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Barbara L. Baker


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I am a professor of communication at a midwest university, who has expertise on subjects related to film. I can answer general questions on U.S. film comedy (especially satires of the 1960s and 1970s) and comic theory. I also could answer questions related to specific comic genres, such as comedian comedies, screwball comedies, "stupid" comedies, and so forth. The more specific you can make your question, the better (e.g. main plot details, main characters, possible character names, possible actors, how you viewed the show, etc.). I also need to have a release date (or range of dates, or at least the year you viewed the film). Please do not just provide a set of links to someplace else (e.g. imdb discussion threads). I am less able to answer questions about comedies from other countries, made-for-TV movies, and recent comic films and actors (although I would do my best to find out). I cannot answer questions about specific TV shows or series, "Our Gang" episodes, anime/magna or about film collectables. I generally cannot provide movie recommendations, since what I find funny others may not. Nor will I answer obvious homework (although I will point you to resources to help answer the question, if asked). I also can't help you find movie stars, or where to buy movie memorabilia, or tell you how to break into the business.

Experience in the area

Course work in comedy films along with teaching about comedy films for several years; I've also conducted research into comedy films.


Ph.D. in Communication, emphasis in film and rhetoric

Awards and Honors

A dissertation award from a national organization plus various paper awards

Past/Present Clients

My students

What do you like about this subject?

Being able to laugh is wonderful--laughter eases tense situations, brings us closer together, and helps us live healthier, longer lives. And movies are our fantasies made manifest.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

To continue to do research into comedy films and television shows, especially more current films (but also ones from the past).

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Comedies donīt actually have to be funny to be comedies; what defines a comedy is actually hard to determine.

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Black comedies deal with taboo subjects like death, sexual deviance, criminal actions, etc. Other comedies push the boundaries of good (or even bad) taste.

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Prashant S Akerkar 06/04/16101010D
Diamond06/16/15101010Thanks! Diamond
Lin01/02/14101010Very fast respond and big help. Thanks .....

Recent Answers from Barbara L. Baker

2016-06-03 Charlie Chaplin Or Laurel & Hardy.:

Prashant, I have no particular favorite between those two choices--I like them both equally. They have different charms and I choose to watch them for different reasons. Chaplin evokes more pathos, but

2015-06-26 Funny movie can't remember name of movie or character:

Irene, based on this limited description, the film title you seek is most likely "It's Pat," a 1994 movie starring Julia Sweeney as the ambiguous character of Pat. The physical description matches, except

2015-06-12 Woody Allen:

Diamond, I'd definitely put "Sleeper" in that same category, and for me, "Love and Death." My husband and I often go around quoting it. The others I specifically listed were also quite funny to me, but

2015-06-11 Woody Allen:

Oh yes, many, although some may not be funny to everyone. While at film school, I was able to take a course in Woody Allen films, which included many he wrote, directed, and starred in, plus some he just

2014-01-02 Meaning of this part in Vegas vacation movie:

I haven't seen this film in a very long time, but from the sentence structure of the dialogue you included, as well as the satirical nature of all the "Vacation" films, I would say that it is clear that


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