Slapstick • A popular form of physical comedy during the silent era, slapstick is characterized by exaggerated, aggressive visual actions. A type of comedy easily understood by diverse groups, slapstick tends to come back into style or to be used in small doses with other types of comedy.
Dark Comedy • Mixing elements of comedy and tragedy, dark comedies often have death, war or illness as a central theme. Although dark comedies tend to use sophisticated techniques like irony and innuendo (think South Park) some dark comedies have successfully blended broad humor as well (Weekend at Bernie's (1989), Edward Scissorhands.
Character • Character comedies gain much of their power from the persona developed by the lead character. Such personas often make use of exaggerated modes of dress, speech and movement to generate comic interest.
Romantic • Romantic comedies frequently feature couples that seem completely wrong for each other at the start of the story, yet fall madly in love by the conclusion. Romantic comedies often use mistaken identity, eccentric supporting characters and multiple reversals of fortune to move the plot along.
Parody • By making fun of the stereotypes, conventions and clichés of a particular genre, parody comedies play to the fan base of that particular genre. Prominent examples are Airplane! (1980)-which made fun of early disaster movies, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)-which lampooned spy films and Scary Movie (2000)-which took on modern horror movies. Songs can also be parodied, as well as story books and everyday life (think SNL).
Satire • Satire pokes fun at elements of human life with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement. Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon...Think SNL skits during election season, etc.
Farce • a comedy which aims at entertaining the audience by means of unlikely, extravagant, and improbable situations, disguise and mistaken identity, verbal humor of varying degrees of sophistication, which may include word play, and a fast-paced plot