Aristotle taught that comedy was generally a positive for society, since it brings forth happiness, which for Aristotle was the ideal state, the final goal in any activity. For Aristotle, a comedy did not need to involve sexual humor. A comedy is about the fortunate arise of a sympathetic character. Aristotle divides comedy into three categories or subgenres: farce, romantic comedy, and satire. On the contrary, Plato taught that comedy is a destruction to the self. He believed that it produces an emotion that overrides rational self-control and learning. In The Republic, he says that the Guardians of the state should avoid laughter, ” ‘for ordinarily when one abandons himself to violent laughter, his condition provokes a violent reaction.’ ” Plato says comedy should be tightly controlled if one wants to achieve the ideal state.
Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humour 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 humour, sexual humour, and race humour 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 behaviour 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.
Comedy may be divided into multiple genres based on the source of humor, the method of delivery, and the context in which it is delivered. The different forms of comedy often overlap, and most comedy can fit into multiple genres. Some of the subgenres of comedy are farce, comedy of manners, burlesque, and satire.
Liverpool Comedy Central is Liverpool’s most sophisticated comedy club, set in the plush surroundings of what was the world famous ‘Baby Blue’ basement club on the Albert Dock. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday we provide four of the comedy circuit’s finest comedians to bring comedy fans a superb nights entertainment. Liverpool Comedy Central offers a range of packages. Our VIP Premier Package which includes a two course meal in the PanAm Restaurant and Bar, our one course meal deal package or a ticket only. For more information on any of these packages please click here.
Dan Nightingale is widely regarded as one of the best performers working on the comedy circuit today. Mixing fiendishly accurate observation with energetic characterisations and killer punch lines, his comedy is original, playful, intelligent, poignant and exciting; sometimes ridiculous… but always hilarious. Dan began his comedy career in Newcastle in 2002 and then moved onto Manchester, where he spent ten years and became one of the most recognisable faces on the North West Comedy circuit. He founded the Frog and Buckets ‘Beat the Frog’ amateur night, which quickly became the best new comedy night in the North. As well as developing his reputation as a top-class circuit headliner and in-demand MC and host, he has also performed regular TV warm up for the likes of Jonathan Ross, John Bishop and Celebrity Juice. Dan has also become a regular crowd pleaser and critically acclaimed success at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, having performed solo shows in 2008, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Like the jewel in a comedic crown, Nightingale adds a touch of class to any line-up.
In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, and stand-up comedy. 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.
Also in Poetics, Aristotle defined Comedy as one of the original four genres of literature. The other three genres are tragedy, epic poetry, and lyric poetry. Literature in general is defined by Aristotle as a mimesis, or imitation of life. Comedy is the third form of literature, being the most divorced from a true mimesis. Tragedy is the truest mimesis, followed by epic poetry, comedy and lyric poetry. The genre of comedy is defined by a certain pattern according to Aristotle’s definition. Comedies begin with low or base characters seeking insignificant aims, and end with some accomplishment of the aims which either lightens the initial baseness or reveals the insignificance of the aims.
In early 19th century England, pantomime acquired its present form which includes slapstick comedy and featured the first mainstream clown Joseph Grimaldi, while comedy routines also featured heavily in British music hall theatre which became popular in the 1850s. British comedians who honed their skills in music hall sketches include Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Dan Leno. English music hall comedian and theatre impresario Fred Karno developed a form of sketch comedy without dialogue in the 1890s, and Chaplin and Laurel were among the comedians who worked for him. American film producer Hal Roach stated: “Fred Karno is not only a genius, he is the man who originated slapstick comedy. We in Hollywood owe much to him.” American vaudeville emerged in the 1880s and remained popular until the 1930s, and featured comedians such as W. C. Fields, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers.
Aristotle’s Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers, such as Abu Bischr, and his pupils Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes. They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija (satirical poetry). They viewed comedy as simply the “art of reprehension”, and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or to the troubling beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy.
Around 335 BCE, Aristotle, in his work Poetics, stated that comedy originated in Phallic processions and the light treatment of the otherwise base and ugly. He also adds that the origins of comedy are obscure because it was not treated seriously from its inception. However, comedy had its own Muse: Thalia.
“Comedy”, in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually involving marriages between the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that is more light-hearted than Shakespeare’s other plays.
Paul MertonPaul has been performing with the Comedy Store Players for over fifteen years and regularly joins the team at the London Store.Known for his improvisation skill, his humour is rooted in deadpan, surreal and sometimes dark comedy. Considered by some critics, fellow comedians and members of the public to be among Britain’s greatest comedians, he is well known for his regular appearances as a team captain on the BBC panel game Have I Got News for You, and as the former host of Room 101.He is also one of the core members of The Comedy Store Players.
With the club receiving outstanding ratings on TripAdvisor and Google, Comedy Carnival is the comedy club London picks for party bookings, birthday nights out and Christmas parties. Check out our comedy club party packages – the easiest way to organise a night out in London.
Tom Toal is a comedian, writer and actor, hailing from the South East London town of Bexleyheath. One of comedy’s rising stars he performed his debut show ‘On The Scrapheap’ about the break-up of his 6 year relationship at the Edinburgh and Leicester Festivals in 2010 achieving widespread acclaim and reviews. The follow up ‘Rom-Coms and Revolutions’ followed in similar vein playing to a complete sell out audience for the full run. In 2013 Tom Toal performed at The Comedy Reserve with The Pleasance at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in 2014 TT became an Amused Moose Best Comedy Show finalist for his solo Edinburgh Festival Fringe show, Tom Toal: Prequel. One of Tom’s major strengths is his ability to adapt to his audience. Having hosted a range of events from Post Rock Bands album launch to benefit nights for the Socialist Workers Party, Tom has no trouble changing his style to suit the audience, whether it be Stag/Hen weekends, art centre events or corporate crowds.
The Greeks and Romans confined their use of the word “comedy” to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average (where tragedy was an imitation of men better than the average). However, the characters portrayed in comedies were not worse than average in every way, only insofar as they are Ridiculous, which is a species of the Ugly. The Ridiculous may be defined as a mistake or deformity not productive of pain or harm to others; the mask, for instance, that excites laughter, is something ugly and distorted without causing pain. In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings. It is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of his poem, La Commedia.
Starting from 425 BCE, Aristophanes, a comic playwright and satirical author of the Ancient Greek Theater wrote 40 comedies, 11 of which survive. Aristophanes developed his type of comedy from the earlier satyr plays, which were often highly obscene. Of the satyr plays the only surviving examples are by Euripides which are much later examples and not representative of the genre. In ancient Greece, comedy originated in bawdy and ribald songs or recitations apropos of phallic processions and fertility festivals or gatherings.
The advent of cinema in the late 19th century, and later radio and television in the 20th century broadened the access of comedians to the general public. Charlie Chaplin, through silent film, became one of the best known faces on earth. The silent tradition lived on well in to the 20th century through mime artists like Marcel Marceau, and the physical comedy of artists like Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean. The tradition of the circus clown also continued, with such as Bozo the Clown in the United States and Oleg Popov in Russia. Radio provided new possibilities – with Britain producing the influential Goon Show after the Second World War. American cinema has produced a great number of globally renowned comedy artists, from Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, as well as Bob Hope during the mid-20th century, to performers like George Carlin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy at the end of the century. Hollywood attracted many international talents like the British comics Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Sacha Baron Cohen, Canadian comics Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, and Mike Myers, and the Australian comedian Paul Hogan, famous for Crocodile Dundee. Other centres of creative comic activity have been the cinema of Hong Kong, Bollywood, and French farce.
This article is about a genre of dramatic works. For other uses, see Comedy (disambiguation). For the popular meaning of the term “comedy”, see Humour.
Andrew BirdAndrew hails from Northamptonshire and moved to London to pursue a career in stand-up. He worked in a bar where he practised making the regulars laugh before his career in live comedy took off. Since then, Andrew has become a top headline act up and down the UK as well as performing around the world from Dublin to Doha. He has also supported Rhod Gilbert and Lee Hurst on tour, and been the warm-up artist for TV shows including Nevermind The Buzzcocks, Room 101 and Pointless. Andrew is also a writer in demand having written for series such as 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Mock The Week. Andrew’s 2011 and 2012 Edinburgh were sold out and received glowing reviews across the board. “Comedy gold…going to be a star”- The Scotsman “A great storyteller. Funny, likeable and effortless”- Time Out
Since the November of 2016 there’s been even more incredible comedy on offer, with the launch of our very own venue, the Bill Murray, just round the corner on Queen’s Head Street. As well as a programme of amazing comedy, there’s courses, rehearsal space, community projects and more. Oh, and it’s also a lovely pub.
Recommended by Time Out, we are the comedy club London chooses for the best stand up comedy Britain, and the world, has to offer. We have shows every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, off the famous Leicester Square.
The Comedy Unit has been making award winning comedy since 1996. We produce much-loved shows for television, radio, new media and theatre and pride ourselves on bringing laughter to large audiences.
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 humour. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without necessarily condemning them.
As time progressed, the word came more and more to be associated with any sort of performance intended to cause laughter. During the Middle Ages, the term “comedy” became synonymous with satire, and later with humour in general.
The Punch and Judy show has roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell’arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella. The figure who later became Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England in 1662. Punch and Judy are performed in the spirit of outrageous comedy — often provoking shocked laughter — and are dominated by the anarchic clowning of Mr. Punch. Appearing at a significant period in British history, professor Glyn Edwards states: ” went down particularly well with Restoration British audiences, fun-starved after years of Puritanism. We soon changed Punch’s name, transformed him from a marionette to a hand puppet, and he became, really, a spirit of Britain – a subversive maverick who defies authority, a kind of puppet equivalent to our political cartoons.”
Some comedy apes certain cultural forms: for instance, parody and satire often imitate the conventions of the genre they are parodying or satirizing. For example, The Onion and The Colbert Report parody newspapers and television news shows like The O’Reilly Factor.
Juggler and comedian Mat Ricardo hosted this variety show where the best from the worlds of cabaret, variety, comedy and circus did their thing. Eddie Izzard and Dave Gorman were amongst the guests.
Mat Ricardo’s London VarietiesJuggler and comedian Mat Ricardo hosted this variety show where the best from the worlds of cabaret, variety, comedy and circus did their thing. Eddie Izzard and Dave Gorman were amongst the guests.Listen
Known for his improvisation skill, his humour is rooted in deadpan, surreal and sometimes dark comedy. Considered by some critics, fellow comedians and members of the public to be among Britain’s greatest comedians, he is well known for his regular appearances as a team captain on the BBC panel game Have I Got News for You, and as the former host of Room 101.
Our flagship nights. The nights that started our love affair with you guys (no, really, YOU hang up). Comedy nights that are professional, award-winning, exciting – and FREE! Shows start at 8pm (or earlier if we reach capacity) It’s first come first served, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment: that means before 7pm on the weekends. Tonight’s line up includes Tom Goodliffe, Kate Lucas, Gatis Kandis, and more!
Money. Cash. Dollar. Cheddar. Dough. Skrilla. Call it what you like (and people clearly have) Daniel Cook doesn’t have any of it, but would things be better if he had any? An hour of manic, gangly-man-child standup comedy in preparation for the Edinburgh Fringe
Our flagship nights. The nights that started our love affair with you guys (no, really, YOU hang up). Comedy nights that are professional, award-winning, exciting – and FREE! Shows start at 8pm (or earlier if we reach capacity) It’s first come first served, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment: that means before 7pm on the weekends. Tonight’s line up includes Maria Shehata, Jason Patterson, and more!
This is a short, sharp stand-up comedy writing workshop with Chris Head for gigging acts and course graduates. If you want to refresh your skills, develop new material and try it in a gig, this is the course for you. Come along with rough ideas and starting points and be inspired. Over five weeks develop new material and then perform at a showcase gig on the last night.
Money. Cash. Dollar. Cheddar. Dough. Skrilla. Call it what you like (and people clearly have) Daniel Cook doesn’t have any of it, but would things be better if he had any? An hour of manic, gangly-man-child standup comedy in preparation for the Edinburgh Fringe ‘Cook possesses a quality that simply makes him funny’ ★★★★ The List ‘Had the crowd roaring with laughter’ ★★★★ Three Weeks ★★★★ Broadway Baby ★★★★ Edinburgh Festivals Magazine
Gies A Giggle: Benefit in Aid of Rock Trust & Chris’s House Wednesday 19th April 2017 This benefit is being organised to honour Mandy Lindsay who sadly succumbed to her depression and took her own life. At the time of her funeral, her family requested that instead of spending money on flowers, they made a donation to Action on Depression. It raised 10k in a week. Action on Depression then allowed Mandy’s familly to use any funds they raised to allocate to the areas and campaigns of their choice, using the fund name SuperMandy. To date they have raised over 70k and it’s still going strong. Action on Depression have now ceased operations so the ticket proceeds of this show will be donated to Rock Trust who work with young people who are homeless or at risk and Chris’s House who work to prevent suicide. Please join us for a fantastic night of comedy in support of their important work. With host Billy Kirkwood , Jojo Sutherland , Julia Sutherland , Paul McDaniel and Scott Gibson ! Tickets for this show are £8 standard, £6 concession and can be reserved by calling the box office on 0141 212 3389 Book Tickets Now
Angel Comedy Club – 2 venues, 7 days a week, 100% funny 1970, Viewed 14 April 2017, <http://www.angelcomedy.co.uk/>.
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