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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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Borat in Cologne
Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is a 2006 Academy Award-nominated mockumentary comedy film directed by Larry Charles. It stars the British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in the title role of Borat Sagdiyev, a fictitious Kazakh journalist, traveling through the United States recording real-life interactions with Americans. It is the second film built around one of Cohen's characters from Da Ali G Show, following Ali G Indahouse, which also featured a cameo by Borat. It was a critical and commercial success, despite an initially limited release in the United States. Cohen won the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Actor: Musical or Comedy as Borat while the film was nominated for Best Motion Picture in the same category. Controversy surrounded the film even before its release. It has been criticised for having a protagonist who is sexist and antisemitic (although Cohen is Jewish himself), and some who have appeared in the film have criticised and even sued its creators. All Arab countries, except for Lebanon, banned it, and the Russian government successfully discouraged cinemas there from showing it.

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An April Fools' Day hoax marking the construction of the Copenhagen Metro in 2001
Credit: Lars Andersen

April Fools' Day (sometimes called All Fools' Day) is celebrated every year on 1 April by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes. The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes expose their prank by shouting April Fool. Some newspapers, magazines, and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in small letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in any country.

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David Schwimmer
David Lawrence Schwimmer (born November 2, 1966) is an American actor and director of television and film. Born in New York, he moved to Los Angeles at the age of two. Several years later, he began his acting career performing in school plays at Beverly Hills High School. In 1988 he graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theater and speech. After graduation, Schwimmer co-founded the Lookingglass Theatre Company. For much of the late-1980s, he lived in Los Angeles as a struggling, unemployed actor. He appeared in the television movie A Deadly Silence in 1989. He then appeared in a number of television roles, including L.A. Law, The Wonder Years, NYPD Blue, and Monty in the early-1990s. Schwimmer later gained worldwide recognition for playing Ross Geller in the situation comedy Friends. Aside from appearing in television, he starred in his first feature film The Pallbearer (1996), which was followed by roles in Kissing a Fool (1998), Six Days Seven Nights (1998), Apt Pupil, and Picking Up the Pieces (2000). He was then cast in the War miniseries Band of Brothers (2001). Following the series finale of Friends in 2004, Schwimmer landed the role of the titular character in the 2005 drama Duane Hopwood. Other film roles include the computer animated film Madagascar (2005), the dark comedy Big Nothing (2006), the thriller Nothing But the Truth (2008), and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008). Schwimmer made his London stage debut in the leading role in Some Girl(s) in 2005, for which he received critical reviews. In 2006 he made his Broadway debut in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial. Schwimmer made his directorial debut with the 2008 comedy Run Fatboy Run.

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Richard Pryor in 1986
I'd like to make you laugh for about ten minutes. Though I'm gonna be on for an hour.
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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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