Given the highly stressed life we lead, today ‘comic relief’ is a much needed break that all of us require desperately. Imagine how good it can be if can end our hectic day with a dose of humor by watching a favorite comedy film. Laughter as they is the best medicine; so ending a day laughing is undoubtedly a very good idea.
Comedy as a genre
Comedy uses humor as its main thrust. It tells interesting stories through humorous characters and situations, thereby evoking laughter among the audience. Though it may sometimes take on serious topics, its ending is always happy. This is a genre that tends to combine with other genres, producing hybrid sub-genres like romantic comedy, action-comedy etc.
The origin of the genre can be traced back to 1895 when it first emerged in TV shows. The period being that of silent films, it was quite difficult for the genre to thrive between 1895 and 1930. As a result, burlesque and slapstick humor became popular. The former includes parodies and sketches meant for the adult audience while the latter involves comical conventions like collisions, chases and practical jokes.
“Watering the Gardner” is the first known slapstick film. Produced by the Lumiere brothers, the film was released in 1895. The art form was mastered by the master himself, Mr. Charlie Chaplin in his career of 75 years. His first film ‘Making a Living’ came in 1914. Another man who made an unforgettable contribution to slapstick humor was Buster Keaton. He was a director who excelled in physical humor. He believed in portraying humor through the human body, like falling over, walking into walls etc.
Comedy in the 1930s-1950s
Films during this time had dialogues and with the advanced technology, the genre was taken to a whole new level, where slapstick and physical humor gradually lost its ground. This was the time for verbal humor which included puns, parodies, innuendos etc. William Fields was a famous director during this time and his memorable work is ‘My Little Chikadee’.
Comedy in 1960s
The art form during this decade became darker. It took the shape of a satire aimed at the contemporary society, like ‘Dr. Strangelove’, ‘The Apartment’, ‘The Graduate’ etc.