This thesis examines the state of dark humour in sociology through an exploration of the humour found in television sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm (Curb). After analyzing the current literature on humour, this thesis proceeds on the premise that some perspectives on dark humour are much more heavily emphasized than others, and those interpretations of dark humour that project a positive, therapeutic image of the world are favoured. Extracting and discussing these themes from Curb allow the thesis to argue that there are under appreciated aspects of dark humour that are too often taken for granted in humour studies; specific aspects of humour studies explored are: humour’s relationship to social transgression, the effect of laughter on interpretation, and a presupposition of ‘happy endings’ in comic media. The thesis concludes that the state of humour studies requires ongoing reappraisal to ensure that a variety of perspectives are utilized when researching humour.
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Thesis advisor: Lacombe, Dany
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