Comedy is a genre of fiction that consists of discourses or works intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, film, stand-up comedy, television, radio, books, or any other entertainment medium. The term originated in ancient Greece: in Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by political satire performed by comic poets in theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance pitting two groups, ages, genders, or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old". A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions posing obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth then becomes constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to resort to ruses which engender dramatic irony, which provokes laughter.
Satire and political satire use comedy to portray people or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without necessarily condemning them.
Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor largely from bizarre, surprising (and improbable) situations or characters, and black comedy, which is characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Similarly scatological humor, sexual humor, and race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic ways, which can often be taken as offensive by the subjects of said joke. A comedy of manners typically takes as its subject a particular part of society (usually upper-class society) and uses humor to parody or satirize the behavior and mannerisms of its members. Romantic comedy is a popular genre that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love. (Full article...)
A church sign stating, "Truthiness and Consequences", taken March 10, 2007, in Cape Coral, Florida. Truthiness is a quality characterizing a "truth" that a person making an argument or assertion claims to know intuitively "from the gut" or because it "feels right" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts. American television comedian Stephen Colbert coined the word in this meaning as the subject of a segment called "The Wørd" during the pilot episode of his political satire program The Colbert Report on October 17, 2005. By using this as part of his routine, Colbert satirized the misuse of appeal to emotion and "gut feeling" as a rhetorical device in contemporaneous socio-political discourse.
Terms: Black comedy • Comedian • Comedy club • Comedy of manners • Convention (norm) • Irony • Komos • Parody • Political satire • Race humor • Restoration comedy • Satire • Screwball comedy • Surreal humour • Taboo • Toilet humor
Comedy genres: Bouffon • Comedy film • Anarchic comedy film • Gross-out film • Parody film • Romantic comedy film • Screwball comedy film • Slapstick film • Comic novel • Dramedy • Improvisational comedy • Musical comedy • Stand-up comedy • Alternative comedy • Impressionist (entertainment) • One-liner joke • Comedy genres • Sketch comedy • Television comedy • Radio comedy • Situation comedy • Tragicomedy
History of theatre: Ancient Greek comedy • Ancient Roman comedy • Burlesque • Citizen comedy • Clown • Comedy of humours • Comedy of manners • Comedy of menace • Comédie larmoyante • Commedia dell'arte • Face • Jester • Restoration comedy • Shakespearean comedy • Dadaist/Surrealist • Theatre of the absurd
Comedy events and awards: British Comedy Awards • Canadian Comedy Awards • Cat Laughs Comedy Festival • Edinburgh Festival Fringe • Just for laughs • Halloween Howls Comedy Festival • Melbourne International Comedy Festival • New York Underground Comedy Festival
Lists: List of comedians • List of British comedians • List of Canadian comedians • List of Finnish comedians • List of German language comedians • List of Italian comedians • List of Mexican comedians • List of Puerto Rican comedians • List of Indian comedians • List of British TV shows remade for the American market • List of comedies • List of New York Improv comedians
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