Talk:Black comedy

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The definition is self referential[edit]

The opening line:

"A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work that employs black humor or gallows humor"

This is a confusing definition as it's using the term 'black humor' to define a black comedy, but 'black humor' redirects to this exact same page. It also implies that black humor is a synonym for gallows humor, but if you visit the page for gallows humor, it defines how it is different from back humor.

As such, it still seems that the term 'black humor' is being left undefined here on Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:22, 14 February 2012 (UTC)


"According to screenwriter John Truby[citation needed], when black comedy is used as a basis for a story's plotline, it involves a society in an unhealthy state and a main character wanting something that will not be beneficial to himself or society. The audience should usually be able to see this for themselves, and often a supporting character within the story also sees the insanity of the situation. The main character rarely, if ever, learns a lesson or undergoes any significant change from the ordeal, but sometimes a relatively sane course of action is offered to them."

Not cited but did not want it to go to waste if WP:Verifiable

Please refence pending article Self Harm, Gesia Erop japan,BDSM, for notable reson for poienet example...

article section begins.

comic and comedy from co mic: Whair the technical definition of the true form of the comic is, to state the obvious in conotated mode, to provide a fuction of positive corective force within soicerty:- in a humorouse fassion, For Black comedy See the film secretary. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:29, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Expand tag[edit]

With these edis Thumperward added the expand tag without give any indications in the talk page. I'm removing the tag for now.--Sum (talk) 10:43, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Black comedy vs black humor and interwikis[edit]

Black humor is a concept introduced in 1935 in France By Breton. "Black comedy" is only a derivative term, and so far there is not enough content to make of it a separate article. The only two wikis that have more than one article (one for balck humor, one for black comedy) are fi: and pl:, but in both cases the secondary one is usually a two lines stub.--Sum (talk) 11:02, 10 November 2010 (UTC)


If "Black Comedy" refers to macabre humor, what do you call comedies like the Ice Cube movies with all-black casts? Where I live, people refur to movies like Friday, Are We There Yet, & Barbershop as Black Comedy & stuff like Neurotically Yours, Robot Chicken, & Invader Zim as Dark Comedy/Macabre Humor. Also we use "Sitcom" to refer to any TV series that isn't a reality show; You tell them it means "situation comedy" & they're like "I never knew that." True it might be ignorant, but most Americans think that the definition of "ironic" is "weird coincidence."

The above comment has no signature, but I am in agreement that the term does lead to such confusion. "Dark humor" is more commonly used in American culture, from my understanding and experience, to refer to this subject matter. I also understand Wikipedia is not America-centric. Cjripper (talk) 18:39, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Tim Minchin?[edit]

At the bottom of the Adoption in literary criticism section, comedian Tim Minchin is given as an example. How exactly is his brand of comedy 'black'? I was going to remove him from the list but thought I'd better ask others what they thought first. Anyone? nagualdesign (talk) 03:34, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I have no objection to removing Tim Minchin. There is a tendancy for this page to become an example farm. I'd put Little Britain or Blackadder but that would only add to the whole kerfuffle. SkyMachine (talk) 06:08, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Morbid humor[edit]

Does that exists as such, or is a synonymous to black comedy/humor? because i'm taking it out. Nicrorus (talk) 02:15, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


"The definition of black humor is problematic; it has been argued that it corresponds to the earlier concept of gallows humor;[2][3][4] and that, as humor has been defined since Freud as a comedic act that anesthetizes an emotion, all humor is "black humor," and that there is no such thing as "non-black humor".[5][6]"

Really? I can just about see including something like this somewhere in the article (maybe) but Freud's speculation on what humour is and is not are simply not relevant enough to go in the starting paragraph.

Wight1984 (talk) 19:57, 02 February 2012 (GMT)  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)  

Television section[edit]

Couldn't the Television section be expanded a tad (a big one). Seriously, the only TV show it mentions is MASH. Are we supposed to believe that the only successful black comedy TV show was MASH? That's it? Britain produced a wealth of black comedies. (talk) 21:18, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Quality of Article[edit]

I guess I don't have any good suggestions to improve this article, but it reads like it was written by a 15 year old. Clamum (talk) 13:18, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

WorldCat Genres[edit]

Hello, I'm working with OCLC, and we are algorithmically generating data about different Genres, like notable Authors, Book, Movies, Subjects, Characters and Places. We have determined that this Wikipedia page has a close affintity to our detected Genere of black-humor-literature. It might be useful to look at [1] for more information. Thanks. Maximilianklein (talk) 23:04, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Citation not actually needed[edit]

" humor that makes light of subject matter usually considered taboo. [...] Black comedy is often controversial due to its subject matter. [citation needed]" As far as I can tell, citation (and the entire sentence) are unnecessary because the previous sentence mentions taboo, the definition of which is "proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable" (according to Any black comedy is then inherently controversial; it isn't a black comedy if it isn't making light of a controversial topic. I won't remove the [citation needed] because citation would still be useful here, but if someone cleans up this page, they should consider it. Whysgoingon (talk) 04:26, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Agree a citation isn't needed but the wording is too vague. Is the subject matter controversial or the reaction to it? Controversial is a contentious label so IMO the sentence should be removed. Qzd (talk) 04:30, 23 December 2015 (UTC)

Comedy horror & criminal comedy[edit]

Are comedy horror and criminal comedy subtypes of black comedy? Jim Michael (talk) 17:56, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

Good question to ask. One could say there is not a ton of distinction and that those could be merged into this one. I would argue there is a distinction that can be brought out in the articles.
  • Black comedy, or gallows humor, is simply making light of serious or even dangerous topics. The terms do not refer specifically to a form of entertainment nor do they imply any attempt to scare anybody.
  • Comedy horror is a form of entertainment that uses black comedy. It also typically attempts to scare the audience at least a little (thus combining black comedy and horror).
  • Criminal comedy is a similar form of entertainment combining black comedy and drama, and sometimes horror as well.
I would be inclined to keep these as separate articles. Regardless, I would say that to the extent that there is a distinction, black comedy is a part of comedy horror and criminal comedy, but not the other way around.
-- MC (talk) 20:51, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

History section[edit]

I am missing the history section. Of note are the Holocaust jokes and Irish famine jokes (yes, both genres exist(ed) ). Zezen (talk) 15:16, 15 August 2017 (UTC)

Merge Gallows humor[edit]

I'm proposing merging Gallows humor here. The lead of this article even says gallows humor and black comedy are simply earlier and later terms for the same thing.

Anticipating an objection, some may argue that there are slight nuances in terms of what gallows humor and black comedy cover. I would argue that,

  1. The terms overlap in meaning. Even if some sources might make a distinction there is no consistent distinction that would be made by all sources.
  2. We must avoid WP:NAD. Ultimately the question is whether there is enough distinct material to justify two separate articles surrounding this broad concept. I would argue there is not. Both articles are currently short and much of what they currently contain are examples rather than actual discussion of the concept.

-- MC (talk) 20:41, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

I went ahead and completed the merge.
This article could definitely do with some work in general if somebody is motivated.
-- MC (talk) 17:42, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

This is horribly defined[edit]

In the Gallows Humor article that was merged, it gave a better definition and explained the purpose more. If someone could put that back into this article, that'd be great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AA Quantum (talkcontribs) 19:27, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Errr, that's rather a vague criticism. Perhaps you could offer a specific suggestion (or even just Be Bold).
-- MC (talk) 17:14, 20 February 2018 (UTC)