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LEO 150 Serious Comedy & Social Justice (3 credits)

Comedy has long been a vehicle by which performers and audiences can engage uncomfortable truths and issues of social injustice. Comedy is increasingly important to individuals’ identity; recent research has shown that comedy is essential to how people view themselves and others.  Comedy (including satire and parody) is also a growing business, as evidenced by the popularity of Comedy Central, movies, television programs, YouTube, and other platforms. In this course, we will explore important issues of social justice (e.g., globalization, racism, gender equity, poverty) as presented in comedy across a variety of sources both contemporary (e.g., South Park, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Simpsons) and classic (e.g., All in the Family, The Smothers Brothers, M*A*S*H).