In our choir… um, a really talented opera singer… A really talented classical singer in our choir in high school… um… became a running joke… partly, partly because of his talent, and partly just ’cause, like, he’s a funny dude in general. He became kind of a running joke within our group of friends, because we all, like, pretend-hero-worship him— well, half-pretend-hero-worship him.
Like, in all seriousness, his voice and his singing ability has always been something I, like, strive to achieve, because he is basically, like, the ideal in terms of… what you want to sound like as a singer… but it’s also kinda turned into a running joke where, you know, we’re all in love with him and we all hero-worship him.
Background (from interviewer):
My informant is a trained classical singer who takes pride in his training and singing ability. The peer to whom he refers in this tradition is also a highly trained singer who was in the same choir as him in high school. This peer was widely known for his singing and acting abilities within the school’s choir and theatre departments. They have both competed in national classical singing competitions, and both have placed very well within their categories. My informant is also a very competitive and dedicated person who strives to be the best he can at anything he does, particularly in something he takes pride in, such as singing and theatre.
This tradition or “running joke” points to a tendency to inflate or idolize one’s peers for their talent. In doing this, the choir appreciates and commends this singer for his talent. The exaggerated, comic, and perhaps even semi-sarcastic nature of it, however, allows them to make it a way of poking fun at this singer and somewhat bring him back down to their level, so as not to take their idolization of his talent too seriously. Additionally, since this is a men’s choir, the joke of them all being “in love with him” makes fun of the stereotype of choir boys or men in theatre always being homosexual (since both my informant and the singer, as well as much of the choir, is heterosexual).