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Comedy

In a modern sense, comedy 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, books and novels 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 ...

List of comedies

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Atellan Farce

The Atellan Farce, also known as the Oscan Games, were masked improvised farces. The games were very popular in Ancient Rome, and usually put on after longer pantomime plays. The origin of the Atellan Farce is uncertain but the farces are similar to other forms of ancient theatre, such as the South Italian Phlyakes, the plays of Plautus and Terrence, and Roman mime. Most historians believe the name is derived from Atella, an Oscan town in Campania. The farces were written in Oscan and imported to Rome in 391 BC. In later Roman versions, only the ridiculous characters read their lines in Os ...

Authority figures in comedy

A recurring theme in the literary, theatrical and film tradition of comedy is the use of stock characters representing authority figures, designed to poke fun at officialdom by showing that its members are not immune to entanglement in the ridiculous. This is an old tradition, well illustrated in works such as Chaucers Canterbury Tales and Voltaires Candide. This practice arises in part from the desire of those subject to the power of those in authority to use an available means of limiting this power by demonstrating that the authority figure is just as subject to mockery as those lacking ...

Ballad opera

The ballad opera is a genre of English stage entertainment that originated in the early 18th century, and continued to develop over the following century and later. Like the earlier comedie en vaudeville and the later Singspiel, its distinguishing characteristic is the use of tunes in a popular style with spoken dialogue. These English plays were operas mainly insofar as they satirized the conventions of the imported opera seria. Music critic Peter Gammond describes the ballad opera as "an important step in the emancipation of both the musical stage and the popular song."

Blackout gag

A blackout gag is a kind of joke in broad, rapid-fire slapstick comedy. The term is derived from burlesque and vaudeville, when the lights were quickly turned off after the punchline of a joke to accentuate it and/or allow for audience laughter. It may use a shock value to define the joke, and may not be initially noticeable to all viewers if it is a very fast joke. It is distinguished from an iris shot, frequently used in the silent film era, where a black circle closes to end a scene. The term "blackout gag" can also apply to fast-paced TV or film comedy, such as Rowan & Martins Laugh-In ...