The Multiverse of Comedy

Comedy has most likely been around since the dawn of man-kind.  From two cavemen hitting each other over the heads with wooden clubs to the highly active, quick thinking art of improv.  As humans have evolved so has their view of humor.  It is a primitive instinct, proven by the joyous laughter of infants.  A birthright to some and a nuisance to others.  Being a funny person is highly valued in todays society, the “Funny Person” has many different types of comedy and outlets to make people laugh.  Some of the most prevalent types of comedy in todays world are satire, farce, improv and slapstick.

Satire has led the forefront of comedy as of late.  With the amount of serious and sometimes uncomfortable world events going on one of the best ways to relieve tension of these events is through satire.  At least for me watching the news can be hard, a dry, unbiased outlet for news is necessary (except to the people running those news networks) to the world.  For some this works, you hear whats happening, formulate your opinion, go to work and move on.  For people like me, I’ll hear the news, but it lays no impact on me.  If you want me to care about something than give me my news with some style, some satire.  Popular satirical television programs are, The Daily Show, Weekend Update, Last Week Tonight.

Farce has taken the face of everyones favorite comedy movies over the last 20 years, “Theres Something About Mary”, “40 Year Old Virgin”, “Anchorman”, the list goes on and on.  This type of comedy is based on coincidences that are entirely to impossible for the real world.  These movies can become instant classics due to the extreme and nonsensical approaches the movies can take making them memorable and typically light hearted.

Improv has taken a place in comedy in more places than expected.  Many great shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia have loose scripts that are subject to improv.  They usually have a loose guideline on where to get and then the rest of the dialogue to get there is entirely up to the actors.  The beauty of live improv is that every time you hear something funny you know that your the first person to hear that joke.  You know that everything that is being is performed is a new piece of art.  Although this can be very difficult for some, I have an immense respect for just trying improv.  Having no expectations for a performance and creating something entertaining should not be taken for granted.  Going to Second City in Chicago was one of the funniest experiences I’ve had in my life.

Finally, Slapstick, what seems to be one of the most primitive forms of comedy but will never go away.  It’s unfair for people to claim there is no intelligence behind slapstick.  Two of the pioneers of hollywood, Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, wrote slapstick movies.  Creating this kind of comedy could be argued is harder to create.  These comedians were faced with the task of making people laugh without sound.  Making the audience use just there eyes to interpret the humor.  The aide of sound has obviously lead to a better experience in comedy, at least for most.  But there has to be something said for those who put situational comedy on the big screen first without the aide of sound.




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