Comedian hosts and the demotic turn

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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 be attributed to three main factors: a confessional culture, the triumph of experience over expertise, and the democratisation allowed by the form’s technology. She explores the link between emotional intimacy and comedy, and analyses podcasts like Marc Maron’s WTF that are, in expression, a rejection of the pedestal version of stardom.




Collins, K. (2018). Comedian hosts and the demotic turn. In Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media (pp. 227–250). Palgrave Macmillan.

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