1) Write about how a comedian has changed your mind about or made you rethink a cultural issue. The issue or issues can be anything from politics to race to sexuality to drugs to religion to education to war to gender to love to bacon to death to language to anything that a comedian has made you reconsider.
The paper should first describe your initial position/feelings about the issue, then present your interpretation of the comedian’s point of view, and finally illustrate how it has changed your beliefs, positively or negatively from where you began.
You can use any comedian(s) you want, from class or not. If nothing else, it’s an excuse to spend hours on end trolling for stand-up clips.
2) This paper topic allows the student to become the Master for once. It’s your chance to decide what should be on the syllabus. Between now and the due date, your assignment is to watch TWO comedians with similar thematic elements on your own, or with friends and family… or a pet of whom you’re particularly fond. Once you watch them, imagine you’re responsible for leading a discussion about them. What would you impart to your students about humor, stand-up, and any specific issues that these performers represent? It is important that you actually watch the comedians you discuss, because ideally, this class will have changed the way you think about comedy you’ve seen 20 times. You’re getting college credit to watch funny people: appreciate that, don’t take it for granted.