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Ribaldry or blue comedy is humorous entertainment that ranges from bordering on indelicacy to gross indecency.Blue comedy is also referred to as "bawdiness" or being "bawdy".
Sex is presented in ribald material more for the purpose of poking fun at the foibles and weaknesses that manifest themselves in human sexuality, rather than to present sexual stimulation either overtly or artistically. Also, ribaldry may use sex as a metaphor to illustrate some non-sexual concern, in which case ribaldry borders satire.
Like any humour, ribaldry may be read as conventional or subversive. Ribaldry typically depends on a shared background of sexual conventions and values, and its comedy generally depends on seeing those conventions broken.
The ritual taboo-breaking that is a usual counterpart of ribaldry underlies its controversial nature and explains why ribaldry is sometimes a subject of censorship. Ribaldry, whose usual aim is not "merely" to be sexually stimulating, often does address larger concerns than mere sexual appetite. However, being presented in the form of comedy, these larger concerns may be overlooked by censors.
Ribaldry differs from black comedy in that the latter deals with topics which would normally be considered painful or frightening, whereas ribaldry deals with topics that would only be considered offensive.
Ribaldry is present to some degree in every culture and has likely been around for all of human history. Works like Lysistrata by Aristophanes, Menaechmi by Plautus, Cena Trimalchionis by Petronius, and The Golden Ass of Apuleius are ribald classics from ancient Greece and Rome. Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" from his Canterbury Tales and The Crabfish , one of the oldest English traditional ballads, are classic examples. The Frenchman François Rabelais showed himself to be a master of ribaldry (technically called grotesque body) in his Gargantua and other works. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne and The Lady's Dressing Room by Jonathan Swift are also in this genre; as is Mark Twain's long-suppressed 1601 .
Another example of ribaldry is "De Brevitate Vitae", a song which in many European-influenced universities is both a student beer-drinking song and an anthem sung by official university choirs at public graduation ceremonies. The private and public versions of the song contain vastly different words. More recent works like Candy , Barbarella , L'Infermiera , the comedic works of Russ Meyer, Little Annie Fanny and John Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor are probably better classified as ribaldry than as either pornography or erotica.[ citation needed ]
A bawdy song is a humorous song that emphasises sexual themes and is often rich with innuendo. Historically these songs tend to be confined to groups of young males, either as students or in an environment where alcohol is flowing freely. An early collection was Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy , edited by Thomas D'Urfey and published between 1698 and 1720. Selected songs from Wit and Mirth have been recorded by the City Waites and other singers. Sailor's songs tend to be quite frank about the exploitative nature of the relationship between men and women. There are many examples of folk songs in which a man encounters a woman in the countryside. This is followed by a short conversation, and then sexual intercourse, e.g. "The Game of All Fours". Neither side demonstrates any shame or regret. If the woman becomes pregnant, the man will not be there anyway. Rugby songs are often bawdy. Examples of bawdy folk songs are: "Seventeen Come Sunday" and "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell". Robert Burns compiled The Merry Muses of Caledonia (the title is not Burns's), a collection of bawdy lyrics that were popular in the music halls of Scotland as late as the 20th century. In modern times Hash House Harriers have taken on the role of tradition-bearers for this kind of song. The Unexpurgated Folk Songs of Men (Arhoolie 4006) is a gramophone record containing a collection of American bawdy songs recorded in 1959.
Blue comedy is comedy that is off-color, risqué, indecent or profane, largely about sex. It often contains profanity or sexual imagery that may shock and offend some audience members.[ citation needed ]
"Working blue" refers to the act of using curse words and discussing things that people do not discuss in "polite society". A "blue comedian" or "blue comic" is a comedian who usually performs risqué routines layered with curse words.
There is a common belief that comedian Max Miller (1894–1963) coined the phrase, after his stage act which involved telling jokes from either a white book or a blue book, chosen by audience preference (the blue book contained ribald jokes). This is not so, as the Oxford English Dictionary contains earlier references to the use of blue to mean ribald: 1890 Sporting Times 25 Jan. 1/1 "Shifter wondered whether the damsel knew any novel blue stories." and 1900 Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Oct. 12/4 "Let someone propose to celebrate Chaucer by publicly reading some of his bluest productions unexpurgated. The reader would probably be locked up."
Private events at show business clubs such as the Bob Saget Club and The Masquers often showed this blue side of otherwise cleancut Bob Saget; a recording survives of one Masquers roast from the 1950s with Jack Benny, George Jessel, George Burns, and Art Linkletter all using highly risqué material and obscenities. Many comedians who are normally family-friendly might choose to work blue when off-camera or in an adult-oriented environment; Bob Saget exemplifies this dichotomy. Bill Cosby's 1969 record album 8:15 12:15 records both his family-friendly evening standup comedy show, and his blue midnight show, which included a joke about impregnating his wife "right through the old midnight trampoline" (her diaphragm) and other sexual references.
Some comedians build their careers on blue comedy. Among the best known of these are Redd Foxx, Lawanda Page, and the team of Leroy and Skillet, all of whom later performed on the family-friendly television show Sanford and Son . Page, Leroy, and Skillet specialized in a particular African American form of blue spoken word recitation called signifying or toasting. Dave Attell has also been described by his peers as one of the greatest modern-day blue comics.
On talk radio in the United States and elsewhere, blue comedy is a staple of the shock jock's repertoire. The use of blue comedy over American radio airwaves is severely restricted due to decency regulations; the Federal Communications Commission can levy fines against radio stations that air obscene content.
As a part of English literature, blue literature takes its origins at least from Middle English while bawdy laughter is a central element in works of such writers as Shakespeare and Chaucer. Blue literature is a development represented in various cultures, among different social classes, and genders. 170 Since there is no comparative study yet, it is not possible to state that all cultures have blue literature, but oral literature of the world suggests that blue may be universal. :169Starting from 1940s blue domain is no more occupied exclusively by men; it became possible for women to build a commercial career on blue literature. :
Toilet humour, or potty or scatological humour, is a type of off-colour humour dealing with defecation, urination and flatulence, and to a lesser extent vomiting and other bodily functions. It sees substantial crossover with sexual humour, such as dick jokes.
A limerick is a form of verse, usually humorous and frequently rude, in five-line, predominantly anapestic meter with a strict rhyme scheme of AABBA, in which the first, second and fifth line rhyme, while the third and fourth lines are shorter and share a different rhyme. The following example is a limerick of unknown origin:
A double entendre is a figure of speech or a particular way of wording that is devised to have a double meaning, of which one is typically obvious, whereas the other often conveys a message that would be too socially awkward, sexually suggestive, or offensive to state directly.
William Henry Cosby Jr. is an American stand-up comedian, actor, author, and convicted sex offender. Cosby began his career as a stand-up comic at the hungry i in San Francisco during the 1960s. He then landed a starring role in the television show I Spy, followed by his own sitcom The Bill Cosby Show, which ran for two seasons from 1969 to 1971. In 1972, using the Fat Albert character developed during his stand-up routines, Cosby created, produced, and hosted the animated comedy television series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids which ran until 1985, centering on a group of young friends growing up in an urban area. Throughout the 1970s, Cosby starred in about half a dozen films, and he occasionally returned to film later in his career. In 1976, he earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His dissertation discussed the use of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids as a teaching tool in elementary schools.
Erotic literature comprises fictional and factual stories and accounts of eros – passionate, romantic or sexual relationships – intended to arouse similar feelings in readers, in contrast to erotica, which focuses more specifically on sexual feelings. Other common elements are satire and social criticism. Much erotic literature features erotic art, illustrating the text.
A fabliau is a comic, often anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France between c. 1150 and 1400. They are generally characterized by sexual and scatological obscenity, and by a set of contrary attitudes—contrary to the church and to the nobility. Several of them were reworked by Giovanni Boccaccio for the Decameron and by Geoffrey Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales. Some 150 French fabliaux are extant, the number depending on how narrowly fabliau is defined. According to R. Howard Bloch, fabliaux are the first expression of literary realism in Europe.
The Improv is a comedy club franchise. Originally, it was a single venue founded in 1963 by Budd Friedman and located in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City on West 44th near the southeast corner of 9th Ave. A second location was opened in 1974 at 8162 Melrose Avenue in the Fairfax District of Los Angeles, California. In 1979 Mark Lonow became a general partner and with Budd Friedman ran the Melrose club and oversaw the expansion of the single room as it became a successful chain. In 1982 the L.A. Improv became the original site for the A&E Network television series An Evening at the Improv, running from 1982 until 1996, and was produced by Larry O'Daly, created by O'Daly and Barbara Hosie-O'Daly, with Budd Friedman as a warm-up host. Other locations have opened since then, such as in Tampa, Florida, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Louisville, Kentucky. LEG, formerly known as Levity Entertainment Group, is the largest shareholder of The Improv comedy clubs.
Gershon Legman was an American cultural critic and folklorist, best known for his books The Rationale of the Dirty Joke (1968) and The Horn Book: Studies in Erotic Folklore and Bibliography (1964).
Hokum is a particular song type of American blues music—a humorous song which uses extended analogies or euphemistic terms to make sexual innuendos. This trope goes back to early blues recordings and is used from time to time in modern American blues and blues rock.
Jeffrey Ross Lifschultz, known professionally as Jeff Ross, is an American stand-up comedian, writer, director and actor. He is also known as the "Roastmaster General" for his insult comedy and his multiple appearances at celebrity roasts held by the New York Friars Club and on the Comedy Central Roast television series. In 2009 the Chicago Tribune called Ross "the new millennium Don Rickles." His directorial debut, the 2006 documentary Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie, won the prize for Best Film at the Comedia film festival held at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal.
William Bernard was a 19th-century sailor, miner and resident of San Francisco, better known as the notorious "Barnacle Bill" of American yore whose fictional exploits are chronicled in the ribald drinking song "Barnacle Bill the Sailor" — itself adapted from "Bollocky Bill the Sailor", a traditional folk song originally titled "Abraham Brown".
Sex comedy or more broadly sexual comedy is a genre in which comedy is motivated by sexual situations and love affairs. Although "sex comedy" is primarily a description of dramatic forms such as theatre and film, literary works such as those of Ovid and Chaucer may be considered sex comedies.
"Good Ship Venus", also known as "Friggin' in the Riggin", is a bawdy drinking song devised to shock with ever increasingly lewd and debauched sexual descriptions of the eponymous ship's loose-moraled crew. The tune usually used is "In and Out the Windows".
Joke theft is the act of performing and taking credit for comic material written or performed by another person without their consent and without acknowldging the other person's authorship. This may be a form of plagiarism and can, in some cases, be copyright infringement. A comic who is known to steal jokes may be labelled with the epithet "hack" by other comics. A "hack comic" uses material that is unoriginal or which is blatantly copied from its original author.
In a modern sense, comedy is a genre of fiction that refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, books or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.
American burlesque is a genre of variety show. Derived from elements of Victorian burlesque, music hall and minstrel shows, burlesque shows in America became popular in the late 1860s and slowly evolved to feature ribald comedy and female nudity. By the early 1930s the striptease element of burlesque overshadowed the comedy and subjected burlesque to extensive local legislation. Burlesque gradually lost popularity beginning in the 1940s. A number of producers sought to capitalize on nostalgia for the entertainment by attempting to recreate the spirit of burlesque in Hollywood films from the 1930s to the 1960s. There has been a resurgence of interest in this format since the 1990s.
Jesse Joyce is an American stand-up comedian, Emmy Nominated and WGA Award winning writer.
Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle is a comedy club located in Metro Detroit, at 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak, Michigan 48067.
Clean comedy is a comedy genre that is generally free of ribaldry: racism, rape jokes, pejoratives, profanity, obscenity, incest, illicit drugs, off-color humor, toilet humor, explicitly sexual content, and similarly objectionable material. Comedians may try to circumvent clean-comedy restrictions by using innuendos, euphemisms, doublespeak, double entendres, and gender-neutral language. Clean comedy is not necessarily unprovocative.
The Merry Muses of Caledonia is a collection of bawdy songs said to have been collected or written by Robert Burns, the 18th-century Scottish poet.
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