Achieving a depth of character : long-form improv practices in US comedy podcast culture

Smith, AN ORCID: 2019, 'Achieving a depth of character : long-form improv practices in US comedy podcast culture' , Comedy Studies, 10 (2) , pp. 167-182.

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This article examines the specificities of long-from improvised comedy performance (that is, long-from improv) within podcasting. It demonstrates how the podcast medium’s technologies, together with related cultural conventions, motivate performers to innovate long-form improv techniques distinct from those applied in theatrical contexts. So as to exemplify this process, the article draws on the content of the Los Angeles-based podcast network Earwolf, as well as from evidence of production pertaining to this content. With reference to Earwolf series including Comedy Bang! Bang!, Hollywood Handbook and With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus as examples, the article identifies and details three distinct long-form improv practices that podcasting contexts have influenced. These are: (1) the development of episode formats centred on interview and discussion; (2) the adoption of relaxed and informal approaches to performance; and, (3) the use of serialisation as a means to narratively link multiple separate recorded performances. Via this analysis, the article contributes to a nascent body of research concerning the increasingly prominent comedy podcast sector. Through examining long-form improv practices within podcasting contexts specifically, the article furthermore makes a unique contribution to the field of academic literature concerning improvised comedy.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Comedy Studies
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2040-610X
Related URLs:
Depositing User: AN Smith
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 12:00
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 01:55

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