

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Musical Comedy: The Archies

This post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

The Archies was a fictional band comprised of comic book/TV show characters. Their hit song “Sugar, Sugar” was the #1 song in the U.S. in 1969 (a year that also produced this, this, and this – although those were all from UK artists). Here’s the video (complete with original animation):

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Musical Comedy: Vaudeville

najthm

This post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

Vaudeville was a multifaceted genre of theatrical performance which served as the primary form of American popular culture through most of the 19th century. According to Donald Travis Stewart (who performs and writes under the name Trav S.D.), this form did not truly die, but continued to be a part of U.S. pop culture:

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Musical Comedy: Flight of the Conchords

fotc

This post is intended as supplemental material for the course “Sounds of Laughter: Musical Comedy in the United States”

Flight of the Conchords is a comedy duo (comprised of Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement) based out of New Zealand and best-known for their HBO TV series of the same name.  In the show’s two seasons, their songs were interwoven into the plotlines. Their songs tended to be either self-deprecating or poking gentle fun at specific styles of music.

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