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Comedy

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"Ever since prehistoric times, wise men have tried to understand what exactly makes people laugh. That's why they were called wise men. All the other prehistoric people were out puncturing each other with spears, and the wise men were back in the cave saying:
'How about: Here's my wife, please take her right now. No. How about: Would you like to take something? My wife is available. No. How about ...'"
Dave Barry, Why Humor is Funny
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Describe Comedy here.

You don't want much, do you?

Comedy is an elusive and fast-moving target to define. There's an entire field for trying to discover "Humor Theory", trying to find out what makes funny tick. General public consensus is that humor comes from the unexpected, but this theory is still flawed and doesn't explain everything. One thing's for sure: comedy is funny.

Comedy, as something primarily happy, is directly opposed to Tragedy, but not so much Drama, and can never be perfectly combined with Horror. And has been since the day it was conceived as a term, albeit not like we know today; comedy was something that either had a happy ending or was written in the common tongue, i.e. Dante's The Divine Comedy, Tragedy was something that had a sad ending. Propelled off of Rule of Funny, comedy infects all art forms. Its hobbies include satires, parodies, pastiches, playing for laughs, snarking, breathless ranting, Irony, and hiding snickerdoodles in its knickerbockers.

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A list of UK comedy writer jargon, which includes many familiar tropes, can be found here.

A really, really long list of Comedy Tropes can be found at Comedy Tropes.


Comedy of Note:

Film

  • The Marx Brothers
  • Charlie Chaplin was arguably the first major film comedian.
  • Buster Keaton: Silent film icon known for performing physical comedy and stunts while maintaining a stoic, deadpan expression which earned him the nickname "The Great Stone Face".
  • Fatty Arbuckle: One of the biggest comedic stars in the silent age of film, specializing in slapstick comedy and introduced the Pie in the Face gag. He is also known for being tried 3 times for the rape and manslaughter of actress Virigina Rappe (which he ended up being acquitted) in amongst one of the earliest major Hollywood scandals.
  • Mel Brooks
  • Airplane!
  • Caddyshack
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  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Kids in America
  • Swiss Army Man

Literature

Live-Action TV

Music

Radio

Comic Books

New Media

Newspaper Comics

Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy

Video Games

Web Comics

Western Animation


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