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To Serres, the relationship between the singular and the universal is not stable. While a globalizing concept may reflect totalizing tendencies, Serres indicates that its realization may amount to a congenitally failing operation. This chapter explores the relationship between (global) form and (local) content in relation to one unique comedic modality, which is stand-up comedy as it is being performed by up-and-coming comics in New York City. Contemporary stand-up comedy is caught by a critical tension between form and content, that is, between the need for laughter and the need for addressing the dilemmas of social life. With Serres, the chapter considers the myth-like opposition (form::content) as a creative driver of stand-up comedy.

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