Avenue Q Stereotypes

418 Words2 Pages

On Stereotypes and Their Consumption Avenue Q, a Broadway production, has been both appraised and scrutinized for its brash sense of humor. The musical addresses the world from a cynical viewpoint in a way that parodies the sense of wonder and happiness that comes with many children's programs such as Sesame Street, however a few have questioned if it’s direct approach to today’s issues have gone too far, in particular: racism. “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” is perhaps the shows most well known number, and has been laughed at time and time again for its blatant stating of racist tendencies that most tend to avoid, while others find it too blunt and simply wrong on its approach to race. One such person is the author of a critique of the show, Stephen Quigley. Quigley’s review of the production questions whether or not that particular number can really be called funny, especially when …show more content…

In Quigley’s article, he asks, “What exactly was funny about the song?” There’s no right answer to this. While being enjoyed by an audience who’s laughing at racism itself the humor comes from watching the characters all try and deny their faults they obviously have, and realizing that they have small biases as well. It’s laughter at racism and its falsities. In this case it’s not morally wrong to laugh at the jokes, because the audience knows that they aren’t there to be racist, but to point out people’s flaws. Unfortunately, the context is which the jokes are consumed isn’t always the same. Where the actual problem and racism comes from is when the audience watching laughs because they agree with the characters. They are no longer laughing at Christmas Eve because she personifies stereotypes, but because they believe in those stereotypes. The humor shifts from being humorous because of a character to being humorous because of race. Here is where the problem lies, not in the show itself, but in the way it is

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