The first ever episode of ‘A History Of Comedy In Several Objects’, alternatively known as ‘HistComPod’ is now available on the iTunes podcast store.
The podcast, devised and presented by Dr Oliver Double (Director of the Comedy & Popular Performance Research Centre and previously a professional comedian) and Elspeth Millar (Archivist in the University’s Special Collections & Archives), aims to illustrate the history of stand-up comedy through objects found within the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive. Each episode features a particular item/object/record from the archive, which Olly and Elspeth discuss to show what it reveals about the art and craft of stand-up and the recent history of the form.
In the jam-packed inaugural episode, Olly and Elspeth discuss the origins of the archive, the project of the podcast and whether it’s possible to archive a performance. The articles that we reference are:
- Matthew Reason, ‘Archive or memory? The Detritus of Live Performance’, New Theatre Quarterly 19:1, November 2003. Available online at https://www.nyu.edu/classes/bkg/methods/reason.pdf.
- Arike Oke, ‘Keeping time in dance archives: Moving towards the phenomenological archive space’, Archives and Records http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23257962.2016.1274255, DOI: 10.1080/23257962.2016.1274255,
The main feature of this first episode is an orange from the Josie Long Collection. The orange was originally from one of Josie’s ‘Trying is Good’ shows, but was returned to Josie as part of ‘All the Planet’s Wonders’ (check out Josie’s call for ‘Edinburgh Ephemera’ here). Olly and Elspeth engage with the decomposing citrus fruit and the significance it has, whilst touching upon Elspeth’s “archivist’s guilt”.
If you want to get involved you can contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @histcompod. You can search the online catalogue for more information about the holdings of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive at http://archive.kent.ac.uk.