Stewart Huff, P.I.: Intellectual at Large


Stewart Huff, P.I.: Intellectual at Large



Professor Orenstein's contribution to this volume is chapter 12 "Stewart Huff, P.I.: Intellectual at Large," co-authored by Susan Seizer.


9781496835482 (hb.), 9781496835499 (pb.)

Publication Date



University Press of Mississippi


Jackson, MS


Stewart Huff, private investigator, public intellectual, stand-up comedy, fear of science, freethinkers


Critical and Cultural Studies | Social Influence and Political Communication


Champion, Jared N. and Kunze, Peter C. (eds.), Taking a Stand: Contemporary US Stand-Up Comedians as Public Intellectuals (Jackson, MS : University Press of Mississippi, 2021).

Stand-up comedians have a long history of walking a careful line between serious and playful engagement with social issues: Lenny Bruce questioned the symbolic valence of racial slurs, Dick Gregory took time away from the stage to speak alongside Martin Luther King Jr. , and—more recently—Tig Notaro challenged popular notions of damaged or abject bodies. Stand-up comedians deploy humor to open up difficult topics for broader examination, which only underscores the social and cultural importance of their work.

Taking a Stand: Contemporary US Stand-Up Comedians as Public Intellectuals draws together essays that contribute to the analysis of the stand-up comedian as public intellectual since the 1980s. The chapters explore stand-up comedians as contributors to and shapers of public discourse via their live performances, podcasts, social media presence, and political activism.

Each chapter highlights a stand-up comedian and their ongoing discussion of a cultural issue or expression of a political ideology/standpoint: Lisa Lampanelli’s use of problematic postracial humor, Aziz Ansari’s merging of sociology and technology, or Maria Bamford’s emphasis on mental health, to name just a few. Taking a Stand offers a starting point for understanding the work stand-up comedians do as well as its reach beyond the stage. Comedians influence discourse, perspectives, even public policy on myriad issues, and this book sets out to take those jokes seriously.

Full bibliographic details available in IUCAT

Copies available in the Jerome Hall Law Library PN 1969.C65 T35 2021

Stewart Huff, P.I.: Intellectual at Large