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Comedy's transformation

In the older times comedy consisted of jokes, funny faces and surely others. Now, they consist of people getting injuries (in a somehow funny way), puns and witty comebacks that we found online or made up ourselves. It’s weird to see how it’s progressed, whether it’s a good or bad transformation.

  • Slapstick comedy (people being injured in comical ways) is a very old comedy device. – Amanda 1 year ago
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  • The oldest surviving examples of comedy as a genre come from the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes - he made an awful lot of dick jokes (perhaps that's what you meant by "surely others"). Try familiarizing yourself with the rich history of comedy before making claims about what it "was then" and "is now." – ProtoCanon 1 year ago
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  • I'm not certain this is accurate. For example...one of the original Saturday Night Live cast members, Chevy Chase, had a routine that entirely consisted of him throwing himself down a flight of stairs. Think of Eddie Murphy in all of the Beverly Hills Cop movies, how many times did he fall off a car he was attempting to stop during a chase? Even further back, think of the court jester of medieval times who would entertain the patron's of the castle by injuring himself and creating tremendous laughter throughout the court. – danielle577 1 year ago
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  • If you're looking for a good resource for the progression of comedy over time, I'd recommend Jimmy Carr's book The Naked Jape. In general it finds that comedy goes from very unrefined mischief characters in various cultural mythologies to much more of a conscious effort to evoke laughter. Oddly enough, much of the material (ie. sex jokes, slapstick, puns, etc.) have remained almost throughout. – Ian Miculan 1 year ago
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  • I think you may want to reflect upon the catharsis aspect. In older times, comedies consisted of jokes about the bourgeoisie, which made laugh poor people. Throughout history, as you have said, comedy has a changed a lot. Why do you think people enjoy so much shows like "Jackass" or "The Dudeson"? Could it be our way of life that has changed so radically that we now need this kind of extreme humor? – leandre77 1 year ago
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  • Before Jackass there was Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin and the Keystone Kops, all falling down. Slapstick started when Eve threw the apple at the snake, missed, hit Adam, he fell on top her and the rest is history. We're all products of "slapstick." – Tigey 1 year ago
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Rhetoric and Comedy

Analyze how comedy is a legitimate form of rhetoric, as rhetoric is language that is intended to influence people. People that have been seen as successful rhetoricians are people like Martin Luther King jr., Plato, and Obama. These people have been popular in the field of politics, but how does comedy come off as legitimate way to influence emotion and character. Maybe try using TV shows such as The Office or Parks and Recreation.

  • This is an excellent idea but it is slightly broad. Consider distilling this topic by looking at a specific work or text. The author has suggested 'The Office' or 'Parks and Recreation.' That said, however, the author has also preceded that by referring to individuals with political perspectives and agendas. The writer of this prompt should consider looking at comedic works that either have or aim to have any kind of political influence. Many satirical works would be worth examining. – IsidoreIsou 12 months ago
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Dinner Tonight? How Jake and Amir changed Youtube (working title)

With their series having ended a little over a year ago, can we make anything out of looking back at it? Perhaps something about the pressure of standing out as a 1-3 minute sketch comedy show on a Youtube more and more dominated by let’s plays and long videos? The show ran for 8 years – has it had a cultural impact? I’m not sure, but it seems worth discussion, at least.

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    Comedy and Film Noir

    What are certain comedies that draw on themes of film noir and neo-noir that make these comedies ironic? The example of Arrested Development comes to mind. Culturally, film noir played a major role during and after the second World War, and now with the advent of the comedies of today, is there a levity in darkness? What cultural circumstances must be evident to bring about the bleak and the comedic?

    • Another comedy that comes to mind is Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It's got a bunch of different elements in it that you could talk about. – nighteyes 2 years ago
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