Here the Tamil comedian's aside consists of a literally sideways communication with a same-sex set of his coplayers four male musicians seated stage right, who thereby become his right-hand men in much more than the literal sense. Indeed, several anthropologists have taken jokes seriously enough to begin to theorize about them. And while he is not accorded the highest prestige among performers, the Buffoon is often the highest paid performer on a Special Drama stage. I analyze the interplay of these two tiers-what Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1 has called "text-context fitu-as comprising an inte- grated framework wherein narrated event and narrating event are linked both by given cultural predispositions and by emergent social outcomes Bauman: I call these two tiers "narrated event" and "narratingevent. A monologue such as the following is an oral text; there are no written scripts for such performances. Such basic, shared cultural values and understandings between the two parties involved is preliminary to finding these jokes funny, something both men and women in the audience clearly do. Indeed, when I was conducting fieldwork in Tamilnadu it quickly became clear to me that any attempt to talk about the goings-on in Special Drama comedy scenes would be met, immediately and necessarily, in these moralizingterms. Sometime around the turn of the century, Special Drama developed in the interstices between the traveling Parsi troupes otthe late 19th century and the large Tamil drama companies, known as "Boys Companies," that dominated the Tamil stage in the first three decades of the 20th century Canmukam ; IAS In this narrative conceit the comedian effectively connects fear of the foreign with fear of the female-a dramatic illustration of how economical humor can be. The repertory role of the male comedian is known in Tamil as the "Buffoon.