Papers of BAS Humanities and Social Sciences
Vol. 4, 2017, No 2

ON COMEDY, VALUES AND “BEARS” IN BULGARIA

Joanna Spassova-Dikova

Abstract. The text is part of a larger study of different aspects of the development of the comic theatre art in Bulgaria viewed in European context. The focus is put on the mass culture influence on the genre of comedy in contemporary theatre when come- dians go out under the spotlights, not only in theatres but also in shows, in movies, on television, in front of their audiences, before the eyes of loudly applauding and laughing spectators. In the devilish struggle for the soul of the spectator at any price that is imma- nently embedded in the very nature of the actor, many of the comedians, no matter how talented, are misled by the loudly applauding laughing audiences that do not emit, but absorb. The actors sink into the black hole of uncritically consuming masses that desire them and expect their portion of fun, eagerly absorbing every word, smile, gesture. The artists forget their mission of spiritual leaders, who have to scourge the vices of society. On focus are the contemporary problems with the comedians who often begin over- playing. The latter ruins the so-called “bears”, which in most cases are wonderful and talented actors. The paper discusses the public attitudes and aesthetic values and tastes of our time. The many TV shows like “The Comedians” or a series of similar ones, unfortu- nately worldwide create audiences that are looking for cheap entertainments, audiences who paradoxically turn into “silent majorities”, as Baudrillard called them.

Keywords: cultural values, aesthetical tastes, “silent majorities”, comedians, thea- tre “bears”