Comedy in a New Mood




Comedy in a New Mood





About the Author


Paul H. Grawe


Paul's interest in theater began at Carleton College and reached out into comedy at Northwestern University, where he earned his MA (1966) and PhD (1971) in English. His dissertation, Sombre Comedy, Comedy in a New Mood, puts forth a definition of comedy that covers the range of Greek New Comedy to present light as well as dark comedy. In 1983 in Comedy in Space, Time, and the Imagination (Nelson-Hall) he further developed the definition of comedy into Comedy Theoretical, Comedy Lucrative, Comedy Popular, Comedy Sombre, and Comedy in Ultimate Realty.


As professor of English at Winona State University, he has taught Shakespeare's comedies, American film comedy, a television comedy course, a Jane Austen seminar, and the like.


Since joining the International Society for Humor Studies (ISHS) in 1990, Paul has expanded his interest in comedy to include humor, bringing quantitative humor preference analysis to the study of literary criticism.  He has designed numerous test instruments and has authored over 25 academic articles and conference presentations on humor. In 2008, he co-authored with Robin Jaeckle Grawe Comedic Tenor, Comic Vehicle:  Humor in American Film Comedy.


In 2007 he began empirical research into the humor of the nursing home setting, among both residents and staff, and has presented research findings at care providers conferences.


He is content editor of the Humor Quotient Newsletter.


Paul can be contacted at




Comedy in a New Mood     ITCHS HOME