I had the exciting opportunity to speak with Prof. Octavio Pimentel's graduate students at Texas State University, San Marcos on my book Reclaiming Poch@ Pop. The students in his class had some great insights on the role of humor and its efficacy for communicating with sympathetic and unsympathetic audiences. We looked at some pop culture from Selena (starring J.Lo) as well as a couple Saturday Night Live monologues that approached the topic of race in the aftermath of the presidential election.
(Dr. Pimentel w/me in the corner)
I really appreciate how willing to engage with me on topics that can be difficult to discuss, not just in person, but also in the Skype interface. The class was extremely forthcoming about their own experiences teaching and how they have come to negotiate these topics that require deliberate thought.
(Graduate Students in Critical Media Literacy Seminar)
Some of the pop culture we discussed:
Through our discussion, the class decided that Chappelle was effective because most audiences know his humor and he concludes with a vulnerable call for coming together.
Regarding our discussion, Ansari's humor was perceived as less exclusive than Chappelle and Ansari leaves the door open for more audiences to see themselves on his side and not the subjects of his humor.