Thursday, October 29, 2009

White Trash or Redneck (what's with all the colors?) Humor

The first thing that came to mind while reading this week's Price article was the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. The Blue Collar Comedy Tour consists of 3 or 4 comedians making redneck jokes. They pretty much just tell the same type of jokes over and over and pander to the stereotype that the south is full of uneducated, racist, right-wing 'hicks'.

But, people go crazy for it. They've gone on multiple tours, have a television show, a radio show and 3 DVDs. And that's just as the comedy troupe. Bill Engvall has his own television show, titled The Bill Engvall Show (in which he apparently plays a character names Bill Pearson). Larry the cable guy managed to secure THREE feature films based his character. Three movies based on stupid junior high fart jokes and intolerance. In his article Ralph, Fred, Archie and Homer: Why Television Keeps Re-creating the White Male Working-Class Buffoon, Richard Butsch describes how the working-class male is portrayed in the media. He states, "[White working-class males] are [presented as] dumb, immature, irresponsible, or lacking in common sense... He is typically well-intentioned, even lovable, but no one to respect or emulate" (p. 576). But the persona's these comedians have created do not seem well-intentioned and are certainly not lovable in my opinion. Jokes like :

"I was more pissed than a queer with lockjaw on Valentine's Day."

"This is a song about an illegal Mexican hitchhiking through Texas. I call it 'El Paso.'"

"There'll be a new show out next week called Black Eye on the Queer Guy."

(all taken from article on larry the cable guy)
are not well intentioned. Stereotypical humor doesn’t make me draw comparisons and bring me closer to different cultures. If anything, it accents the differences and fuels the fire of racial tension. And it's not even the racism, homophobia, misogyny, and perpetuation of urban-rural/red state-blue state polarization that bother's me most. It's the fact that it's just not funny.

And no, I'm not going to post a clip. But instead, I'll leave you with...
wonder showzen!

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