The Comedy Portal

Parody

Parody


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...)

Show new selections below (purge)

Selected article

Moffat, Gillies and Bathurst
Joking Apart is a BBC television sitcom written by Steven Moffat about the rise and fall of a relationship. It juxtaposes a couple, Mark (Robert Bathurst) and Becky (Fiona Gillies), who meet and fall in love before getting separated and finally divorced. The twelve episodes, broadcast between 1993 and 1995, were directed by Bob Spiers and produced by Andre Ptaszynski for independent production company Pola Jones. The show is semi-autobiographical; it was inspired by the then-recent separation of Moffat and his first wife. Some of the episodes in the first series followed a non-linear parallel structure, contrasting the rise of the relationship with the fall. Other episodes were ensemble farces, predominantly including the couple's friends Robert (Paul Raffield) and Tracy (Tracie Bennett). Paul-Mark Elliott also appeared as Trevor, Becky's lover. Scheduling problems meant that the show attracted low viewing figures. However, it scored highly on the Appreciation Index and accrued a loyal fanbase. One fan acquired the home video rights from the BBC and released both series on his own DVD label.

Selected picture

Whoopee cushion
Whoopee cushion
Credit: Grombo

A whoopee cushion, also known as a poo-poo cushion and Razzberry Cushion, is a practical joke device that produces a noise resembling a raspberry or human flatulence. It is made from two sheets of rubber that are glued together at the edges. There is a small opening with a flap at one end for air to enter and leave the cushion. To use it, one must first inflate it with air and then place it on a chair. An unsuspecting victim sits on the whoopee cushion, forcing the air out of the opening, which causes the flap to vibrate and produce its distinctive sound.

More did you know...

Did you know?

Selected quote

Humor is the contemplation of the finite from the point of view of the infinite. — Christian Morgenstern

Selected biography

Photograph of Dan Leno in the 1880s
Dan Leno (1860–1904) was a leading English music hall comedian and musical theatre actor during the late Victorian era. He was perhaps best known, aside from his music hall act, for his dame roles in the annual pantomimes that were popular at London's Theatre Royal, Drury Lane from 1888 to 1904. As a youth, he was famous for his clog dancing, and in his teen years, he became the star of his family's act. As a solo artist, he became increasingly popular during the late 1880s and 1890s, when he was one of the highest-paid comedians in the world. He developed a music hall act of talking about life's mundane subjects, mixed with comic songs and surreal observations, and created a host of mostly working-class characters to illustrate his stories. In 1901, still at the peak of his career, he performed his "Huntsman" sketch for Edward VII at Sandringham. The monarch was so impressed that Leno became publicly known as "the king's jester". Leno continued to appear in musical comedies and his own music hall routines until 1902, although he suffered increasingly from alcoholism. This, together with his long association with dame and low comedy roles, prevented him from being taken seriously as a dramatic actor. He suffered a mental breakdown in early 1903 and was committed to a mental asylum, but was discharged later that year. After one more show, his health declined, and he died aged 43.

Did you know (auto-generated)

  • ... that a 1955 satirical comedy play by Kasymaly Jantöshev was one of the first signs of the relaxation of Soviet literary restrictions after the death of Joseph Stalin?
  • ... that a revival of the comedy series Lizzie McGuire was ordered in 2019, but canceled mid-production after Disney deemed it not family-friendly enough?
  • ... that the documentary comedy films Being Canadian and When Jews Were Funny explore the filmmakers' cultural identity through interviews with dozens of comedians?
  • ... that the racially themed time-travel comedy Timewasters was developed under the working title Black to the Future?
  • ... that when Luna Park opened in 1906, the first program included "comedy sheep"?
  • ... that real calf brains were used during the production of the 1988 comedy horror film Brain Damage?

Categories

Category puzzle
Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Related portals

Main topics

Main topics

Terms: Black comedyComedianComedy clubComedy of mannersConvention (norm)IronyKomosParodyPolitical satireRace humorRestoration comedySatireScrewball comedySurreal humourTabooToilet humor

Comedy genres: BouffonComedy filmAnarchic comedy filmGross-out filmParody filmRomantic comedy filmScrewball comedy filmSlapstick filmComic novelDramedyImprovisational comedyMusical comedyStand-up comedyAlternative comedyImpressionist (entertainment)One-liner jokeComedy genresSketch comedyTelevision comedyRadio comedySituation comedyTragicomedy

History of theatre: Ancient Greek comedyAncient Roman comedyBurlesqueCitizen comedyClownComedy of humoursComedy of mannersComedy of menaceComédie larmoyanteCommedia dell'arteFaceJesterRestoration comedyShakespearean comedyDadaist/SurrealistTheatre of the absurd

Comedy events and awards: British Comedy AwardsCanadian Comedy AwardsCat Laughs Comedy FestivalEdinburgh Festival FringeJust for laughs • Halloween Howls Comedy Festival • Melbourne International Comedy FestivalNew York Underground Comedy Festival

Lists: List of comediansList of British comediansList of Canadian comediansList of Finnish comediansList of German language comediansList of Italian comediansList of Mexican comediansList of Puerto Rican comediansList of Indian comediansList of British TV shows remade for the American marketList of comediesList of New York Improv comedians

Featured content

Featured articles

Featured lists

Featured pictures

Featured portals

Featured topics

Good topics


WikiProjects

WikiProjects

WikiProject Culture
WikiProject Comedy
WikiProject Dad's Army • WikiProject Fawlty Towers • WikiProject Futurama • WikiProject Gilbert and Sullivan • WikiProject Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy • WikiProject Monty Python • WikiProject The Office (US) • WikiProject Red Dwarf • WikiProject Seinfeld • WikiProject The Simpsons • WikiProject South Park

Things you can do

Things you can do
Things you can do

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Discover Wikipedia using portals