Comedy Derived from Greek words, komos and ode, meaning “revel song”
Comedy Predictably unpredictable Often time and place oriented Intellectual, mental Movie comedies today –Protagonist, who is less than average, achieves goalsdespite mistakes/shortcomings
Exaggeration • Overstatement, an enlargement of the truth • Understatement • Physical elements – big nose, large teeth, strange walk, twitching eye
Incongruity • Anything that seems out of time, or out of character
Unexpected incongruity • A woman buys her white coat and approaches the wet black bench. "Look out!" yells the zoo keeper. “Oh thanks," says the woman, "I almost sat on that." An escaped lion leaps in from the side and mauls her. • Joe is holding a large girder in the round. Fred is holding a large hammer. Joe: "When I nod my head, you hit it." Joe nods. Fred hits Joe over the head with the hammer.
Anticipation • Looking forward to a potential laugh
Running Gag • Three things required that you plant or emphasize something early, then establish joke, and then clinch the joke The 1980 movie, Airplane!, has Leslie Neilson's character, Dr. Rumack, creating a running gag with the line, "Don't call me Shirley." For example, a character named Ted Striker says to Dr. Rumack, "Surely, you can't be serious." Dr. Rumack replies, "I am serious...and don't call me Shirley." The surely/Shirley gag continues throughout the film. Striker says to Rumack, "Surely, there must be something you can do" and Rumack responds with, "I'm doing everything I can...and stop calling me Shirley!"
Ambiguity • Double meaning, puns and word play • "I've got nothing against disabled people, I've even got one of their stickers on my car" – Damian Callinan • A: My dog's got no nose.B: How does he smell?A: Awful. • “I told the ambulance men the wrong blood type for my ex, so he knows what rejection feels like" – Pippa Evans
Recognition • Discovering hidden or obsure meanings • In Fiddler on the Roof, Lazer Wolf approaches Tevya with the intent of buying a cow. Tevya however, thinks that Lazer wants to marry his oldest daughter. The audience finds the misunderstanding very funny; when Tevya recognizes his mistake, the audience is again amused.
Protection • A situation in which the audience laughs because it knows violent actions are not realistic