Portal:Comedy

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The Comedy Portal


Comedy is an act of being funny it has a popular meaning (stand-up, along with any discourse generally intended to amuse), which differs from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are 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.

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John Vanbrugh, author of The Relapse
The Relapse is a Restoration comedy from 1696 by John Vanbrugh, a sequel to Colley Cibber's notorious tear-jerker Love's Last Shift, or, Virtue Rewarded. In Cibber's Love's Last Shift, a free-living Restoration rake is brought to repentance and reform by the ruses of his wife, while in The Relapse, the rake succumbs again to temptation and has a new love affair. His virtuous wife is also subjected to a determined seduction attempt, and resists with difficulty. Vanbrugh planned The Relapse around particular actors at Drury Lane, writing their stage habits, public reputations, and personal relationships into the text. One such actor was Colley Cibber himself, who played the luxuriant fop Lord Foppington in both Love's Last Shift and The Relapse. However, Vanbrugh's artistic plans were threatened by a cut-throat struggle between London's two theatre companies, each of which was "seducing" actors from the other. The Relapse came close to not being produced at all, but the successful performance that was eventually achieved in November 1696 vindicated Vanbrugh's intentions, as well as saving the company from bankruptcy.

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Clown participating in a Memorial Day parade, 2004, by Rick Dikeman
Credit: Rick Dikeman

Clowns are comic performers, stereotypically characterized by their colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, and unusually large footwear. Clowning, in its most basic form, can be described as one form of drama without a fourth wall, however there are other types of drama that are lacking the element of a fourth wall as well. In other words, a clown acknowledges his audience. The clown's humor today is often visual and includes many elements of physical comedy or slapstick humor.

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Ben Stiller photographed by Jerry Avenaim
Benjamin Edward Stiller (born November 30, 1965) is an Emmy-winning American comedian, actor, film producer and director. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. After beginning his acting career with a play, he wrote several mockumentaries, and was offered two of his own shows, both entitled The Ben Stiller Show. After acting in a few films, Stiller had his directional debut with Reality Bites, and has since written, starred, directed, and produced over fifty films and television shows. Stiller's films have grossed $1.38 billion. Stiller is a member of the comedic acting brotherhood known as the Frat Pack. With multiple cameos in music videos, television shows, and films, he may be best known for his roles in There's Something About Mary, Zoolander, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Meet the Parents, its sequel Meet the Fockers, and Night at the Museum. Throughout his career, Stiller has received several awards and honors including an Emmy Award, several MTV Movie Awards, and a Teen Choice Award. Stiller's most recent role was in the film The Heartbreak Kid.

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Jim Carrey in 2008
There are two thoughts that will ensure success in all you do; (1) Don't tell everything you know, and (2) until Ace Ventura, no actor had considered talking through his ass.

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Comedy
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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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