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Film Studies: Unit 8 - Comedy

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john meehan

on 12 May 2014

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Transcript of Film Studies: Unit 8 - Comedy

UNIT EIGHT:
COMEDY
Characters are Reunited
Disguises are Revealed
(except for Antigonus in A Winter's Tale, who gets chased off of the stage by a bear in Act III)
Love & Good Triumph
DEUS EX MACHINA
(That's Latin for "God from the Machine")
A "miracle" solution when some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way.
(a.k.a. the "it's a miracle" cop-out ending)
SHAKESPEARE'S COMEDIES
GEORGE BURNS
RODNEY DANGERFIELD
MEL BROOKS
Nathan Birnbaum
Jacob Cohen
Melvin Kaminsky
JOAN RIVERS
Joan Molinsky
Vaudeville and The Borscht Belt
Comics honed their craft while touring the resorts in the Catskill Mountains in Upstate NY
(Which often means marriage)
COMEDY
TRAGEDY
OLD GREEK COMEDY
NEW GREEK COMEDY
ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE
(53o-220 BC)
these performances address complex emotions, human faults, dreams, and broader universal themes.
used to describe happy plays, jokes and songs that make fun of, mock, or satirize the conventions of society .
political satire
everyday satire
BUSTER KEATON
THE MARX BROTHERS
LAUREL & HARDY
CHARLIE CHAPLIN
ABBOT & COSTELLO
THE THREE STOOGES
Moe Howard
Larry Fine
Curly Horowitz
(Louis Feinberg)
(Moe Horowitz)
(Jerome Horowitz)
William "Bud" Abbott and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo)
Vaudeville, Radio and Film (1940s-1950s)
Pioneers of early slapstick comedy (1930s-1940s)
Career spanned 75 years

Created "The Tramp" character

One of the first true worldwide celebrities
Englishman Stan Laurel
and
American Oliver Hardy
1920s-1940s
Critically and commercially acclaimed
Groucho Marx
Harpo Marx
Chico Marx
Leonard
Adolph
Julius
Legends of early film comedy (1905-1949)
Wordplay, screwball, and slapstick
Physical comedy with a deadpan expression
Joseph Keaton

1920s-1940s
THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY
What makes something
FUNNY?
SCREWBALL COMEDY
Inversion of expectations, flip of gender roles, battle of the sexes.
SLAPSTICK COMEDY
PHYSICAL COMEDY
Physical comedy that exceeds the bounds of common sense
SITUATIONAL COMEDY
Comedy arising from a familiar cast of characters set in the same situation
Laughter induced by watching others clowning
in physical pain or distortion
ROMANTIC COMEDY
Laughing as characters navigate the obstacles of a romantic relationship
DARK COMEDY
Poking fun at disturbing subjects, inappropriate moments for humor
Character comedy, cringe comedy, Deadpan comedy, Insult comedy, Observational comedy, Prop comedy, Stand-up comedy, etc. etc. etc.
Tonight's Homework: Watch and analyze a comedy great. Turn In your findings on Edmodo.
MONTY PYTHON
PUNCH-UP GROUPS
WRITERS' ROOMS
COMEDY TROUPES
"all of us together are funnier than any of us apart."
writers work in teams (about a dozen at a time) to brainstorm, draft, write, and revise weekly episodic television
teams of comedians who perform in live venues (touring or in-residence) to present sketch comedy and improv.
hired comedians brought in during the script revision stage to read the script and add jokes and "trailer"-ready one-liners.
ABSURD COMEDY
Comedy arising from implausible situations and things that defy logic
META COMEDY
Comedy done with a "wink" to the audience, breaking the fourth wall
BLUE COMEDY
Humor that involves crude language and sexual content.
Catskills comics had to work clean.
Las Vegas comics could "work blue."
Will Ferrell Jim Carrey Chevy Chase
Lucille Ball
Vaudevilles The Three Stooges
Silent Film Comedy
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" "Some Like It Hot"
"Tootsie"
"Wedding Crashers"

"Roman Holiday"
"Pretty Woman"
"Futurama" The Marx Brothers
"Monty Python"
"Friends" "Cheers" "The Big Bang Theory"
"The Office"
"The Jerk" "Tosh.0" "The Daily Show"
"Annie Hall"
"This Is The End"

"Reservoir Dogs"
"Death to Smoochy"
COMEDY COMES FROM THE
INVERSION OF
EXPECTATIONS
COMEDY COMES FROM THE
Through the 1970s
SIGHT GAG
SOUND GAG
WORDPLAY
PUN
PRATFALL
SPIT TAKE
PUNCHLINES
FISH-OUT-OF WATER
MISTAKEN IDENTITY
ABSURD SITUATION
VERBAL IRONY
SITUATIONAL IRONY
TACTLESS COMMENT
CALLBACK JOKES
What's your favorite FUNNY moment or scene in film/television?
1995
1984
1959
2004
1987
4. CALLBACK JOKE
JOKE STRUCTURE
The premise or "normal" pattern
Inverts expectations / breaks pattern
Inverts or jokes about the punchline again
1. SETUP

2. PUNCHLINE

3. TAG (TOPPER)
Saturday Night Live
Can
funny
work
in
LARGE
doses?
More than any other genre,
COMEDY
is a
COLLABORATIVE
art form.
Full transcript