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Encyclopedia > Black comedy

Hopscotch to Oblivion, Barcelona
Hopscotch to Oblivion, Barcelona

Black comedy, also known as black humour or dark comedy is a sub-genre of comedy and satire where topics and events that are usually treated seriously (death, mass murder, suicide, domestic violence, disease, insanity, fear, drug abuse, rape, war, terrorism, etc.) are treated in a humorous or satirical manner. Synonyms include dark humour and morbid humour. Although very similar, it is not to be confused with gallows humour and off-colour humour. Black comedy refers to a genre of comedy that deals humorously with serious or disturbing subject matter. ... A black sitcom is an American term meaning a U.S. sitcom that features a primarily African American cast. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (768 × 1024 pixel, file size: 308 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Black comedy Metadata This file contains... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 450 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (768 × 1024 pixel, file size: 308 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Black comedy Metadata This file contains... Cuban girls playing hopscotch For other uses, see Hopscotch (disambiguation). ... Look up oblivion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... 1867 edition of Punch, a ground-breaking British magazine of popular humour, including a good deal of satire of the contemporary social and political scene. ... For other uses, see Death (disambiguation). ... Mass murder (massacre) is the act of murdering a large number of people, typically at the same time, or over a relatively short period of time. ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ... Domestic disturbance redirects here. ... This article is about the medical term. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... Comparison of the perceived harm for various psychoactive drugs from a poll among medical psychiatrists specialized in addiction treatment[1] This article is an overview of the nontherapeutic use of alcohol and drugs of abuse. ... For other uses, see War (disambiguation). ... Terrorist redirects here. ... Gallows Humor is comedy that makes light of death, or other very serious matters. ... The term off-color humor (also known as dirty jokes or blue humor) is used to describe various dirty jokes, prose, poems, black comedy and skits that deal with topics that are considered to be in poor taste or overly vulgar by the prevailing morals in a culture. ...


Humour

Black comedy should be contrasted with obscenity, though the two are interrelated. In obscene humour, much of the humorous element comes from shock and revulsion; black comedy usually includes an element of irony, or even fatalism. This particular brand of humour can be exemplified by a scene in the play Waiting for Godot: a man takes off his belt to hang himself, and his trousers fall down. Another example comes from a scene in the play "Grandma's in the Wedding Cake": the recently deceased Grandmother's ashes continually get accidentally moved around, ending in the Wedding Cake at the Wedding. Obscenity in Latin obscenus, meaning foul, repulsive, detestable, (possibly derived from ob caenum, literally from filth). The term is most often used in a legal context to describe expressions (words, images, actions) that offend the prevalent sexual morality of the time. ... Ironic redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Theological fatalism be merged into this article or section. ... Waiting for Godot is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which the characters wait for Godot, who never arrives. ...


Black humour is also parodied. A common gag is the humourous reaction to something that is supposedly serious but clearly is not. One example of this are Kenny's deaths on South Park. Kenny McCormick, voiced by Matt Stone, is one of the five (originally four) central characters of South Park, the four others being Eric Cartman, Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, and in recent seasons, Butters Stotch. ... This article is about the TV series. ...


Writers such as Terry Southern, Joseph Heller, William Gaddis, Thomas Pynchon, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Ellison, Eric Nicol and Jeff Lindsey have written and published novels, stories and plays where profound or horrific events were portrayed in a comic manner. Terry Southern (May 1, 1924 – October 29, 1995) was a highly influential American short story writer, novelist, essayist, screenwriter and university lecturer. ... Joseph Heller (May 1, 1923 – December 12, 1999) was an American satirical novelist and playwright. ... William Gaddis (December 29, 1922 - December 16, 1998) was an American novelist. ... Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. ... Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. ... Harlan Jay Ellison (born May 27, 1934) is a prolific American writer of short stories, novellas, teleplays, essays, and criticism. ... Eric Patrick Nicol CM, BA, MA (born 28 December 1919 in Kingston, Ontario) is a Canadian author and playwright, particularly of humour. ...


Genre

In America, black comedy as a literary genre came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. An anthology edited by Bruce Jay Friedman, titled "Black Humour," assembles many examples of the genre. Current writers and directors employing the art of black humour in their work include author Chuck Palahniuk, director Todd Solondz, cartoonist Jhonen Vasquez, and writer/essayist David Foster Wallace. The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1958 to the end of 1974. ... Bruce Jay Friedman (born April 26, 1930) is a novelist, screenwriter and playwright who is credited with formalizing, if not inventing, black comedy as we know it. ... Charles Michael Chuck Palahniuk (pronounced )[1] (born February 21, 1962) is an American satirical novelist and freelance journalist of Ukrainian ancestry born in Pasco, Washington. ... Todd Solondz (born October 15, 1959) is an American writer/director known for his controversial films. ... (JCV) redirects here. ... David Foster Wallace (born February 21, 1962) is an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer, and a professor at Pomona College in Claremont, California. ...

Major "King" Kong riding a nuclear bomb to oblivion, from the film Dr. Stangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
Major "King" Kong riding a nuclear bomb to oblivion, from the film Dr. Stangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

According to John Truby, when black comedy is used as a basis for a story's plotline, it involves a society in an unhealthy state and a main character wanting something which, for whatever reason, is not a thing that will be ultimately beneficial to himself or society. The audience should usually be able to see this for themselves, and often a supporting character within the story also sees the insanity of the situation. The main character rarely ever learns a lesson or undergoes any significant change from the ordeal, but sometimes a relatively sane course of action is offered to them. One such example of this sane course of action being taken is in the comic series Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, which ends with the title character voluntarily leaving town and checking himself into a mental institution. John Truby is a screenwriter, director and screenwriting teacher. ... Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. ...


The 1964 film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb presents one of the best-known examples of black comedy. The subject of the film is nuclear warfare and the annihilation of life on Earth. Normally, dramas about nuclear war treat the subject with gravity and seriousness, creating suspense over the efforts to avoid a nuclear war. But Dr. Strangelove plays the subject for laughs; for example, in the film, the fail-safe procedures designed to prevent a nuclear war are precisely the systems that ensure that it will happen. Plotwise, Captain Mandrake serves as the one sane character in the decayed society, and Major Kong fills the role of the hero striving for a harmful goal. A more modern film based upon black comedy is 2003's Bad Santa, starring Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, an alcoholic who uses his job as a mall Santa for the harmful goal of robbing the mall every Christmas Eve. While the film shows a society jaded and interested in Christmas only for reasons of greed, The Kid serves as the one sane character who believes faithfully in Santa and the spirit of giving. By the close of the film, though Willie is little improved by the events that befall him, he does ultimately find himself a new career and escape from the world of avarice. Also Nintendo emulator: 1964 (emulator). ... For the hit 1987 single by Depeche Mode, see the album Music for the Masses Film poster for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 satirical film directed by Stanley Kubrick. ... The Titan II ICBM carried a 9 Mt W53 warhead, making it one of the most powerful nuclear weapons fielded by the United States during the Cold War. ... For other uses, see Annihilation (disambiguation). ... Bad Santa is a 2003 film directed by Terry Zwigoff, produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Billy Bob Thornton as the title character and Tony Cox as his partner-in-crime. ... Billy Bob Thornton[1] (born August 4, 1955) is an Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, actor, as well as occasional director, playwright and singer. ...


Notable directors of black comedy films:

Films on Black/Dark Humour: Constantine Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an Academy Award winning American film director and screenwriter. ... Timothy Tim William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated American film director, writer and designer notable for the quirky and often dark atmosphere in his high-profile films. ... Terrence Vance Gilliam (born November 22, 1940) is an American-born British filmmaker, animator, and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. ... Joel and Ethan Coen, known as The Coen Brothers, are Oscar-winning American filmmakers. ... Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American director, writer, and producer of features, short films and commercials. ... Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese (IPA: AmE: ; Ita: []) (b. ... Ralph Bakshi (October 29, 1938) is an American director of animated and occasionally live-action films. ... For other persons named Peter Jackson, see Peter Jackson (disambiguation). ... Takashi Miike ) (born August 24, 1960) is a highly prolific and controversial Japanese filmmaker. ... Kubrick redirects here. ...

Catch-22 is a 1970 film, adapted from the book of the same name by Joseph Heller. ... For the hit 1987 single by Depeche Mode, see the album Music for the Masses Film poster for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is a 1964 satirical film directed by Stanley Kubrick. ... Stalag 17 is a 1953 war film which tells the story of a group of American G.I.s held in a German World War II prisoner of war camp who come to believe one of their number is a traitor. ... Running With Scissors is a 2006 film directed by Ryan Murphy. ... Fargo is a 1996 American crime-comedy-drama film written, directed and produced by the Coen Brothers. ... Envy is a 2004 comedy film, starring Ben Stiller and Jack Black and was directed by Barry Levinson. ... This article is about the film. ...

See also

The term off-color humor (also known as dirty jokes or blue humor) is used to describe various dirty jokes, prose, poems, black comedy and skits that deal with topics that are considered to be in poor taste or overly vulgar by the prevailing morals in a culture. ... Gallows Humor is comedy that makes light of death, or other very serious matters. ... British humour is a somewhat general term applied to certain comedic motifs that are often prevalent in comedic acts originating in Great Britain and its current or former colonies. ... For other uses, see Macabre (disambiguation). ... In Shakespeare studies, the term problem plays normally refers to three comedies that William Shakespeare wrote between the late 1590s and the first years of the seventeenth century: Alls Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure and Troilus and Cressida, although some critics would extend the term to other... This article is about the tone of comedy. ... // Sir Peter Levin Shaffer (born May 15, 1926) is an English dramatist, author of numerous award-winning plays, several of which have been filmed. ... Charles B. Griffith (b. ... In film theory, genre refers to the primary method of film categorization. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Comedy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (901 words)
Comedy has a classical meaning (comical theatre) and a popular one (the use of humour with an intent to provoke laughter in general).
Comedy, in contrast, portrays a conflict or agon (Classical Greek ἀγών) between a young hero and an older authority, a confrontation described by Northrop Frye as a struggle between a "society of youth" and a "society of the old".
The word "comedy" is derived from the Greek κωμοιδια, which is a compound either of κωμος (Classical Greek κῶμος) (revel) and ωιδος (singer), or of κωμη (village) and ωιδος: it is possible that κωμος itself is derived from κωμη, and originally meant a village revel.
Black comedy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2218 words)
Black comedy, also known as fl humour or dark comedy, is a sub-genre of comedy and satire where topics and events treated seriously – death, mass murder, sickness, madness, terror, drug abuse, rape, war etc.
Black comedy is similar to sick comedy, such as dead body jokes.
In America, fl comedy as a literary genre came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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