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British TV Comedies

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements 1. Introduction: The Aesthetics and Politics of British TV Comedy; Juergen Kamm and Birgit Neumann PART I: THE 1950S AND 1960S: BEGINNINGS OF THE BRITISH SITCOM AND THE SATIRE BOOM 2. A Golden Age of British Sitcom? Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son; Richard Kilborn 3. 'Your Little Game': Myth and War in Dad's Army (1968-1977); Bernd Lenz 4. 'The Struggle of Class against Class Is a What Struggle?' Monty Python's Flying Circus and Its Politics; Alexander Brock 5. The Rag Trade: 'Everybody Out!' Gender, Politics and Class on the Factory Floor; Mary Irwin PART II: THE 1970S AND 1980S: NEW LOYALTIES, HISTORIES AND COLLECTIVE IDENTITIES - POST-FAMILIAR PARADIGMS 6. 'Sambo' and 'Snowflake': Race and Race Relations in Love Thy Neighbour; Nora Plesske 7. 'You Snobs! You Stupid... Stuck-Up... Toffee-Nosed... Half-Witted... Upper-Class Piles of... Pus!' Basil Fawlty's Touch of Class and Other Hotel Matters in Fawlty Towers; Paul Davies 8. Ignorant Master, Capable Servants: The Politics of Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister; Juergen Kamm 9. Zany 'Alternative Comedy': The Young Ones vs. Margaret Thatcher; Eckart Voigts 10. The Uses of History in Blackadder; Gerold Sedlmayr 11. Black British Comedy: Desmond's and the Changing Face of Television; Deirdre Osborne with some additional information from Stephen Bourne PART III: THE 1990S: (UN)DOING GENDER AND RACE 12. Laughing at Racism or Laughing with the Racists? The 'Indian Comedy' of Goodness Gracious Me; Jochen Petzold 13. Exploding Family Values, Lampooning Feminism, Exposing Consumerism: Absolutely Fabulous; Rainer Emig 14. Comic Strategies of Inclusion and 'Normalisation' in The Vicar of Dibley; Lucia Kramer 15. Subverting the Sitcom from Within: Form, Ideology and Father Ted; John Hill 16. 'The Lady of the House Speaking' - The Conservative Portrayal of English Class Stereotypes in Keeping Up Appearances; Marion Gymnich 17. Family Life in Front of the Telly: The Royle Family; Angela Krewani 18. Old Jokes: One Foot in the Grave, Comedy and the Elderly; Brett Mills PART IV: THE 2000S: BRITCOM BOOM - NEW BRITAIN = 'COOL BRITANNIA'? 19. Spin, Swearing and Slapstick: The Thick of It (2005-2012); Anette Pankratz 20. Life is Stationary: Mockumentary and Embarrassment in The Office (2001-2003); Philip Jacobi 21. From Ever-lusting Individuals to Ever-lasting Couples: Coupling (2000-2004) and Emotional Capitalism; Joanna Rostek and Dorothea Will 22. The Comic Nation: Little Britain and the Politics of Representation; Oliver Lindner 23. Laughing in Horror: Hybrid Genre and the Grotesque Body in Psychoville; Stephan Karschay Index


About the Author

Stephen Bourne, De Montfort University, UK Alexander Brock, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany Paul Davies, University of Passau, Germany Rainer Emig, Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany Marion Gymnich, University of Bonn, Germany John Hill, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK Mary Irwin, Northumbria University, UK Philip Jacobi, University of Passau, Germany Juergen Kamm, University of Passau, Germany Stephan Karschay, University of Passau, Germany Richard Kilborn, University of Stirling, UK Lucia Kramer, Leibniz University Hanover, Germany Angela Krewani, Marburg University, Germany Bernd Lenz, University of Passau, Germany Oliver Lindner, University of Leipzig, Germany Brett Mills, University of East Anglia, UK Birgit Neumann, University of Duesseldorf, Germany Deirdre Osborne, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK Nora Plesske, TU Braunschweig, Germany Anette Pankratz, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Germany Joanna Rostek, University of Passau, Germany Gerold Sedlmayr, TU Dortmund University, Germany Eckart Voigts, TU Braunschweig, Germany Dorothea Will, University of Passau, Germany


"This volume is sensitive to identity formations involving social class, gender, ethnicity, race, and factory labour. ... The transnational authors of British TV Comedies, British and German, building on this expanding research, have elevated television comedy to a medium worthy of transcultural, cultural and political consideration for scholarly and general audiences." (Marcia Landy, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, Issue 2, September, 2016)

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