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In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) is a genre of fiction that refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters. The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups 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 that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.

Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons 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. 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.

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Rally to Restore Sanity and or Fear - Jon Stewart
Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear was a gathering that took place on October 30, 2010 at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The rally was led by Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program The Daily Show, and Stephen Colbert, in-character as a conservative political pundit. About 215,000 people attended the rally, according to aerial photography analysis by AirPhotosLive.com for CBS News. The rally was a combination of what initially were announced as separate events: Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" and Colbert's counterpart, the "March to Keep Fear Alive." Its stated purpose was to provide a venue for attendees to be heard above what Stewart described as the more vocal and extreme 15–20% of Americans who "control the conversation" of American politics, the argument being that these extremes demonize each other and engage in counterproductive actions, with a return to sanity intended to promote reasoned discussion. Despite Stewart's insistence to the contrary, news reports cast the rally as a spoof of Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally and Al Sharpton's Reclaim the Dream rally.

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Fake nail polish
Credit: Kungfuman

A practical joke device is a manufactured prop or toy intended to confuse, frighten, or amuse individuals as a prank. Often, these objects are harmless facsimiles of disgusting or terrifying objects, such as vomit or spilled nail polish. In other instances, they are created as seemingly harmless items designed to humorously malfunction in such a way as to confuse or harm the target of a prank. The devices are frequently sold in magic or specialty shops, purchased over the Internet, or crafted for oneself. Perhaps the most notable such device is the Whoopee cushion.

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Terry Pratchett in 2009
Sir Terence David John Pratchett, OBE (born 28 April 1948) is a British fantasy and science fiction author, best known for his Discworld series. The Discworld series is a humorous and often satirical fantasy work that uses the Discworld as an allegory for our everyday life. Other works include the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy and The Nome Trilogy. He also closely collaborates on adaptations of his books, such as computer games and plays. Pratchett started to write by the age of 13 and his first work was published commercially at the age of 15. His first novel The Carpet People was published in 1971. The first Discworld novel The Colour of Magic was published in 1983 and since then, he has written two books a year on average. Pratchett was the UK's best selling author in the 1990s. Pratchett's novels hold the record for the most shoplifted books in Britain. Pratchett was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1998 "for services to literature". His novel The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents won the 2001 Carnegie Medal for the best book for children. Pratchett and his work are often described as having a cult following.

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Mel Brooks
Tragedy is if I cut my finger. Comedy is if you walk into an open sewer and die.

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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 laughsHalloween Howls Comedy FestivalMelbourne 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

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