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Hitler Walks Into a Bar: The Nazi in American Humor Open Access

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Since the rise of the Third Reich in 1933, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party have been made the subject of jokes in societies around the world. Performed in both face-to-face interactions and the mass circulation of media outlets, such as television, film, and the internet, these jokes have remained a relevant topic of American humor. It is just such instances of Hitler and Nazism in humor that will be portrayed and discussed here. This thesis serves to analyze primary data drawn from American mass media productions of Hitler and Nazi jokes. Specifically looking at their representation in Family Guy, South Park, King of the Hill, The Producers, and the internet meme "Hitler finds out," I will perform a discourse analysis that applies prevailing anthropological theories of humor to these contemporary portrayals. This will serve as a means to determine how Hitler and the Nazi Party are depicted as humorous topics and why they are considered funny, paying specific attention to the forms the joke take, their referential nature, and the dialogue they form between the joke creators and audience.

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