Open main menu

The Comedy Portal


Comedy is an act that is funny. In its popular meaning, the term encompasses stand-up, along with any discourse generally intended to amuse; this differs from the academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins can be found in Ancient Greece. The theatrical genre can be simply described as a dramatic performance pitting two societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Comedy contains variations on the elements of surprise, incongruity, conflict, repetitiveness, and the effect of opposite expectations, and there are many recognized genres.

Satire and political satire use ironic comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of humor. Parody borrows the form of some popular genre, artwork, or text but uses certain ironic changes to critique that form from within (though not necessarily in a condemning way). Screwball comedy derives its humor largely from bizarre, surprising (and improbable) situations or characters. Black comedy is defined by dark humor that makes light of so-called dark or evil elements in human nature. Similarly scatological humor, sexual humor, and race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comedic 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 (also known as rom com or romcom) that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those falling in love.

More about comedy...

Selected article

Creator Seth MacFarlane wrote the episode.
"North by North Quahog" is the first episode of season four of Family Guy, following the revival of the series three years after its cancellation in 2002. Directed by Peter Shin and written by series creator Seth MacFarlane (pictured), the episode was first broadcast on May 1, 2005, on FOX. In "North by North Quahog", the show's main characters Peter and Lois Griffin go on a second honeymoon to spice up their marriage, but are eventually chased by Mel Gibson after Peter steals the sequel to The Passion of the Christ from Gibson's private hotel room. Meanwhile, their anthropomorphic dog Brian and their infant son Stewie take care of their teenage kids Chris and Meg. Family Guy had been canceled in 2002 due to low ratings, but was revived by FOX after reruns on Adult Swim became the network's most watched program, and more than three million DVDs of the show were sold. Much of the plot and many of the technical aspects of the episode, as well as the title, are direct parodies of the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock movie North by Northwest. The episode was watched by 12 million viewers and received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour).

Selected picture

George W. Bush speaking at podium during press conference
Credit: White House photo by Paul Morse

A Bushism is any of a number of peculiar words, phrases, pronunciations, malapropisms, semantic or linguistic errors and gaffes that have occurred in the public speaking of United States President George W. Bush and, before that, of his father George H. W. Bush. The term (a neologism) has become part of popular folklore, and is the basis of a number of websites and published books. It is often used to caricature the two presidents.

Did you know...

Did you know?

Selected biography

Blue plaque at the house where Jacques was born: 125 High Street, Sandgate, Kent
Hattie Jacques (1922–1980) was an English comedy actress of stage, radio and screen, known to a world-wide audience through her portrayals of strict, no-nonsense characters in 14 of the Carry On films. She started her career on stage at the Players' Theatre, London, before progressing onto radio, where she appeared in three popular BBC series, It's That Man Again, Educating Archie and Hancock's Half Hour. Her cinematic debut—in Green for Danger—was brief and uncredited, but she grew to have a prolific screen career. Jacques developed a long professional stage and television partnership with Eric Sykes, with whom she co-starred in the long-running series Sykes and Sykes and a.... The role endeared her to the public and the two became staples of British television. Her private life was turbulent: she was married to the actor John Le Mesurier from 1949 until their divorce in 1965, a separation caused by her five-year affair with another man. Jacques, who had been overweight since her teenage years, suffered ill-health soon after the separation from Le Mesurier. She died in 1980 of a heart attack.

Categories

Selected quote

Peter Ustinov
Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.

Featured content

Featured article star.png

Featured articles

Featured lists

Good topics

Featured pictures


Main topics

Comedy
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 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

WikiProjects

Things you can do

Things you can do

Subportals

Related portals

Associated Wikimedia

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

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database