Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 15, 2019

Subversive humor in Spanish stand-up comedy

Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo and Esther Linares-Bernabéu
From the journal HUMOR

Abstract

This paper aims to explore subversive humor in Spanish stand-up comedy by analyzing the work of two well-known Spanish female comedians, Eva Hache and Patricia Sornosa. In order to reach this goal, a corpus of these comedians’ performances has been collected, comprising a total of 25 monologues, which have been divided into humorous sequences, which come to a total of 76 in the corpus of Eva Hache and 37 for Patricia Sornosa. The qualitative and quantitative analysis has focused on subversive humorous sequences, which has shown that only 22.38% of the sequences from Eva Hache’s comic monologues are mainly built around subverting the status quo, whereas Patricia Sornosa challenges the heteronormative discourse in most of her sequences (87.93%). Further, in this case study, we have examined the main linguistic techniques they use when challenging the heteronormative standards, namely the topics, targets, discourse strategies and linguistic cues used to generate a subversive effect. Findings show that both comics use subversive humor but in different ways because of contextual constraints. Whilst Patricia Sornosa offers an overt critique, Eva Hache disparages in a subtler manner even when teasing and undermining male power.

Funding statement: This research was supported by the Valencian Regional Department of Education, Research, Culture and Sport by means of the grant PROMETEO/2016/052 “Gender-based humor: Observatory of identity of women and men through humor”; and by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness by means of the grant FFI2015-64540-C2-1-P “Gender, humor and identity: Development, consolidation and applicability of linguistic mechanisms in Spanish” (MINECO-FEDER, UE). For further information, visit the webpage http://dfelg.ua.es/griale/.

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to the scholars who have reviewed this article for their insightful and detailed comments, which have helped us to strengthen our paper. We would also like to thank Delia Chiaro for helpful comments on our final draft.

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Published Online: 2019-11-15
Published in Print: 2020-02-25

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