1. Comedy Genre Research
The extremely successful genre of Comedy uses laughter to gain a lot of interest by
audiences worldwide, the main emphasis being put on making the audience laugh these
films are designed to entertain the audience through amusement. Comedies often work
with exaggerating characteristics of real life for humorous effect. Films in this certain style
often have a happy ending making the audience leave feeling happy and joyful. Comedy is
one of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as
slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound.
During the 1930s, the silent film comedy was replaced by dialogue from film
comedians such as the W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers.
By the 1950s, the television industry had become a serious competition for the
The 1960s saw an increasing number of broad, star-packed comedies.
In the 1970s, black comedies were popular.
Most British comedy films of the early 1970s were spin-offs of television series.
One of the major developments of the 1990s was the re-emergence of the romantic
Another development was the increasing use of "gross-out humour".
Since the late 2000s, the live-action comedy film has entered a period of severe
decline, with studios green-lighting far fewer of them each year.
Unlike other genres, comedies mainly contain the same actors in all of the films. This is
because if there is a funny actor in a film you know the film will be funny, whereas with
different random actors each time you don’t know if they will actually be funny and that
makes or breaks the entire movie. This is different in something like a horror where if you
see a famous actor you have a pretty good feeling they won’t die as it wouldn’t make much
sense, whereas with random actors you learn all new stories and don’t know who will die
and who will survive.
Types of Comedy:
Slapstick (The Three Stooges is an excellent example of this kind of comedy) relies
predominately on visual depictions of events, and therefore does not require sound.
Accordingly, the subgenre was ideal for silent movies.
In a fish out of water comedy film, the main character or character finds himself in
an unusual environment, which drives most of the humour. Situations can be
swapping gender roles, as in Tootsie (1982); an age changing role, as in Big (1988); a
freedom-loving individual fitting into a structured environment, as in Police
Academy (1984); a rural backwoodsman in the big city, as in "Crocodile" Dundee,
and so forth. The Coen Brothers are known for using this technique in all of their
2. films, though not always to comic effect. Some films including people fitting the
"fish-out-of-water" bill include The Big Lebowski and A Serious Man.
A parody or spoof film is a comedy that satirizes other filmgenres or classic films.
Such films employ sarcasm, stereotyping, mockery of scenes from other films, and
the obviousness of meaning in a character's actions. Examples of this form
include Blazing Saddles(1974), Airplane! (1980), Young Frankenstein (1974) and Scary
The anarchic comedy film, as its name suggests, is a random or stream-of-
consciousness type of humour which often lampoons a form of authority. The
genre dates from the silent era, and the most famous examples of this type of film
would be those produced by Monty Python. Others include Duck Soup (1933)
and National Lampoon's Animal House .
The black comedy film deals with normally taboo subjects, including, death, murder,
sexual relations, suicide and war, in a satirical manner. Examples include Arsenic and
Old Lace (1944), Monsieur Verdoux(1947), Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), The
Ladykillers (1955), Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the
Bomb(1964), The Loved One (1965), MASH (1970), Monty Python's The Meaning of
Life (1983), Brazil (1985), The War of the Roses (1989),Heathers (1989), Your Friends
& Neighbors (1998), Keeping Mum(2005), and Burn After Reading (2008).
Gross out films are a relatively recent development, and rely heavily on vulgar,
sexual or "toilet" humour. Examples include Porky's (1982),Dumb and
Dumber (1994), There's Something About Mary (1998), and American Pie (1999).
The romantic comedy film subgenre typically involves the development of a
relationship between a man and a woman. The stereotyped plot line follows the
"boy-gets-girl", "boy-loses-girl", "boy gets girl back again" sequence. Naturally there
are innumerable variants to this plot, and much of the generally light-hearted
comedy lies in the social interactions and sexual tensions between the pair.
Examples of this style of film include It's a Wonderful World (1939), The Shop
Around the Corner (1940), Sabrina (1954), Annie Hall (1977), When Harry Met
Sally... (1989), Pretty Woman (1990), and Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).
Action comedy: Films in this subgenre blend comic antics and action where the film
stars combine wit and one-liners with a thrilling plot and daring stunts. The genre
became a specific draw in North America in the eighties when comedians such
as Eddie Murphy started taking more action oriented roles such as in 48
Hrs. and Beverly Hills Cop. These type of films are often buddy films, with
mismatched partners such as in Midnight Run, Rush Hour, 21 Jump Street, Bad Boys,
and Hot Fuzz. Slapstick martial arts films became a mainstay of Hong Kong action
cinema through the work of Jackie Chan among others. It may also focus
on superheroes such as The Incredibles, Hancock or Kick-Ass
3. Comedy horror: Comedy horror is a type of horror filmin which the usual dark
themes are treated with a humorous approach. These films are either use goofy
horror clichés such as in Scream, Young Frankenstein, Little Shop of
Horrors, Haunted Mansion and Scary Movie where campy styles are favoured. Some
are much more subtle and don't parody horror, such as An American Werewolf In
London. Another style of comedy horror can also rely on over the top violence and
gore such as in Dead Alive(1992), Evil Dead (1981), The Toxic Avenger (1984),
and Club Dread - such films are sometimes known as splatstick, a portmanteau of the
words splatter and slapstick. It would be reasonable to put Ghostbusters in this
Fantasy comedy: Fantasy comedy films are types of films that
uses magic, supernaturaland or mythological figures for comic purposes. Most
fantasy comedy includes an element of parody, or satire, turning many of the fantasy
conventions on their head such as the hero becoming a cowardly fool, the princess
being a klutz. Examples of these films include Being John Malkovich, Ernest Saves
Christmas, Ernest Scared Stupid, Night at the Museum, Groundhog
Day, Click and Shrek.
Sci-fi comedy: Sci-fi comedy films, like most hybrid genre of comedy use the
elements of science fiction films to over the top extremes and exaggerated science
fiction stereotypical characters. Examples of these types of films include Back to the
Future, Spaceballs, Ghostbusters, Evolution, Innerspace, Galaxy Quest, Mars
Attacks!, Men in Black and The World's End.