Entertainment magazine's review of Observe and Report praises the film over the similarly-themed Paul Blart: Mall Cop for one main oft-repeated reason: the former is direct, sad, and "brutal" whereas the latter is funny, and its praise for the performers is secondary.
Recently, Robert De Niro was asked in an interview for Parade Magazine why he occasionally does "stupid" comedies such as Meet the Parents. De Niro explained that comedy films are just as difficult to make as serious dramas.
Almost any time a sitcom starts to make an attempt at an Emmy nomination, the episode they make for consideration is almost always a Very Special Episode. The laughs come fewer and farther between, a much more serious issue is addressed, and it can often be a Lower Deck Episode if a Supporting Actor being considered (the episodes of Roseanne when Jackie was a victim of domestic abuse stand out as this in syndication.)
The song A Comedian at the Oscars performed by Will Ferrell, Jack Black, and John C. Reilly at the 79th annual Academy Awards is a biting satire of this idea. Ferrell and Black begin by pretending to challenge Oscar winners and nominees to a fight over the preferential treatment of dramatic actors before Reilly teaches them that they, too, can win awards if only they learn to accept absurdly tragic roles.
While nothing to do with films per say, this trope does come up with regards to wrestlers that have comedy gimmicks. A lot of wrestling purists absolutely despise wrestlers that have gimmicks designed to entertain the fans and make them laugh, especially if their fans are primarily children. Some fans that value only the athleticism in wrestling seem to assume that more character-centred wrestlers are somehow "cheating" and aren't real wrestlers when in actuality they do know how to wrestle and instead just choose to be more character based.
Wrestlers with comedy gimmicks are more likely to become The Scrappy to internet fans, especially if they get cheered by the audience. Examples are Santino Marella, Brodus Clay, Scotty 2 Hotty, Doink the Clown etc.
You'll never get a wrestler with a comedy gimmick as a world champion in any major promotion. If a wrestler wishes to become a main eventer in any shape or form then they're going to have to be taken seriously. John Cena is probably the closest to a comedic main eventer WWE has had in recent years.
The Rock is an aversion though his comedy came more from insulting his opponents in clever ways.
Eddie Guerrero got away with it as well, possibly because his comedic cheating ways had become so endeared by fans.
Lay Cool are female aversions. The two were essentially exaggerated versions of the Alpha BitchValley Girl and yet managed to dominate the women's division for over a year.
Members of Zero Punctuation's hatedom/-dumb often claim that because the series is "only" a comedy, the viewpoints expressed within cannot be taken as actual critical analysis and Yahtzee is not a "real reviewer."
On the other hand, fans of his often express virtually the same opinion: That because he's principally an entertainer, the content of his reviews cannot be criticized because he's "joking".
Very prominent throughout the history of animation. For example, with regards to Looney Tunes, Tex Avery was only nominated twice for the Best Animated Short Oscar without winning, while Bob Clampett was never even nominated at all. Likewise, Chuck Jones received nominations for his later "True Art" shorts, but not for "The Dover Boys", "One Froggy Evening", or "Duck Amuck".
Averted at least once by Friz Freleng. His cartoon "Knighty Knight Bugs" was the only Bugs Bunny cartoon to ever win an Academy Award.
Likewise, there was a stretch in the 1940's where Tom And Jerry dominated the Best Animated Short Oscar category.
Like Batman mentioned above, Teen Titans is often dismissed for its frequent comedic tone. However, since the series is a Cerebus Rollercoaster, it can be plenty serious when it wants to be.
The exact same applies to Transformers Animated. The comedy and seriousness are better balanced here, but the comedy part is always more apparent, hence why the deeper themes are overlooked by most.
Exceptions to the rule:
Perhaps the best recent example is The Hangover, a comedy that's basically Refuge in Audacity and Crosses the Line Twice put on film - it won the Golden Globe for best picture in musical/comedy, the first non-animated "pure comedy" film to do so in over two decades.
American Beauty had the tagline in the trailer "If you think a comedy can't be moving, if you think a drama can't be funny, look closer". The film is essentially a comedy with the drama coming to the forefront in maybe the last fifteen minutes and it is widely regarded as one of the best films of the 90s.
Considering cartoon comedies, Tom And Jerry is a major exception. Such shorts as Quiet, Please! and Yankee Doodle Mouse got an Oscar for the Best Short Animated Film; although it's also worth noting that the number of shorts that won this award is the same that their amount that was only nominated. Before Tom and Jerry, cutesy fare like Silly Symphonies shorts tended to always win the award while zany comedies were overlooked.
Back to the Future got an Oscar nomination for best screenplay. It lost, of course, but for a sci-fi teen comedy that's practically a Best Picture win.
And then Bridesmaids (which he produced) got two Academy Award nominations (one for Melissa McCarthy's performance and another for the screenplay).
Theater is in many ways exempt, and Broadway comedies are not only successful, but are not infrequent Tony Award winners.
Broadway, however, formerly had a musical comedy ghetto. There was much controversy in 1931 when Of Thee I Sing became the first musical show to win the Pulitzer Prize; falling under the aforementioned exemption for satire seems to have helped it do so.
In fact, even Shakespeare himself applies - despite that he's known for tragedies, he did in fact write plenty of comedies that are still well known today.
James Joyce's Ulysses, one of the most highly regarded novels of the 20th century, is essentially a comedy. (Joyce himself claimed there was "not one single serious line in it"). Of course, it does have True Art Is Incomprehensible on its side.
P. G. Wodehouse, whose novels are often critically acclaimed as being the product of both a great writer and a comic genius.