Tarnas, Richard – The Comic Genius: An Archetypal Perspective

This workshop is based on a longer graduate seminar that Tarnas and John Cleese taught together at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Using archetypal astrology as a lens, we will consider major figures in the history of modern comedy from Chaplin and the Marx Brothers through Monty Python, Nichols and May, Peter Sellers, and Woody Allen to Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, and Stephen Colbert.  Brief clips of (brilliantly funny) individual performances will be viewed as a basis for the analysis.  A major focus will be on understanding how the different planetary archetypes and combinations distinctively shape comedy and reflect specific elements in comic creativity, in the individual comic’s internal dynamics, and in the larger culture.