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Revel with a CauseLiberal Satire in Postwar America$
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Stephen E. Kercher

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226431642

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226431659.001.0001

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Comic Revenge

Comic Revenge

Parodic Revelry and “Sick” Humor in the 1950s Satiric Underground

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter Three Comic Revenge
Source:
Revel with a Cause
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226431659.003.0004

This chapter focuses on the strain of “sick” humor and satire that aimed primarily at middle-class propriety and standards of “good” taste, America's obsession with psychological normalcy, and the commercial underpinnings of consumer culture. Anchoring the discussion here are readings of Tom Lehrer's songwriting; the radio and television performance of Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, Henry Morgan, and Bob and Ray; the parody of Stan Freberg; and Harvey Kurtzman's MAD comics.

Keywords:   sick humor, middle-class, normalcy, consumer culture, Tom Lehrer, Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar, Henry Morgan, Sten Freberg, Harvey Kurtzman

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