New Directions in Comedy
Questions to Consider:
- When we say “comedy” today, what do we mean? How is our modern notion of comedy different from earlier forms of comedy?
- What causes laughter? Consider the theories of Hobbes, Bergson and Sigmund Freud.
- Are there types of comedy that appeal (or don’t appeal) to you? Why? Consider in particular the genres of “black” comedy and “blue” comedy.
Classical Tragedy vs. Comedy
We tend to simplify tragedy as sad and comedy as funny, but this doesn’t work when you analyze comedies written before 1800 AD. Consider the following:
- Subject Matter
- Social Value
Why Do We Laugh?
Laughter: Five Leading Theories
Genres & Examples
Wikipedia’s Comedic Genres
Funny Commercials on Ellen
We will not cover this in class, but if you interested in satire, you might watch Hasan Minhaj’s speech for the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.