Ethnic humor in literary journalism: a comparison of Robert Louis Burns who used ethnic jokes in his newspaper columns and Finley Peter Dunne who wrote an ethnic newspaper column
Finley Peter Dunn, a reporter and editor, started a syndicated newspaper column in 1893, and Robert Louis Burns, a Presbyterian Minister, started one in 1966. Why were they both remembered a humorists? Was Burns influenced by Dunne's work? Why did they use Ethnic Humor in their columns? What impact did their columns have on their readers? I found that both writers fit the criteria of literary journalists. They used humor in their writing to make their readers laugh, but also to make their points. Dunne wanted to sell newspapers, and Burns wanted to make people forget their cares. Dooley, the bartender in Dunne's column, was Burns' nickname. Presidents, governors, and your next door neighbor read the columns, which accurately mirrored the pulse of the nation and our human frailties.