Comedic Counterstories


This project examines stand-up comedy as a form of performance that empowers individuals to feature their own marginalized identities and to call for social change. Stand-up comedy is a form of counterstorytelling performance because comedians confront the metanarratives that eclipse their own unique personal identities and experiences and share their stories for themselves. Professional comedians use their stand-up comedy sets as spaces to perform their own personal stories, to choose how to represent themselves and their communities, and to openly challenge systems of oppression. By focusing on how professional comedians perform marginality, this project contributes to an understanding of how the form of stand-up comedy functions as a counterstory both in content and in structure.