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Portal:Comedy

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Comedy is an act that is funny. In its popular meaning, the term encompasses stand-up, along with any discourse generally intended to amuse; this differs from the academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins can be 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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A "Catrina" sculpture
Grim Fandango is a personal computer game in the graphic adventure genre released by LucasArts in 1998 and primarily written by Tim Schafer. It is the first adventure game by LucasArts to use 3D computer graphics overlaid on pre-rendered 2D backgrounds, as with other LucasArts adventure games, the player must converse with other characters and examine, collect, and use objects correctly to solve puzzles in order to progress. Grim Fandango's world combines elements of Aztec beliefs of afterlife with style aspects of film noir, including The Maltese Falcon, On the Waterfront and Casablanca, to create the Land of the Dead, which recently departed souls, represented in the game as calaca-like figures, must travel through before they reach their final destination, the Ninth Underworld. The story follows travel agent Manuel "Manny" Calavera as he attempts to save Mercedes "Meche" Colomar, a newly arrived but virtuous soul, during her long journey, the game received positive reviews, praising its artistic design and overall game direction in particular. Grim Fandango was selected for several gaming awards at the time of release, and is often listed in publishers' lists of top games of all time. However, the game has been considered a commercial failure, which partially led LucasArts to terminate their adventure game development, contributing to the decline of the adventure game genre.

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Belarusian skomorokhs as they appear on the 1555 German etching
Credit: Olayus Magnus etching from 1555

The skomorokhs (Sing. скоморох in Russian, скоморохъ in Old East Slavic, скоморaхъ in Church Slavonic) were medieval East Slavic harlequins, i.e., actors, who could also sing, dance, play musical instruments, and compose most of the scores for their oral/musical and dramatic performances. The etymology of the word is not totally clear. There are hypotheses that the word is derived from the Greek σκώμμαρχος (cf. σκῶμμα, "joke"); from the Italian scaramuccia ("joker", cf. English scaramouch); from the Arabic masẋara; and many others.

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Yeardley Smith
Yeardley Smith (born July 3, 1964) is a French-born American actress, voice artist, writer and painter. She is best known for her long-running role as Lisa Simpson on the animated television series The Simpsons. Born in Paris, France, her family moved Washington, D.C. in 1966. As a child, Smith was often mocked because of her unusual first name and her voice, she became a professional actress in 1982 after graduating from drama school and moved to New York City in 1984 where she appeared in the Broadway production of The Real Thing. Her first film role came in 1985's Heaven Help Us, followed by roles in The Legend of Billie Jean and Maximum Overdrive, she moved to Los Angeles, California in 1986 and received a recurring role in the television series Brothers. In 1987, she auditioned for a role in a series of animated shorts about a dysfunctional family on The Tracey Ullman Show. Smith intended to audition for the role of Bart Simpson, but the casting director felt her voice was too high so she was given the role of Lisa instead, she voiced Lisa for three seasons on The Tracey Ullman Show, and in 1989, the shorts were spun off into a half hour show called The Simpsons. For her work as the character, Smith received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1992.

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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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