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Reference:

The Manifestation and Evolution of Irony in English Standup Comedy

Galtsov Petr Il'ich

Teaching assistant, Department of Primary and Preschool Education, Moscow Regional State University

141014, Russia, Moscow region, Mytishchi, Vera Voloshina str., 24

newseygo@gmail.com
Baturina Elvira Rifatovna

Associate Professor, Department of Preschool Education, Moscow Regional State University

141014, Russia, Moscow region, Mytishchi, Vera Voloshina str., 24

Baturina.elvi@yandex.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.10.39125

EDN:

MBFJGK

Received:

08-11-2022


Published:

06-11-2023


Abstract: The subject of this study is irony and its manifestation in the humorous monologues of foreign stand-up comedians. The object of this study is the speeches of American stand-up comedians. The author examines in detail such aspects as the main components of creating irony, which include the implicit expression of the author's superiority, the author's presupposition, as well as stylistic means of creating irony, such as contrast, epithets, hyperbole. Special attention is paid to such types of irony as verbal, dramatic and situational irony. Post-irony and meta-irony were also considered, as well as the specifics of their formation in comedians' jokes, which include playing with reality, intertextuality, pastiche, the concept of the author's death, the proclamation of criticism of traditional and modernist meta-narratives. The novelty of the research lies in the previously unseen analysis of stand-up performances for the presence and formation of irony, as well as the means of its creation. A special contribution of the author to the research of the topic is the opening of the corpus of texts of stand-up comedians' speeches for further analysis of the material to identify other linguistic phenomena. The topic of irony, post-irony, meta-irony was presented for the first time in this context and is available for further research. In addition to the seemingly goal of expressing ridicule and the author's superiority over the viewer, irony also reveals the positive sides of the object of jokes.


Keywords:

irony, self-irony, author's presupposition, post-irony, reality play, intercontextuality, author's death concept, criticism of values, meta-irony, transgression

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

As a social phenomenon, stand-up has been developing for a long time. Starting from city pubs and eateries, where ordinary workers gathered after a hard day's work and shared their thoughts about everyday problems, stand-up eventually moved to huge stages, television and the Internet, becoming a truly popular phenomenon that gathers people from absolutely all walks of life.

As a humorous phenomenon, stand-up is filled with a huge number of comic monologues containing means of creating comic at various levels of language (phonetic, morphological, lexical, syntactic). It is worth focusing on the genre of irony, which is effectively exploited by comedians on stage.

The genre of irony is concentrated on the expression of ridicule, slyness and allegory, when a word or expression acquires a meaning in the context of speech that is opposed in meaning to the literal meaning or, even more, denies it, calls it into question [15, p. 206].

Chernyshevsky calls irony "a means of imperturbable and cold criticism" [14, p. 406]. Bright examples of irony in literature are "Praise of Stupidity" by Erasmus of Rotterdam, "The Magic Mountain" by T. Mann.

Irony in a narrow linguistic understanding is a stylistic device through which the interaction of two types of lexical meanings appears: subject-logical and contextual, based on the relation of the opposite (inconsistency). Irony is based on contrast: within its framework, the true meaning is hidden or opposed to the explicit meaning. A distinctive feature of this trope is the dual meaning, the feeling that the subject of discussion is not what it seems [12, p. 79].

Cherkasova calls irony a speech phenomenon and emphasizes that "it is impossible to talk about irony outside of a speech situation, since ironic connotations practically do not occur outside of a contextual situation." [13, p.150].

According to A.G. Kozintsev, irony is one of the types of aggression in the comic. In irony, "modeling of someone else's behavior, perceived as incongruous, occurs at a conscious and mainly verbal level" [7, p. 189].

The purpose of irony is an implicit expression of ridicule. Researcher T.G. Bochina notes that in the Russian paremiological foundation, irony is most often expressed in the form of an ironic antithesis, in which the neutral generally accepted meaning of a language unit and the content of its textual deployment contrast [3, p. 26].

The function of ridicule or ridicule is one of the most characteristic of irony. It is based on strengthening the position of the addressee by censuring or expressing contempt towards the addressee [13, p.150].

Irony conveys an implicit sense of superiority. Unlike humor, irony hides the funny under the guise of the serious; outwardly a positive statement actually contains a critical assessment [6, p. 136].

Thats a load ofbollocks, mate. A load of It means bullshit. Bullshit, bollocks, very close in the dictionary [Eddie Izzard: Circle (2002)].

The given context of this illustrates the comedian's sense of superiority over his audience. More specifically, cultural superiority. Since the comedian performs in America, and the bollocks unit is used in the British version of English, it is opposed to the bullshit unit expressing more aggression than bollocks.

Various tropes (litota, hyperbole, antiphrase, metaphor) can act as carriers of irony. Stylistic techniques that convey irony include allusions, repetitions, etc. Irony is implicitly an evaluative statement; the range of hidden emotions varies from fear to contempt, from anger to mild condemnation against the background of sympathy. Irony is based on an implicit negative assessment, the addressee of which is a person; the object of irony is also the sphere of human activity or an inanimate object that indirectly characterize a person. Thus, the pragmatics of irony is determined primarily by its evaluative function, when, by criticizing everything that he considers imperfect, the addressee influences others, their way of thinking and their line of behavior [7, p. 189]. Linguistic means of creating a comic effect are extremely sensitive to socio-political, social and cultural transformations.

An obligatory component of irony are signals of irony (formal or semantic), since they allow you to decipher the utterance in accordance with the author's presupposition [11, p. 17].

You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci. Joe Pesci. Two reasons first of all, I think hes a good actor okay? To me, that counts. Second he looks like a guy who can get things done. Joe Pesci doesnt fuck around. In fact, Joe Pesci came through on a couple of things that God was having trouble with. For years, I asked God to do something about my noisy neighbour with the barking dog Joe Pesci straightened that cocksucker out with one visit! Its amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat! [George Carlin: You Are All Diseased (1999)].

The author's presupposition in this passage is a negative attitude towards religion. The comedian transfers the situation with prayers to God to prayers to Joe Paskey with the help of irony. The Two reasons sentence... suggests a detailed and seriously reasoned explanation for the sentence You know who I pray to? Joe Pesci., however, the unit of he's a good actor as an argument without a context containing the comedian's attitude to religion looks ridiculous. The sentence It's amazing what you can accomplish with a simple baseball bat also implicitly indicates the presence of violent acts. The verbs previously used accomplish and straightened do not indicate violence. Vulgarism conveys the negative attitude of the author to the object of the joke.

The comedian himself can become the object of humor, thereby moving into the genre of self-irony. Self-irony is often used in speeches not to intentionally express negative qualities, but to identify positive ones in contrast with them.

Single once more. Ah, yes. [laughs] Single fella, single now. Broke up with my girlfriend. Great way to become single. Highly effective, it turns out [Phil Wang: Philly Philly Wang Wang (2021)].

The break up unit conveys a negative connotation, but the units opposed to it, great way to become single and highly effective, have a positive meaning.

L.M. Zholos distinguishes the following types of irony: verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony [5, p.103].

Verbal irony is the contrast between what is said and what is implied. This can include such a phenomenon as sarcasm. Sarcasm is a harsh mockery, implying a game on human emotions. And although outwardly sarcasm can look very aggressive, but stylistically it only differs in a greater degree of expressiveness and emotionality. Sarcasm is fueled by a greater degree of discontent, from which, when using it, there is a feeling of using provocative material in order to hurt the object of the joke a little more than with other types of irony.

You know, and whenever I see a motorcycle thats on the highway, I always have the same thought. Youre gonna die. What are you doing on the highway? Youre gonna die. And the only reason I say that is cause theyre gonna die. I dont even know what the thinking is. Well, I have to travel a long distance. Should I take the car or this motorized chair with no seat belt? [Jim Gaffigan: Comedy Monster (2021)].

The unit you're gonna die is implicitly linked to the statistics of deaths while driving a motorcycle. The same unit is further contrasted with the car unit in the category of "presence absence of security".

Dramatic irony is the contrast between what the comedian believes to be true and what the viewer understands and recognizes as reality. Since the viewer has less knowledge about what is happening than the comedian, it becomes especially interesting how the comedian interprets reality through the prism of his perception. In an effort to enhance the drama of the performance, the comedian turns to means of creating expressiveness such as epithets, hyperbole.

For example, George Carlin's speech contains the epithets major-league bullshit, all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims: When it comes to bullshit, big-time, major-league bullshit, you have to stand in awe, in awe of the all-time champion of false promises and exaggerated claims... religion [George Carlin: You Are All Diseased (1999)].

An example of using hyperbole is the following passage: No contest! No contest! Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told [George Carlin: You Are All Diseased (1999)].

Situational irony is the contrast between what is happening and what was expected [5, p.103]. Situational irony is productive when creating situational comedy.

Nowheresanotherexampleofoverprotection. Did you ever notice on the TV news every time some guy with an AK-47 strolls onto a school yard and kills 3 or 4 kids and a couple of teachers, the next day, the next day, the school is overrun with counsellors and psychiatrists and grief counsellors and trauma therapists trying to help the children cope? Shit! When I was in school, someone came to our school and killed 3 or 4 of us; we went right on with our arithmetic! 35 classmatesminus 4 equals 31 [George Carlin: You Are All Diseased (1999)].

In the above excerpt from George Carlin's speech, the irony concerns the time interval. The author compares the attitude towards children at the time when the comedian himself was a child with the modern attitude. Irony becomes possible, since both the comedian and the audience can relate themselves to the object of the joke. The example confirms that irony not only demonstrates the author's superiority over the viewer, but also equates the author to the viewer due to a general misunderstanding of current realities and solidarity towards them.

Irony can be based on the general historical or social context, as well as on the narrow context of group communication. Irony as a means of conventional communication performs the function of group self-affirmation by transferring negative qualities to the object of irony and thereby increasing its relative value.

E.V. Cherkasova notes that the use of irony has nothing to do with intentional aggression, it "preserves, if not friendliness, then, in any case, it does not express aggression that destroys and injures another person" [13, p.150].

With the transition of the cultural layer into the postmodern era, noticeable changes in the content of humorous units and a departure from the standard ironic style began to manifest themselves. More and more often in humor there are such features as the deconstruction of genres, the breaking of the fourth wall, ridiculing not only the vices of society, but also its basic foundations. All this gives rise to the so-called "post-irony".

Post-irony is an irony located at the junction of "humor-non-humor", in which the line between the joke itself and its interaction with reality is erased [1, pp.65-68]. Post-irony can be traced in stand-up comedy through the following phenomena: playing with reality, intertextuality, the use of pastiche (unfunny parody), the concept of the author's death. [4, pp. 292-293], proclamation of criticism of traditional and modernist meta-narratives. [8, p. 10].

The specificity of postmodern irony is manifested in intertextuality and pastiche. Both techniques are based on quoting texts. As F. notes Jamieson, in a world where the death of a unique style and the death of a subject is ascertained, it is impossible to invent new things, it remains only to quote and imitate the great deceased styles [4, p. 294]. Thanks to intertextuality, the comedian superimposes two situations and contrasts their narratives, for example, according to the degree of seriousness.

This is my birth face, man. Im 41 Jump Street. So [audience laughs] With this face, came great responsibility. I bought alcohol for our entire dorm. I dont mean three or Everybody. It wasnt even a challenge. I looked so old, that when I walked into liquor stores, theyd be like, Hello, sir. Hows the stock market today? Shit like that [Tom Segura: Disgraceful (2018)].

The humorous effect is provided by the allusion With this face, came great responsibility, reminiscent of the quote With great power comes great responsibility from the movie "Spider-Man". The features of the hero are contrasted in the context with the features of an ordinary person. The comedian puts the problem of his aging higher than the problem of saving humanity. This pastiche, in addition to making a reference to a cult phrase, can also be perceived autonomously, without designating references. The juxtaposition of the two narratives creates a comic effect due to the strong discrepancy between the situation and the register of the word responsibility. Thus, post-irony in this context levels the cultural value of the meaning of the phrase from the film, but this is not the main goal of the comedian. Using this technique in his monologue, the comedian shows lightness and ease, eliminating the need to add deep meanings to his monologue.

The deconstruction of the genre and the scrapping of the fourth wall are the most popular manifestations of the post-ironic style in stand-up. Even though people who belong to the stand-up environment in most cases love and respect their craft, they are primarily as comedians critical of the reality in which they live. With the understanding that the genre can exhaust itself, become worse, more opportunistic, stand-up artists have no problems joking about the topic of this event or even the whole genre in which they are.

For example, at the Just For Laughs Festival 2015, Trevor Noah uses the following phrase at the beginning of his speech.

Thank you, thank you. Too much applause. This could be shit but thank you! [Trevor Noah - Some Languages Are Scary].

This in this context implies my performance, which shows the comedian's full understanding of the situation with the genre. It can be assumed that this is part of the comedian's image, but an analysis of his performances did not reveal the frequent use of stylistically reduced vocabulary like shit. The purpose of such deconstruction is to reduce the tension of the event and create a comic situation for the comedian and the audience to connect to a possible common thought. In the conditions of a huge amount of humorous content, it is not always possible to understand whether the material will be successful for any particular audience. Based on the fact that the audience warmly accepted Trevor Noah's joke, the deconstruction was successful and the comic effect was achieved.

The post-ironic style of humor suggests a "game with reality", which consists in exaggerating and bringing some aspects of it to the point of absurdity. Of course, this is created by the author based on his perception of the world, his agreement or disagreement with certain foundations. The uncertainty of the author's attitude to the object of the joke creates the effect of surprise and reinforces the comic effect. Everything the comedian says cannot be immediately interpreted as "serious" or "humorous" information. As an example, consider Ben Rosenfeld's monologue about his Russian father.

My dad has perfect English, but he is like Russian and aggressive and he doesnt understand American culture. But one day in school I got into a fight, but my dad didnt understand why teachers called him in. He thought its cause I lost the fight. The teachers were like Your son cant hit anyone. And my dads like Oh, hes been missing punches? Im so sorry, I will train him better. And the teachers are like No, your son cant fight I know he cant fight. Thats why I train him. Give us two weeks for a rematch and I will teach him to stick a move. And the teachers are like No, your son cant fight! Your son Ben cant punch people I agree he has a soft jaw, but his uppercut [imitates a kiss with admiration]. Theyre like No, in America kids cant fight kids Ok, hell fight the dogs. Its time he becomes a man. Theyre like No, if Ben fights again, he will face consequences I said hell fight anyone, I dont care if you suspend. Just give us two weeks and youll fight this Mr. Consequences [My Russian Dad - Ben Rosenfeld].

The game with reality is to use the grotesque to create an image of the father as an aggressive person who reduces everything to a fight (he's been missing punches? / give us two weeks for a rematch). In addition to the image of the father, humor is built because of a misunderstanding between the teacher and the father (No, your son can't fight - I know he can't fight. Thats why I train him). The grotesque level increases at the moment when the ban on fighting at school shifts to a ban on fighting with people, animals and the teacher himself (in America kids can't fight kids - Ok, he'll fight the dogs - I said he'll fight anyone, I don't care if you suspend).

The concept of the author's death belongs to the French literary critic, philosopher and linguist Roland Barthes.

His concept is based on the fact that "in the new literature (postmodern) in the XX century, the writer ceased to be a measure of morality, lost the functions of a prophet and judge." Barth states the death of the author's literature, stating that the author's innermost thoughts no longer exist in the current literary texts. Also, Barth in his essay declares the autonomous existence of the text in its independence from the personality of the author, and that the text should be perceived that way separately from the author.

In postmodern stand-up, Bart's idea of the author's death can have several different interpretations. Taking into account the fact that with access to the Internet, standup turned into a media product, this determined its further path and role - the creation of media frames. It began to be perceived as a platform for the realization of a person on television and on the Internet. Due to the fact that there were too many stand-up artists, many topics and even jokes began to overlap. Moreover, a kind of "rating system" began to appear behind the scenes. Comedians were allowed to perform on television based on the results of auditions, work experience on television or similarity of public positions. It is noteworthy that this privilege has been withdrawn from comedians whose actions do not comply with the policy of a particular television agency, regardless of the quality of their humorous texts. For example, the producers of the American evening musical and humorous program Saturday Night Live stopped working with comedian Shane Gillis in 2019 due to homophobic statements found in the 2018 video. ["I'm a comedian and I like to go beyond" - Electronic resource. URL: https://russian.rt.com/nopolitics/article/669064-gillis-snl-rasizm-uvolnenie (date of application:15.09.2022)]

This example vividly illustrates the "death of the author", because if humor is now considered separately from the comedian, then you can consider the comedian, the comedian's actions separately from his jokes. The value of a stand-up comedian as a prophet or a public mouthpiece has long disappeared. The manifest distance between the author and the text he created demonstrates postmodern disillusionment with culture and society, the text no longer represents the author's individual style, does not reflect his self. The text is only a play of secondary meanings in order to recall the great styles and images of the past.

Post-irony also manifests itself in criticism of modern foundations and values. In the postmodern era, there have been more examples of touching on violence or the topic of death in cinema and literature. It can be said that this topic is sensitive for many people and the very fact of having such positions in a speech is a signal to "activate" the viewer, causing him a whole range of emotions by surprise and non-triviality of the narrative. Let's take an example from Tom Segura's speech.

Heres what I wanted to know as a kid. Its terrible to ask a stranger this, but this was my own father. And Id seen a lot of movies. So, Im like, You were in the war.Did you kill anybody? The first time I asked him, he goes, No, I didnt. I go, All right. Okay. A few years later, I asked him again. Did you ever kill anybody? He goes, I was a lieutenant. I was in charge of people. It didnt work like that. I said, Okay. A few years later, I asked again, You ever kill anybody? And he goes, I threw grenades into bunkers. [audience laughs] I go, Were there people in there? He goes, There were, yeah. [audience laughs] Just little pieces by the time I got in there. [audience laughs] Then last year, I go, Did you ever kill anybody? He goes, Theres no better feeling than killing the enemy [Tom Segura: Disgraceful (2018)].

This passage illustrates the gradation of the change of opinion regarding the killing of people. The starting point at which the denial about the murder is clearly visible (Did you kill anyone? - No, I didn't) eventually moves into a completely opposite position, in which death is not just confirmed, but the emphasis is placed on the pleasure of it (Did you ever kill anyone? - Theresnobetterfeelingthankillingtheenemy). The comedian presents this joke as a conversation with his father. The fact that a father tells his son that he enjoyed killing people should not fit into the moral picture of the world, but the comic effect was nevertheless achieved, which is a confirmation of the efficiency of post-ironic humor. It should also be noted that such cruelty often contributes to the blurring of genre boundaries and the formation of an ambivalent perception of the artistic reality of humor. [2, c. 65-73]

After the postirony, another kind of irony was formed - meta-irony. For its functioning, it is important to consider separately such elements as the speech of the hero of the work and the speech of the author of the work. Since there is a share of author's fiction in humorous texts, stand-up is a kind of work of fiction, the opinion of a comedian as a character in his own narrative may sometimes not coincide with his own opinion as the author of his own humorous text. This may come from the fact that the real thoughts of the comedian may be too confusing for an unprepared viewer, or the thoughts may in one way or another not coincide with the moral and ethical code of the layman. In such situations, the comedian can join the conjuncture and change the direction of his thoughts to please the viewer. However, there is a much more interesting option. A comedian can build a narrative in such a way that the speech of the hero of the work itself will not be ironic, that is, he will pronounce it seriously and, in his opinion, his statement will be true and normal. However, at the same time, the statements that the author puts into his mouth, as well as the situation and context are formed by the author in such a way that the "untruthfulness", the anomaly of this statement from the author's point of view becomes obvious [10, 2020, p. 22].

S.N. Ovodova calls this transgression, i.e. "crossing the border of what is possible or permissible." The scientist claims that, unlike postmodernism, it is no longer the main idea of any work. Transgression becomes a tool for social manipulation with the help of a work, a way to draw the attention of the masses to a problem, to convey or explain something important [9, p. 56]

But it is it's funny, how every accent has its own connotation to it - speak with a French accent [parodies French accent] You are sexy. How are you ladies?. But some accents have no sex appeal to them at all, like the Russian accent, there's nothing sexy about it. Everything that Russians say sounds dangerous and menacing... doesn't matter what they say, because they've got that thing [parodies Russian accent] Yes, I'm Russian, going to kill you, break you, destroy your family". But even if Russians say nice things, it's still sounds dangerous, they still go [parodies Russian accent] Yes, fluffy rabbits and teddy bears [Trevor Noah - Some Languages Are Scary].

To analyze the meta-irony in this passage, several factors need to be taken into account. Firstly, in this context there is a general stereotypical representation of Russians by Americans as cruel people. This performance is available to both the author (comedian) and the audience through many years of propaganda in the cinema and news. With this in mind, the author in his monologue plays a character who has a certain idea of accents on his own emotional level. The Russian accent in his monologue is exposed as dangerous and menacing (dangerous and menacing) to express contrast with the French accent. Russian Russian accent: If the moment about the French accent is served without irony due to the wagering with a parody of the French accent, which, based on the reaction of the audience, turns out to be successful, then there is a grotesque in the description of the Russian accent, which brings the image of a Russian person almost to madness ("Yes, I'm Russian, going to kill you, break you, destroy your family"). Out of context, this would be an ordinary parody, but with the symmetry of comparison and acting, the primary feeling that this is happening only for the sake of creating a comic effect disappears. It seems that these are the real thoughts of the comedian. However, when the second parody occurs (Yes, fluffy rabbits and teddy bears), the "deception" is revealed. In the second parody, the comic effect is achieved by forms of contrast between the content of speech and the method of presentation. Thanks to this contrast, the boundaries of the comic unit are outlined and we can assume that everything that happened before is a joke setup, and the second parody is its punchline.

In conclusion, I would like to note that irony in humor and, in particular, in stand-up is a multifaceted phenomenon. In addition to expressing verbal aggression implicitly, it can also express ridicule and even turn into a search for the positive sides of the object of humor. The evolution of irony into post-irony and meta-irony has opened up a new layer for humor with such signs as deconstruction of the genre, ridiculing of values and meta-humor with almost imperceptible signs of deliberate ridiculing of objects. Taking into account the current development of humor on the Internet, it is unknown what form irony will take in the near future, but this question confirms the thematic value of irony for its further study in the field of humor.

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The reviewed article is devoted to the manifestation and evolution of irony in English-language stand-up comedy. The relevance of this work is beyond doubt, and its content will be interesting to a wide range of readers, especially those who are engaged in the stylistics of the English language. The work corresponds to the genre of a scientific article, the structure of which is traditional its main components are the introduction, the main part and the conclusion. In the introduction, the author defines the concepts of stand-up and irony. In a narrow linguistic sense, the author understands irony as a stylistic device through which the interaction of two types of lexical meanings appears: subject-logical and contextual, based on the relation of the opposite (inconsistency). It is quite rightly noted that the function of ridicule or ridicule is one of the most characteristic of irony. The main part presents the author's own research, which indicates that various tropes (litota, hyperbole, antiphrase, metaphor) can act as carriers of irony. Self-irony is also considered in this part of the work. Further, the author distinguishes the following types of irony: verbal irony, dramatic irony, situational irony. Verbal irony refers to the contrast between what is said and what is meant. Dramatic irony, according to the author, is the contrast between what the comedian believes to be true and what the viewer understands and recognizes as reality. The concept of "situational irony" is interpreted as a contrast between what is happening and what was expected. It is noted that situational irony is productive when creating a situational comedy. In the main part of the work, the author also writes about post-irony, the appearance of which is associated with the transition of the cultural stratum to the postmodern era, when such features as the deconstruction of genres, the breaking of the fourth wall, ridiculing not only the vices of society, but also its basic foundations began to be observed in humor. The author defines post-irony as irony located at the junction of "humor-non-humor", in which the line between the joke itself and its interaction with reality is blurred. According to the author, the specificity of postmodern irony is manifested in intertextuality and pastiche. The paper also notes that R. Barth's idea of the author's death is also used in postmodern stand-up. The diachrony of the study of irony ends with the statement about the formation of another kind of irony meta-irony. As a result, the author comes to the conclusion that irony in humor and, in particular, in stand-up is a multifaceted phenomenon. In addition to expressing verbal aggression implicitly, it can also express ridicule and even turn into a search for the positive sides of the object of humor. The evolution of irony into post-irony and meta-irony has opened up a new layer for humor with such signs as deconstruction of the genre, ridiculing of values and meta-humor with almost imperceptible signs of deliberate ridiculing of objects. Given the current development of humor on the Internet, it is unknown what form irony will take in the near future, but this question confirms the thematic value of irony for further study in the field of humor. The findings are well-reasoned and beyond doubt. The quality of presentation of the research results is at a high level. A list of references (15 sources) is attached to the work, which is relevant and relevant to the topic, as well as meets the requirements for its design. The work traces the research goal, which has certainly been achieved. The results of the work have theoretical and practical significance and can be used in teaching the English language stylistics course. The examples in question are illustrative and allow the author to present the evolution of irony in English-language stand-up comedy in a reasoned way. Based on all of the above, I recommend the article for publication in the journal "Litera".
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