Portal:Comedy
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Portal:Comedy

The Comedy Portal


In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: ?, k?m?idía) 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, 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 an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old." A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.

Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without necessarily condemning them.

Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor largely from bizarre, surprising (and improbable) situations or characters, and black comedy, which is characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Similarly scatological humor, sexual humor, and race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic 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 that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love.

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The Simpsons
"Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode of the seventh season of the animated series The Simpsons, originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa Simpson stops eating meat after a trip to a petting zoo. Initially ridiculed by her family and friends for her decision, she commits to vegetarianism after advice from Apu and from Paul and Linda McCartney. The McCartneys guest-starred as themselves, appearing on condition that Lisa would remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series. The episode contains references to Paul's musical career, and his song "Maybe I'm Amazed" plays over the closing credits. Directed by Mark Kirkland, "Lisa the Vegetarian" is the first full episode of The Simpsons written by David X. Cohen. It was watched by 14.6 million viewers and received positive reviews from television critics. For its themes on animal issues, it won an Environmental Media Award and a Genesis Award.

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Girl smiling
Credit: C. Szeto

In physiology, a smile is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles most notably near both ends of the mouth. The smile can be also around the eyes. Among humans, it's customarily an expression of pleasure, happiness, or amusement, but can also be an involuntary expression of anxiety, in which case it can be known as a grimace. There is much evidence that smiling is a normal reaction to certain stimuli and occurs regardless of culture. Happiness is most often the cause of a smile.

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Malcolm Hardee in 1995
Malcolm Hardee (born Lewisham, London, January 5, 1950 – died Rotherhithe, London, January 31, 2005) was an English comedian, author, comedy club proprietor, compère, agent, manager and "amateur sensationalist". His high reputation among his peers rests on his outrageous publicity stunts and on the help and advice he gave to successful British alternative comedians early in their careers as "godfather to a generation of comic talent in the 1980s". Though an accomplished comic, Hardee was arguably more highly regarded as a 'character', a compère and talent-spotting booker at his own clubs, particularly The Tunnel Club in Greenwich, southeast London, which gave vital and early exposure to up-and-coming comedians during the early years of British alternative comedy. In its obituary, The Times of London opined that "throughout his life he maintained a fearlessness and an indifference to consequences" and one journalist claimed: "To say that he has no shame, is to drastically exaggerate the amount of shame that he has". In a publicity quote printed in Hardee's autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, Arthur Smith wrote that Hardee had "led his life as though for the perfect autobiography and now he has paid himself the compliment of writing it."

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Stephen Colbert in 2007
Not living in fear is a great gift, because certainly these days we do it so much. And do you know what I like about comedy? You can't laugh and be afraid at the same time--of anything. If you're laughing, I defy you to be afraid.
-- Stephen Colbert, 2007

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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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