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Making it on your own: women in the new comic traditions

  • Frances Gray
Chapter
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Part of the Women in Society book series

Abstract

Music Hall, or Variety, or Vaudeville, or whatever you want to call it, is dead. Television killed it. All comedians seem to agree on this, even if they agree on nothing else. Throughout the 1950s variety theatres — like cinemas and ‘legitimate’ playhouses — closed down while families stayed in to watch the box. In the first place, they were still paying for the set and couldn’t afford to go out; in the second place, television featured stars; the bill at the local theatre in a small provincial town couldn’t begin to compete.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    B. T. Hall, cited in J. Taylor, From Self-Help to Glamour, History Workshop Pamphlet no. 7, Oxford 1972.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Les Dawson, A Card for the Clubs (Star: 1977) p. 37.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Interview, M. Banks and A. Swift, The Joke’s On Us (Pandora: 1987) p. 20.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Marti Caine, A Coward’s Chronicles (Hutchinson: 1990), p. 15.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Cited L. Martin and K. Segrave, Women in Comedy (Citadel: 1986), p. 343.Google Scholar
  6. 10.
    Quoted in Betsy Borns, Comic Lives (Simon & Schuster: 1987) p. 55.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    See Oliver Double, ‘An Approach to Traditions of British Standup Comedy’, PhD thesis, University of Sheffield, 1991, ch. 5.Google Scholar
  8. 17.
    Interviewed in R. Wilmut and P. Rosengard, Didn’t You Kill My Mother-in-law? (Methuen: 1989) p. 148.Google Scholar
  9. 22.
    Interviewed by Mark Jacobson, Funny Girl: New, Hot and Hip (New York, 22 March 1976).Google Scholar
  10. 23.
    S. Friedman, Women’s Autobiographical Selves, in Shari Benstock (ed.), The Private Self: Theories and Practice of Women’s Autobiographical Writings (Routledge: 1988) p. 41.Google Scholar
  11. 24.
    Joan Rivers, Enter Talking (Dell: 1986) p. 126.Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    Roseanne Arnold, My Life As A Woman (Collins: 1990) p. 172.Google Scholar
  13. 38.
    See Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman’s Place (Harper & Row: 1975).Google Scholar
  14. 39.
    For example, O’Barr and B. Atkins, cited in J. Coates, Women, Men and Language (Longman: 1986) p. 112.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Frances Gray 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frances Gray

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