A history of Comedy (Part I)


Welcome readers to the most non-intellectual history of comedy you will ever have the honor of reading. Today we’ll be talking about the history and evolution of comedy. Our focus will be on comedy in western civilization and the pivotal role comedic acts have played in our society. The Infection will be highlighting some of the most important moments in comedic history as well as important comedians. To begin, we’ll be starting with comedy in ancient Greek and Roman theater. To begin, we should go over the definition of ‘Comedy’. Generally the word usually refers to any act that entices laughter. In general usage we think of things like jokes or acts of silliness as comedy. For others, they lean more towards the darker side of things with their tastes in humor and get a good kick out of sadistic entertainment. So before we continue with this we should come to a clear cut definition of ‘Comedy’ for you all to stick with us on.

Comedy, as defined by dictionary.com, is…

1.a play, movie, etc., of light and humorous character with a happy or cheerful ending; a dramatic work in which the central motif is the triumph over adverse circumstance, resulting in a successful or happy conclusion.
2.that branch of the drama which concerns itself with this form of composition.
3.the comic element of drama, of literature generally, or of life.
4.any literary composition dealing with a theme suitable for comedy, or employing the methods of comedy.
5. any comic or humorous incident or series of incidents.

Now that we have some definitions of comedy, we can choose a definition to run with for the course of this. The one we’re going to be going with is number 5, since it is the most politically correct at the moment. Now for the actual history!

Comedy in ancient Greece seems to have originated from dirty songs and festivals. Comedy also originated from making fun of other people or stereotypes. Aristotle said that comedy originated in phallic songs and light treatment of what is otherwise base and ugly. In total, comedy in ancient Greece came from people talking about sex and making fun of people. Those of you who are offended by this summary of things can suck a nut and go to bloody wikipedia. It says the same thing we just said but it’s more flowery sounding than us.

Carrying on, the fact is that nobody really knows where comedy came from but we can all agree that we like to laugh.  The history of comedy is so obscure because nobody ever really bothered to take it seriously. Hell…it wouldn’t be comedy if we did take it seriously

Anyways people, that’s it for the beginning of our history of Comedy. We hope you’ll leave this post feeling slightly educated about comedy in the past. In part 2 we’re going to be covering the different types of comedy and highlighting some important works in each of the genres. All in all, you know the mantra by now….

Keep us entertained!

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