Date of Degree

2-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor(s)

Carrie Hintz

Subject Categories

American Popular Culture | Film and Media Studies | Television | Women's Studies

Keywords

Saturday Night Live, Comedy, Fat, Lorne Michaels, John Belushi, Linda Tripp

Abstract

Despite its reputation as one of the most countercultural and anti-establishment voices in mainstream television comedy, Saturday Night Live helps produce and reproduces cultural norms. Using weight and gender as a lens, this paper investigates Saturday Night Live’s methods of creating, imitating, and evoking the fat female body in order to limit female agency and police unruly female power. It contends that even the inclusion of nonnormative female bodies—fat bodies, queer bodies, and bodies of color—is merely a reiteration of the techniques of neoliberal multiculturalism for the television audience.

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