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Musical Comedy: Charlie Chaplin

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

One of my students expressed an interest in writing about Charlie Chaplin, and asked if he would count as an example of “musical comedy.” I said yes, because his movies make use of physical and musical comedy (as well as the interactions between the two). However, I didn’t realize just how right I was. I found out that Chaplin was a prolific composer and music aficionado. Here are two resources from his official website:

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Musical Comedy: Novelty Update in the 1980s

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

These excerpts are from the section “Novelty Update” in Ellis (2008). This is from the chapter focusing on the 1980s, but covers artists from various time periods.

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Musical Comedy: Novelty Humor in the 1950s

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

Ellis summarizes musical novelty humor in the late 1950s (note: his focus on rock & roll makes him, I think, a bit dismissive of less serious forms of 50s music):

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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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