Localizing humor through parodying white voice in Hawai'i stand-up comedy

Toshiaki Furukawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This discourse analytic study investigates the strategic use of represented talk and thought in Hawai'i stand-up comedy performances. Utilizing the methods and findings of membership categorization, and stylization, I analyze how Local comedians make discursive contrasts by deploying Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole) to voice Locals and by deploying "Haole" ('white') or racially parodied, mock English to voice non-Locals. Findings show that Local comedians and their audiences collaboratively manipulate and display their understanding of these culturally specific indexicals to co-create and localize humor. Analysis further shows that Local humor is a highly political act that is selectively designed for a particular sociolinguistic and cultural audience and sociopolitical context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-869
Number of pages25
JournalText and Talk
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Hawai'i Creole
  • Pidgin
  • comedy
  • ethnic humor
  • reported speech
  • represented talk
  • stylization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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