|Title||‘Ironic detachment’: Locals laughing ‘at’ the local on commercial breakfast radio|
|Tag(s)||Australian studies, Chat-based radio, Conversation Analysis, EMCA, Humour, Ironic detachment, Irony|
|Journal||Journal of Pragmatics|
The relationship between ‘Ironic detachment' and location was addressed by Sue Turnbull in her analysis of comedy use in Australian television series Kath and Kim and by comedian Barry Humphries in his performance as ‘Dame Edna'. In this, she examined how comedy allowed an audience to embrace their locality (in this case ‘suburbia') through laughter while at the same time allowing that audience to hold it “at a distance through ironic detachment” (Turnbull, 2008, p. 28). This perspective, she argued, depended on the audience's own position based on their own experience of life in the suburbs. In considering how this may be applied to regional context, which relies on a participant's particular experience of a particular ‘region' in Australia, this article examines the use of ‘ironic detachment' as a specific technique by radio program hosts on an Australian regional commercial breakfast program. It uses a combination of conversation and membership category analysis to analyse two particular host/host interactions. The article reveals the way in which program hosts use irony to laugh ‘at' that which is local while at the same time performing ‘being local' when interacting with one another to entertain their audience.