Portal:Comedy

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Comedy 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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Selected article

Fuck film interviewees
Fuck is a 2005 American documentary film by Steve Anderson, which argues the titular word is key to discussions on freedom of speech and censorship. It provides perspectives from art, linguistics and society. Oxford English Dictionary editor Jesse Sheidlower, journalism analyst David Shaw, and linguists Reinhold Aman and Geoffrey Nunberg explain the term's evolution. Comedian Billy Connolly states it can be understood regardless of one's background, and musician Alanis Morissette says its taboo nature gives it power. The film contains the last interview of author Hunter S. Thompson before his suicide. It features animated sequences by Bill Plympton. The documentary was first screened at the AFI Film Festival at ArcLight Hollywood. The New York Times critic A. O. Scott called the film a battle between advocates of morality and supporters of freedom of expression; a review by the American Film Institute said this freedom "must extend to words that offend". Other reviewers criticized the film's length and repetitiveness. Its DVD was released in the US and the UK and used in university courses.

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The Plumb-pudding in danger
Credit: James Gilray

James Gillray's The Plumb-pudding in danger (1805), which caricatured Pitt and Napoleon, was voted the most famous of all UK political cartoons.

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Selected biography

John Le Mesurier - grave
John Le Mesurier (1912–83) was an English actor perhaps best remembered for his comedic role as Sergeant Arthur Wilson in the BBC situation comedy Dad's Army between 1968 and 1977. He debuted on stage in 1934, and became one of television's pioneering actors when he appeared in The Marvellous History of St Bernard in 1938. From there, Le Mesurier had a prolific film career and appeared in over 120 films across a range of genres, normally in smaller supporting parts in comedies; his roles often portrayed figures of authority such as army officers, policemen and judges. He took a relaxed approach to acting and described himself as a "jobbing actor", a term he used for the title of his autobiography. On one of the few occasions he played the lead role in his career, he received a British Academy of Film and Television Arts "Best Television Actor" award for his performance in the Dennis Potter television play Traitor. He later said that the parts he played were those of "a decent chap all at sea in a chaotic world not of his own making". After his death, critics reflected that for an actor who normally took minor roles, the viewing public were "enormously fond of him".

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WikiProjects

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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
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Selected quote

Woody Allen
I think that the tendency for most people is to fall back on a comic interpretation of things -- because things are so sad, so terrible. If you didn't laugh you'd kill yourself. But the truth of the matter is that existence in general is very very tragic, very very sad, very brutal and very unhappy.

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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 laughsMelbourne 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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