Hollywood Comedian Comedy (P3052)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

Comedian-comedy has been one of the most persistent genres of popular Hollywood cinema since the silent era, but until recently it has received little serious critical attention. This module will consider a range of individual performers and the diverse historical, cinematic and extra-cinematic contexts in which they worked. Drawing upon a range of critical and theoretical paradigms, the module will examine the key fictional and extra-fictional features of the genre; the relations between performance, gags and narrative; the shifting relationships between comedy in film and other media (such as vaudeville and television); and the representation of class, gender, ethnicity and race. Films studied may include comedies featuring such performers as Charles Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, Mae West, the Marx Brothers, Jerry Lewis, Jim Carrey and Eddie Murphy.


60%: Lecture (Film)
40%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 46 hours of contact time and 254 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.