Skip to content

JLA 13.2 Web-Enhanced Article

Bilingual Humor, Verbal Hygiene, and the Gendered Contradictions of Cultural Citizenship in Early Mexican American Comedy

Peter C. Haney
University of Texas at Austin

This article examines the paradoxes of linguistic purism in a series of sound recordings of comic dialogues made by Mexican immigrant comedians in San Antonio, Texas, during the Depression. The dialogues present characters who mix English and Spanish as transgressors of gender roles and national identities, reserving their harshest criticism for women. However, bilingual wordplay in the dialogues suggests a dialectically opposed ideological move toward a celebration of linguistic and cultural hybridity.

Audio Links:

Example 01

Example 09

Example 10

Example 11

Example 12

Example 13

Example 14

Example 15

Example 16

Example 17

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.