Being Rob Brydon: Performing the self in comedy

Brett Mills*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Through analysis of the writer, actor and comedian Rob Brydon, this paper aims to examine the performative role afforded to the comedian. The paper argues that the comedian occupies a space which, while drawing on representational processes similar to those for stars and celebrities is, in fact, of a sort all of its own. It is suggested that the fact that comedians can perform as themselves - even in texts which are quite clearly signalled as fiction - means that versions of themselves can multiply across texts, resulting in a version of the self which, while seemingly repeatedly confessional, may instead be nothing more than a performance. In showing how versions of Brydon recur across a range of texts and genres this article demonstrates the complexity of comic performance, and suggests that the specificities of comedy offer a ripe site for the field of celebrity studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-201
Number of pages13
JournalCelebrity Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2010


  • Celebrity
  • Comedy
  • Performance
  • Rob brydon
  • Star


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