Odd Job Jack is a Canadian-made animated TV comedy (Smiley Guy Studios). Like other shows in the style of South Park, Family Guy, and The Simpsons, Odd Job Jack makes use of off-colour themes, black humour, and sexual innuendo, for both entertaining and political ends. It also makes heavy use of the trope of irony, which involves saying one thing and meaning another for dramatic effect within the “discursive communities” that understand the ironic joke (Linda Hutcheon, Irony’s Edge). In the case of Odd Job Jack, irony enables the comical satire of the over-educated, unemployed main character, Jack Ryder (voice by Don McKellar), but also the satire of cultural and sometimes political scenarios upon which he stumbles. Like many television productions, Odd Job Jack is made accessible to people who are blind or have low vision through Described Video Information (DVI), however, Odd Job Jack features a new approach to described video developed by Smiley Guy Studios and the Center for Learning Technologies at Ryerson University in Toronto. Unlike traditional DVI that features an “objective” voiceover describing visual events, this new approach means that a character in the show relays events from a first-person perspective. While traditional DVI can undermine subtle modes of irony, this new form encompasses the spoken descriptions within the art piece. We argue that it maintains the ironic instances in the narrative, making irony accessible to people in a different way. This paper draws on theoretical writing by several authors including Linda Hutcheon, Salvatore Attardo, and Claire Colebrook.
|Keywords:||Irony, Inclusivity, Described Video Information, Humour, Accessibility|
Assistant Professor, Department of Professional Communication, Faculty of Communication and Design, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
PhD Candidate, Joint Graduate Program in Communication & Culture, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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