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Podcasting is a showcase for what cultural studies scholar Graeme Turner coined “the demotic turn” or the increasing visibility of the "ordinary person" in the today’s media landscape. Collins argues that the emergence of a particular breed of podcasts – comedian-hosted interviews with celebrities – function in an “off-label” manner as a form of self-help or vicarious therapy. The emergence and rapid growth of this genre can attributed to three main factors: a confessional culture, the triumph of experience over expertise, and the democratization allowed by the form’s technology. She explores the link between emotional intimacy and comedy, and analyzes podcasts like Marc Maron’s WTF that are, in expression, a rejection of the pedestal version of stardom.


This work was originally published in "Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media," edited by Dario Llinares, Neil Fox, and Richard Berry.



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