“What a Loser That Guy Was”: Norm Macdonald’s Humorous Critique of the Romantic/Warrior Narrative

“What a Loser That Guy Was”: Norm Macdonald’s Humorous Critique of the Romantic/Warrior... Illness narratives are stories that focus on, or are inspired by, the sometimes life-altering experience of illness. Most narrative constructions of these illness experiences are built upon one of three broad narrative “skeletons.” One skeletal subform, the romantic/warrior narrative, is critiqued by comedian Norm Macdonald in a humorous anecdote that mocks the expectation that cancer patients must wage an epic and heroic battle against their pernicious cancer to have a chance to survive. Macdonald explicates that such a mentality produces heroes and villains, winners and losers, and places additional burden on cancer patients. In this analysis, I argue that Macdonald’s effective use of humor and fulfillment of the five functions of health-related narration enable his story to gain narrative rationality and serve as effective rhetorical tools in encouraging the audience to accept the narrator’s critique of the romantic/warrior subform. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Communication Inquiry SAGE

“What a Loser That Guy Was”: Norm Macdonald’s Humorous Critique of the Romantic/Warrior Narrative

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Publisher
SAGE Publications
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2018
ISSN
0196-8599
eISSN
1552-4612
D.O.I.
10.1177/0196859918771891
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Illness narratives are stories that focus on, or are inspired by, the sometimes life-altering experience of illness. Most narrative constructions of these illness experiences are built upon one of three broad narrative “skeletons.” One skeletal subform, the romantic/warrior narrative, is critiqued by comedian Norm Macdonald in a humorous anecdote that mocks the expectation that cancer patients must wage an epic and heroic battle against their pernicious cancer to have a chance to survive. Macdonald explicates that such a mentality produces heroes and villains, winners and losers, and places additional burden on cancer patients. In this analysis, I argue that Macdonald’s effective use of humor and fulfillment of the five functions of health-related narration enable his story to gain narrative rationality and serve as effective rhetorical tools in encouraging the audience to accept the narrator’s critique of the romantic/warrior subform.

Journal

Journal of Communication InquirySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2018

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