“The big red giant will explode”: Géza Hofi’s political implicatures from the happiest barracks in the socialist camp

Attila L. Nemesi


By taking a pragma-rhetorical approach, this article characterises the genre of Géza Hofi’s political humour, developed during the communist Kádár era in Hungary, and investigates implicature as his main rhetorical device for conveying politically sensitive messages to the audience. Three of his most popular and representative performances from the mid-1970s and early 1980s are selected for a thorough investigation of how the use of tropes and certain figures of thought creates implicatures and identification between the actor-humorist and the viewers/listeners. It is demonstrated that Hofi’s theatrical stand-up comedy (or performance comedy) makes a monologic genre quasi-dialogic, another necessary component of the special atmosphere of his performances. The analysis is embedded into the East-Central European political context of the Cold War. In addition, the Hungarian societal climate of that time is also touched upon in order to provide better insight into the Hofi-phenomenon.



implicature; pragmatics; rhetoric; political humour; Hungarian humour

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2014.2.1.nemesi


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