Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett, and Joan Rivers are Queens of Comedy. Each created a career that lasted over a quarter of a century. Each put her own twist on traditional female comic types and broke new ground for younger, more radical comediennes. And each is a very funny lady. For more than twenty-five years, these Queens of Comedy have been getting big laughs and big hands--winning hands, because they are in fact, top cards. Through candid, personal interviews with these top stars, Dr. Horowitz explores how gifted performers turn their lives into comedic art; how they break down barriers in the traditionally male territory of comedy; how they define conventions that stigmatize funny women as "unfeminine"; and how popular female artists reflect society's gender roles -- even as they explode ideas about what women should -- or can do. "Queens of Comedy" offers an entertaining, insightful glimpse into private lives and public personae and places today's top female comediennes like Ellen DeGeneres, Joy Behar, and Whoopi Goldberg in the grand tradition of Mae West, Sophie Tucker, Moms Mabley, and Totie Fields.
This report prepared by Susan Horowitz, Ph.D.