Comedy

In a modern sense, comedy (from the Greek: κωμῳδία, kōmōidía) refers to any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or amusing by inducing laughter, especially in theatre, television, film, stand-up comedy, or any other medium of entertainment. The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece. In the Athenian democracy, the public opinion of voters was influenced by the political satire performed by the comic poets at the theaters.[1] The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a "Society of Youth" and a "Society of the Old."[2] A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.[3]

Satire and political satire use comedy to portray persons or social institutions as ridiculous or corrupt, thus alienating their audience from the object of their humor. Parody subverts popular genres and forms, critiquing those forms without necessarily condemning them.

Other forms of comedy include screwball comedy, which derives its humor largely from bizarre, surprising (and improbable) situations or characters, and black comedy, which is characterized by a form of humor that includes darker aspects of human behavior or human nature. Similarly scatological humor, sexual humor, and race humor create comedy by violating social conventions or taboos in comic ways. A comedy of manners typically takes as its subject a particular part of society (usually upper-class society) and uses humor to parody or satirize the behavior and mannerisms of its members. Romantic comedy is a popular genre that depicts burgeoning romance in humorous terms and focuses on the foibles of those who are falling in love.

Etymology

Tragic comic masks - roman mosaic
Tragic Comic Masks of Ancient Greek Theatre represented in the Hadrian's Villa mosaic

The word "comedy" is derived from the Classical Greek κωμῳδία kōmōidía, which is a compound either of κῶμος kômos (revel) or κώμη kṓmē (village) and ᾠδή ōidḗ (singing); it is possible that κῶμος itself is derived from κώμη, and originally meant a village revel. The adjective "comic" (Greek κωμικός kōmikós), which strictly means that which relates to comedy is, in modern usage, generally confined to the sense of "laughter-provoking".[4] Of this, the word came into modern usage through the Latin comoedia and Italian commedia and has, over time, passed through various shades of meaning.[5]

The Greeks and Romans confined their use of the word "comedy" to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average (where tragedy was an imitation of men better than the average). However, the characters portrayed in comedies were not worse than average in every way, only insofar as they are Ridiculous, which is a species of the Ugly. The Ridiculous may be defined as a mistake or deformity not productive of pain or harm to others; the mask, for instance, that excites laughter is something ugly and distorted without causing pain.[6] In the Middle Ages, the term expanded to include narrative poems with happy endings. It is in this sense that Dante used the term in the title of his poem, La Commedia.

As time progressed, the word came more and more to be associated with any sort of performance intended to cause laughter.[5] During the Middle Ages, the term "comedy" became synonymous with satire, and later with humour in general.

Aristotle's Poetics was translated into Arabic in the medieval Islamic world, where it was elaborated upon by Arabic writers and Islamic philosophers, such as Abu Bischr, and his pupils Al-Farabi, Avicenna, and Averroes. They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija (satirical poetry). They viewed comedy as simply the "art of reprehension", and made no reference to light and cheerful events, or to the troubling beginnings and happy endings associated with classical Greek comedy.

After the Latin translations of the 12th century, the term "comedy" gained a more general meaning in medieval literature.[7]

In the late 20th century, many scholars preferred to use the term laughter to refer to the whole gamut of the comic, in order to avoid the use of ambiguous and problematically defined genres such as the grotesque, irony, and satire.[8][9]

History

Western history of comedy

Dionysiac origins, Aristophanes and Aristotle

Samia (Girl from Samos) Mytilene 3cAD
Roman-era mosaic depicting a scene from Menander's comedy Samia ("The Woman from Samos")

Starting from 425 BCE, Aristophanes, a comic playwright and satirical author of the Ancient Greek Theater, wrote 40 comedies, 11 of which survive. Aristophanes developed his type of comedy from the earlier satyr plays, which were often highly obscene.[10] The only surviving examples of the satyr plays are by Euripides, which are much later examples and not representative of the genre.[11] In ancient Greece, comedy originated in bawdy and ribald songs or recitations apropos of phallic processions and fertility festivals or gatherings.[12]

Around 335 BCE, Aristotle, in his work Poetics, stated that comedy originated in phallic processions and the light treatment of the otherwise base and ugly. He also adds that the origins of comedy are obscure because it was not treated seriously from its inception.[13] However, comedy had its own Muse: Thalia.

Aristotle taught that comedy was generally positive for society, since it brings forth happiness, which for Aristotle was the ideal state, the final goal in any activity. For Aristotle, a comedy did not need to involve sexual humor. A comedy is about the fortunate rise of a sympathetic character. Aristotle divides comedy into three categories or subgenres: farce, romantic comedy, and satire. On the contrary, Plato taught that comedy is a destruction to the self. He believed that it produces an emotion that overrides rational self-control and learning. In The Republic, he says that the guardians of the state should avoid laughter, "for ordinarily when one abandons himself to violent laughter, his condition provokes a violent reaction." Plato says comedy should be tightly controlled if one wants to achieve the ideal state.

Also in Poetics, Aristotle defined comedy as one of the original four genres of literature. The other three genres are tragedy, epic poetry, and lyric poetry. Literature, in general, is defined by Aristotle as a mimesis, or imitation of life. Comedy is the third form of literature, being the most divorced from a true mimesis. Tragedy is the truest mimesis, followed by epic poetry, comedy, and lyric poetry. The genre of comedy is defined by a certain pattern according to Aristotle's definition. Comedies begin with low or base characters seeking insignificant aims and end with some accomplishment of the aims which either lightens the initial baseness or reveals the insignificance of the aims.

Early Renaissance forms of comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia [diˈviːna komˈmɛːdja]) is a long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature[14] and one of the greatest works of world literature.[15] The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written, as the standardized Italian language.[16] It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

The narrative describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven,[17] while allegorically the poem represents the soul's journey towards God.[18] Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas.[19] Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse".[20] In Dante's work, Virgil is presented as human reason and Beatrice is presented as divine knowledge.[21]

The work was originally simply titled Comedia (so also in the first printed edition, published in 1472). The adjective Divina was added by Giovanni Boccaccio, and the first edition to name the poem Divina Comedia in the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce,[22] published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari.

The Divine Comedy is composed of 14,233 lines that are divided into three cantiche (singular cantica) – Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory), and Paradiso (Paradise) – each consisting of 33 cantos (Italian plural canti). An initial canto, serving as an introduction to the poem and generally considered to be part of the first cantica, brings the total number of cantos to 100. It is generally accepted, however, that the first two cantos serve as a unitary prologue to the entire epic, and that the opening two cantos of each cantica serve as prologues to each of the three cantiche.[23][24][25]

Commedia dell'arte and Shakespearean, Elizabethan comedy

MND title page
Title page of the first quarto of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream (1600)

"Comedy", in its Elizabethan usage, had a very different meaning from modern comedy. A Shakespearean comedy is one that has a happy ending, usually involving marriages between the unmarried characters, and a tone and style that is more light-hearted than Shakespeare's other plays.[26]

The Punch and Judy show has roots in the 16th-century Italian commedia dell'arte. The figure of Punch derives from the Neapolitan stock character of Pulcinella.[27] The figure who later became Mr. Punch made his first recorded appearance in England in 1662.[28] Punch and Judy are performed in the spirit of outrageous comedy — often provoking shocked laughter — and are dominated by the anarchic clowning of Mr. Punch.[29] Appearing at a significant period in British history, professor Glyn Edwards states: "[Pulcinella] went down particularly well with Restoration British audiences, fun-starved after years of Puritanism. We soon changed Punch's name, transformed him from a marionette to a hand puppet, and he became, really, a spirit of Britain — a subversive maverick who defies authority, a kind of puppet equivalent to our political cartoons."[28]

19th to early 20th century

In early 19th century England, pantomime acquired its present form which includes slapstick comedy and featured the first mainstream clown Joseph Grimaldi, while comedy routines also featured heavily in British music hall theatre which became popular in the 1850s.[30] British comedians who honed their skills in music hall sketches include Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Dan Leno.[31] English music hall comedian and theatre impresario Fred Karno developed a form of sketch comedy without dialogue in the 1890s, and Chaplin and Laurel were among the comedians who worked for his company.[31] Karno was a pioneer of slapstick, and in his biography, Laurel stated, "Fred Karno didn't teach Charlie [Chaplin] and me all we know about comedy. He just taught us most of it".[32] Film producer Hal Roach stated: "Fred Karno is not only a genius, he is the man who originated slapstick comedy. We in Hollywood owe much to him."[33] American vaudeville emerged in the 1880s and remained popular until the 1930s, and featured comedians such as W. C. Fields, Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers.

20th century theatre and art

Surreal humour (also known as 'absurdist humour'), or 'surreal comedy', is a form of humour predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical. Constructions of surreal humour tend to involve bizarre juxtapositions, incongruity, non-sequiturs, irrational or absurd situations and expressions of nonsense.[34] The humour arises from a subversion of audience's expectations, so that amusement is founded on unpredictability, separate from a logical analysis of the situation. The humour derived gets its appeal from the ridiculousness and unlikeliness of the situation. The genre has roots in Surrealism in the arts.[34]

Edward Lear and His Cat Foss 1885
Edward Lear, Aged 73 and a Half and His Cat Foss, Aged 16, an 1885 lithograph by Edward Lear

Surreal humour is the effect of illogic and absurdity being used for humorous effect. Under such premises, people can identify precursors and early examples of surreal humour at least since the 19th century, such as Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, which both use illogic and absurdity (hookah-smoking caterpillars, croquet matches using live flamingos as mallets, etc.) for humorous effect. Many of Edward Lear's children stories and poems contain nonsense and are basically surreal in approach. For example, The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World (1871) is filled with contradictory statements and odd images intended to provoke amusement, such as the following:

After a time they saw some land at a distance; and when they came to it, they found it was an island made of water quite surrounded by earth. Besides that, it was bordered by evanescent isthmuses with a great Gulf-stream running about all over it, so that it was perfectly beautiful, and contained only a single tree, 503 feet high.[35]

In the early 20th century, several avant-garde movements, including the dadaists, surrealists, and futurists, began to argue for an art that was random, jarring and illogical.[36] The goals of these movements were in some sense serious, and they were committed to undermining the solemnity and self-satisfaction of the contemporary artistic establishment. As a result, much of their art was intentionally amusing.

A famous example is Marcel Duchamp's Fountain (1917), an inverted urinal signed "R. Mutt". This became one of the most famous and influential pieces of art in history, and one of the earliest examples of the found object movement. It is also a joke, relying on the inversion of the item's function as expressed by its title as well as its incongruous presence in an art exhibition.[37]

20th century film and television

Lewis and Martin
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (ca. 1950)
Jim-Carrey-2008
Jim Carrey mugs for the camera
Jordan Peele Peabody 2014 (cropped)
Jordan Peele at the Peabody awards.

The advent of cinema in the late 19th century, and later radio and television in the 20th century broadened the access of comedians to the general public. Charlie Chaplin, through silent film, became one of the best-known faces on earth. The silent tradition lived on well into the 20th century through mime artists like Marcel Marceau, and the physical comedy of artists like Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean. The tradition of the circus clown also continued, with such as Bozo the Clown in the United States and Oleg Popov in Russia. Radio provided new possibilities — with Britain producing the influential Goon Show after the Second World War. American cinema has produced a great number of globally renowned comedy artists, from Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, Abbott and Costello, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, as well as Bob Hope during the mid-20th century, to performers like George Carlin, Robin Williams, and Eddie Murphy at the end of the century. Hollywood attracted many international talents like the British comics Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore and Sacha Baron Cohen, Canadian comics Dan Aykroyd, Jim Carrey, and Mike Myers, and the Australian comedian Paul Hogan, famous for Crocodile Dundee. Other centres of creative comic activity have been the cinema of Hong Kong, Bollywood, and French farce.

American television has also been an influential force in world comedy: with American series like M*A*S*H, Seinfeld and The Simpsons achieving large followings around the world. British television comedy also remains influential, with quintessential works including Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, Dad's Army, Blackadder, and The Office. Australian satirist Barry Humphries, whose comic creations include the housewife and "gigastar" Dame Edna Everage, for his delivery of Dadaist and absurdist humour to millions, was described by biographer Anne Pender in 2010 as not only "the most significant theatrical figure of our time ... [but] the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin".[38]

Non-Western history of comedy

Classical Sanskrit Dramas, Plays, and Epics of Ancient India

By 200 BC,[39] in ancient Sanskrit drama, Bharata Muni's Natya Shastra defined humour (hāsyam) as one of the nine nava rasas, or principle rasas (emotional responses), which can be inspired in the audience by bhavas, the imitations of emotions that the actors perform. Each rasa was associated with a specific bhavas portrayed on stage. In the case of humour, it was associated with mirth (hasya).

Studies on the theory of the comic

The phenomena connected with laughter and that which provokes it have been carefully investigated by psychologists. They agree the predominant characteristics are incongruity or contrast in the object and shock or emotional seizure on the part of the subject. It has also been held that the feeling of superiority is an essential factor: thus Thomas Hobbes speaks of laughter as a "sudden glory". Modern investigators have paid much attention to the origin both of laughter and of smiling, as well as the development of the "play instinct" and its emotional expression.

George Meredith said that "One excellent test of the civilization of a country ... I take to be the flourishing of the Comic idea and Comedy, and the test of true Comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter." Laughter is said to be the cure for being sick. Studies show that people who laugh more often get sick less.[40][41]

American literary theorist Kenneth Burke writes that the "comic frame" in rhetoric is "neither wholly euphemistic, nor wholly debunking—hence it provides the charitable attitude towards people that is required for purposes of persuasion and co-operation, but at the same time maintains our shrewdness concerning the simplicities of ‘cashing in.’" [42] The purpose of the comic frame is to satirize a given circumstance and promote change by doing so. The comic frame makes fun of situations and people, while simultaneously provoking thought.[43] The comic frame does not aim to vilify in its analysis, but rather, rebuke the stupidity and foolery of those involved in the circumstances.[44] For example, on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart uses the "comic frame" to intervene in political arguments, often offering crude humor in sudden contrast to serious news. In a segment on President Obama's trip to China Stewart remarks on America's debt to the Chinese government while also having a weak relationship with the country. After depicting this dismal situation, Stewart shifts to speak directly to President Obama, calling upon him to "shine that turd up."[45] For Stewart and his audience, introducing coarse language into what is otherwise a serious commentary on the state of foreign relations serves to frame the segment comically, creating a serious tone underlying the comedic agenda presented by Stewart.

Forms

Comedy may be divided into multiple genres based on the source of humor, the method of delivery, and the context in which it is delivered. The different forms of comedy often overlap, and most comedy can fit into multiple genres. Some of the subgenres of comedy are farce, comedy of manners, burlesque, and satire.

Some comedy apes certain cultural forms: for instance, parody and satire often imitate the conventions of the genre they are parodying or satirizing. For example, in the United States, parodies of newspapers and television news include The Onion, and The Colbert Report; in Australia, shows such as Kath & Kim, Utopia, and Shaun Micallef's Mad As Hell perform the same role.

Self-deprecation is a technique of comedy used by many comedians who focus on their misfortunes and foibles in order to entertain.

Performing arts

Historical forms

Plays

Opera

Improvisational comedy

Jokes

Stand-up comedy

Stand-up comedy is a mode of comic performance in which the performer addresses the audience directly, usually speaking in their own person rather than as a dramatic character.

Events and awards

List of comedians

Mass media

Literature

Film

Television and radio

Comedy networks

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ Henderson, J. (1993) Comic Hero versus Political Elite pp. 307–19 in Sommerstein, A.H.; S. Halliwell; J. Henderson; B. Zimmerman, eds. (1993). Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis. Bari: Levante Editori.
  2. ^ (Anatomy of Criticism, 1957)
  3. ^ Marteinson, 2006
  4. ^ Cornford (1934)
  5. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary
  6. ^ McKeon, Richard. The Basic Works Of Aristotle, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2001, p. 1459.
  7. ^ Webber, Edwin J. (January 1958). "Comedy as Satire in Hispano-Arabic Spain". Hispanic Review. 26 (1): 1. doi:10.2307/470561. JSTOR 470561.
  8. ^ Herman Braet, Guido Latré, Werner Verbeke (2003) Risus mediaevalis: laughter in medieval literature and art p.1 quotation:

    The deliberate use by Menard of the term 'le rire' rather than 'l'humour' reflects accurately the current evidency to incorporate all instances of the comic in the analysis, while the classification in genres and fields such as grotesque, humour and even irony or satire always poses problems. The terms humour and laughter are therefore pragmatically used in recent historiography to cover the entire spectrum.

  9. ^ , Ménard, Philippe (1988) Le rire et le sourire au Moyen Age dans la littérature et les arts. Essai de problématique in Bouché, T. and Charpentier H. (eds., 1988) Le rire au Moyen Âge, Actes du colloque international de Bordeaux, pp. 7–30
  10. ^ Aristophanes (1996) Lysistrata, Introduction, p.ix, published by Nick Hern Books
  11. ^ Reckford, Kenneth J. (1987)Aristophanes' Old-and-new Comedy: Six essays in perspective p.105
  12. ^ Cornford, F.M. (1934) The Origin of Attic Comedy pp.3-4 quotation:

    That Comedy sprang up and took shape in connection with Dionysiac or Phallic ritual has never been doubted.

  13. ^ "Aristotle, Poetics, lines beginning at 1449a". Perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  14. ^ For example, Encyclopedia Americana, 2006, Vol. 30. p. 605: "the greatest single work of Italian literature;" John Julius Norwich, The Italians: History, Art, and the Genius of a People, Abrams, 1983, p. 27: "his tremendous poem, still after six and a half centuries the supreme work of Italian literature, remains – after the legacy of ancient Rome – the grandest single element in the Italian heritage;" and Robert Reinhold Ergang, The Renaissance, Van Nostrand, 1967, p. 103: "Many literary historians regard the Divine Comedy as the greatest work of Italian literature. In world literature, it is ranked as an epic poem of the highest order."
  15. ^ Bloom, Harold (1994). The Western Canon. See also Western canon for other "canons" that include the Divine Comedy.
  16. ^ See Lepschy, Laura; Lepschy, Giulio (1977). The Italian Language Today. or any other history of Italian language.
  17. ^ Peter E. Bondanella, The Inferno, Introduction, p. xliii, Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003, ISBN 1-59308-051-4: "the key fiction of the Divine Comedy is that the poem is true."
  18. ^ Dorothy L. Sayers, Hell, notes on page 19.
  19. ^ Charles Allen Dinsmore, The Teachings of Dante, Ayer Publishing, 1970, p. 38, ISBN 0-8369-5521-8.
  20. ^ The Fordham Monthly Fordham University, Vol. XL, Dec. 1921, p. 76
  21. ^ Approaches to teaching Dante's Divine comedy. Slade, Carole., Cecchetti, Giovanni, 1922–1998. New York: Modern Language Association of America. 1982. ISBN 978-0-87352-478-0. OCLC 7671339.
  22. ^ Ronnie H. Terpening, Lodovico Dolce, Renaissance Man of Letters (Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 1997), p. 166.
  23. ^ Dante The Inferno A Verse Translation by Professor Robert and Jean Hollander p. 43
  24. ^ Epist. XIII 43 to 48
  25. ^ Wilkins E.H The Prologue to the Divine Comedy Annual Report of the Dante Society, pp. 1–7.
  26. ^ Regan, Richard. "Shakespearean comedy"
  27. ^ Wikisource Wheeler, R. Mortimer (1911). "Punch (puppet)" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 648–649.
  28. ^ a b "Punch and Judy around the world". The Telegraph. 11 June 2015.
  29. ^ "Mr Punch celebrates 350 years of puppet anarchy". BBC. 11 June 2015.
  30. ^ Jeffrey Richards (2014). "The Golden Age of Pantomime: Slapstick, Spectacle and Subversion in Victorian England". I.B.Tauris,
  31. ^ a b McCabe, John. "Comedy World of Stan Laurel". p. 143. London: Robson Books, 2005, First edition 1975
  32. ^ Burton, Alan (2000). Pimple, pranks & pratfalls: British film comedy before 1930. Flicks Books. p. 51.
  33. ^ J. P. Gallagher (1971). "Fred Karno: master of mirth and tears". p. 165. Hale.
  34. ^ a b Stockwell, Peter (2016-11-01). The Language of Surrealism. p. 177. ISBN 978-1-137-39219-0.
  35. ^ Lear, Edward (2004-10-08). Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets.
  36. ^ Buelens, Geert; Hendrix, Harald; Jansen, Monica, eds. (2012). The History of Futurism: The Precursors, Protagonists, and Legacies. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-7387-9.
  37. ^ Gayford, Martin (16 February 2008). "Duchamp's Fountain: The practical joke that launched an artistic revolution". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 February 2017.
  38. ^ Meacham, Steve (2010-09-15). "Absurd moments: in the frocks of the dame". Brisbanetimes.com.au. Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  39. ^ Robert Barton, Annie McGregor (2014-01-03). Theatre in Your Life. CengageBrain. p. 218. ISBN 978-1-285-46348-3.
  40. ^ "An impolite interview with Lenny Bruce". The Realist (15): 3. February 1960. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  41. ^ Meredith, George (1987). "Essay on Comedy, Comic Spirit". Encyclopedia of the Self, by Mark Zimmerman. Retrieved 2011-12-30.
  42. ^ "The Comic Frame". newantichoicerhetoric.web.unc.edu.
  43. ^ "Standing Up for Comedy: Kenneth Burke and The Office – KB Journal". www.kbjournal.org.
  44. ^ "History – School of Humanities and Sciences". www.ithaca.edu. Ithaca College.
  45. ^ Trischa Goodnow Knapp (2011). The Daily Show and Rhetoric: Arguments, Issues, and Strategies. p. 327. Lexington Books, 2011
  46. ^ This list was compiled with reference to The Cambridge Guide to Theatre (1998).

Notations

External links

Amy Poehler

Amy Meredith Poehler (; born September 16, 1971) is an American actress, comedian, director, producer, and writer. After studying improv at Chicago's Second City and ImprovOlympic in the early 1990s, she Co-founded the Chicago-based improvisational-comedy troupe, Upright Citizens Brigade. The group moved to New York City in 1996 where their act became a half-hour sketch comedy series on Comedy Central in 1998. Along with other members of the comedy group, Poehler is a founder of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.She is best known for starring as Leslie Knope in the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Musical or Comedy Series in 2014 and a Critics' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy Series in 2012. Poehler was a cast member on the NBC television series Saturday Night Live from 2001 to 2008 and became co-anchor of SNL's Weekend Update in 2004. She and Tina Fey both won the 2016 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for co-hosting Saturday Night Live.

She is also known for voicing Joy from Inside Out, Sally O'Malley from the Horton Hears a Who! movie adaptation, Bessie Higgenbottom from the Nickelodeon series, The Mighty B! from 2008-2010, and Homily Clock from the American-English dub of The Secret World of Arrietty. Poehler was an executive producer on the televisions series Welcome to Sweden, Broad City, Difficult People, and Russian Doll. In December 2015, Poehler received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions in television.

Amy Schumer

Amy Beth Schumer (born June 1, 1981) is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She ventured into comedy in the early 2000s before appearing as a contestant on the fifth season of the NBC reality competition series Last Comic Standing in 2007. Since 2013, she has been the creator, co-producer, co-writer, and star of the Comedy Central sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer, for which she received a Peabody Award and for which Schumer has been nominated for five Primetime Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Variety Sketch Series in 2015.

Schumer wrote and made her film debut in a starring role in Trainwreck (2015), for which she received nominations for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical. She published a memoir in 2016, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, which held the top position on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list for two weeks. The same year, she garnered two Grammy Award nominations for Best Comedy Album for Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo and Best Spoken Word Album for The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo. In 2018, she starred in the comedy film I Feel Pretty and garnered a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play nomination for her Broadway debut in Meteor Shower.

Andy Samberg

Andy Samberg (born August 18, 1978) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician. He is a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island and was a cast member on Saturday Night Live (2005–2012), where he and his fellow group members have been credited with popularizing the SNL Digital Shorts.Samberg has starred in several films, including Hot Rod (2007), I Love You, Man (2009), That's My Boy (2012), Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012), Hotel Transylvania (2012), Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018), Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016), and Storks (2016).

Since 2013, he has starred as Jake Peralta in the Fox police sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, for which he was awarded a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2014 and the series was picked up by NBC in 2018 for its sixth season and beyond after Fox decided to cancel the show.

Black comedy

Black comedy, also known as dark comedy or gallows humor, is a comic style that makes light of subject matter that is generally considered taboo, particularly subjects that are normally considered serious or painful to discuss. Comedians often use it as a tool for exploring vulgar issues, thus provoking discomfort and serious thought as well as amusement in their audience. Popular themes of the genre include death and violence (murder, suicide, abuse, domestic violence, graphic violence, rape, torture, war, genocide, terrorism, corruption), discrimination (chauvinism, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism), disease (anxiety, depression, nightmares, drug abuse, mutilation, disability, terminal illness, insanity), sexuality (sodomy, homosexuality, incest, infidelity, fornication), religion, and barbarism.

Black comedy differs from blue comedy which focuses more on crude topics such as nudity, sex, and bodily fluids. Although the two are interrelated, black comedy is also different from straightforward obscenity in that it is more subtle and does not necessarily have the explicit intention of offending people. In obscene humor, much of the humorous element comes from shock and revulsion, while black comedy might include an element of irony, or even fatalism. For example, an archetypal example of black comedy in the form of self-mutilation appears in the English novel Tristram Shandy. Tristram, five years old at the time, starts to urinate out of an open window for lack of a chamber pot. The sash falls and circumcises him; his family reacts with both hysteria and philosophical acceptance.

Literary critics have associated black comedy and black humor with authors as early as the ancient Greeks with Aristophanes.Whereas the term black comedy is a relatively broad term covering humor relating to many serious subjects, gallows humor tends to be used more specifically in relation to death, or situations that are reminiscent of dying.

Black humor can occasionally be related to the grotesque genre.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an American police television sitcom that premiered on Fox on September 17, 2013. Created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur, the series revolves around Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct, who comes into conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher). The ensemble and supporting cast feature Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Terry Crews as Terry Jeffords, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Joe Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle, Chelsea Peretti as Gina Linetti, Dirk Blocker as Michael Hitchcock, and Joel McKinnon Miller as Norm Scully.

Produced as a single-camera comedy, Fox originally ordered thirteen episodes for its first season, eventually expanding it to 22 episodes. The series has been praised for its cast, especially Samberg and Braugher. It has won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards: one for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and one for Samberg for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. Braugher has also been nominated for three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. The series has also received particular praise for its portrayal of serious issues with a blend of humor.

On May 10, 2018, Fox canceled the series after five seasons. The following day, NBC picked up the series for a sixth season of thirteen episodes; on September 7, 2018, NBC extended the season to a count of eighteen episodes. The sixth season began on NBC on January 10, 2019. On February 27, 2019, NBC renewed the series for a seventh season.

Comedy-drama

Comedy-drama or dramedy (a portmanteau of drama and comedy), is a genre in film and in television works in which plot elements are a combination of comedy and drama. It is a subgenre of contemporary tragicomedy. Comedy-drama is especially found in television programs and is considered a "hybrid genre".

Comedy Central

Comedy Central is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel is geared for mature audiences and carries comedy programming in the form of both original, licensed, and syndicated series and stand-up comedy specials, as well as feature films.

Since the early 2000s, Comedy Central has expanded globally with localized channels in Southeast Asia, Europe, Latin America, New Zealand, Middle East and Africa. The international channels are operated by Viacom International Media Networks.

Comedy Central is available to approximately 91,859,000 households (78.919% of households with TV) as of January 2016.

Comedy film

Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending (black comedy being an exception). 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. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

Comedy, compared with other film genres, puts much more focus on individual stars, with many former stand-up comics transitioning to the film industry due to their popularity. While many comic films are lighthearted stories with no intent other than to amuse, others contain political or social commentary (such as The King of Comedy and Wag the Dog).

Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Divina Commedia [diˈviːna komˈmɛːdja]) is an Italian long narrative poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. The poem's imaginative vision of the afterlife is representative of the medieval world-view as it had developed in the Western Church by the 14th century. It helped establish the Tuscan language, in which it is written (also in most present-day Italian-market editions), as the standardized Italian language. It is divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

The narrative describes Dante's travels through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise or Heaven, while allegorically the poem represents the soul's journey towards God. Dante draws on medieval Christian theology and philosophy, especially Thomistic philosophy and the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas. Consequently, the Divine Comedy has been called "the Summa in verse". In Dante's work, Virgil is presented as human reason and Beatrice is presented as divine knowledge.The work was originally simply titled Comedìa (pronounced [komeˈdiːa]; so also in the first printed edition, published in 1472), Tuscan for "Comedy", later adjusted to the modern Italian Commedia. The adjective Divina was added by Giovanni Boccaccio, and the first edition to name the poem Divina Comedia in the title was that of the Venetian humanist Lodovico Dolce, published in 1555 by Gabriele Giolito de' Ferrari.

Donald Glover

Donald McKinley Glover Jr. (born September 25, 1983) is an American actor, comedian, writer, producer, director, musician, and DJ. He performs music under the stage name Childish Gambino and as a DJ under the name mcDJ.After coming to public attention for his work with Derrick Comedy while a student at New York University, he was hired at age 23 by Tina Fey as a writer for the NBC sitcom 30 Rock. He later portrayed community college student Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community. He stars in the FX series Atlanta, which he created and occasionally directs. For his work on Atlanta, Glover won various accolades, including Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, and Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy and Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy. In film, Glover has appeared in Mystery Team (2009), The Lazarus Effect, Magic Mike XXL, The Martian (2015), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and as the young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018). He will also provide the voice of the adult Simba in a remake of the Disney film The Lion King (2019).

After several self-released albums and mixtapes, Glover signed to Glassnote Records in 2011. He released his first studio album, Camp, on November 15, 2011, to generally positive reviews. His second studio album, Because the Internet, was released on December 10, 2013. Glover's third album, "Awaken, My Love!", was released on December 2, 2016, spawning the single "Redbone", which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and eventually earned him a Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance. In 2017, Glover was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. In May 2018, Glover released the song and video for "This Is America", which debuted at number-one on the Hot 100. The song was nominated and won four Grammy Awards at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rap/Sung Performance and Best Music Video. In early July 2018, Glover's EP Summer Pack was released which included the Grammy nominated for Best R&B Song song "Feels Like Summer".

Eddie Murphy

Edward Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an American comedian, actor, screen writer, singer, and film producer. Murphy was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984. He has worked as a stand-up comedian and was ranked #10 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.In films, Murphy has received Golden Globe Award nominations for his performances in 48 Hrs., the Beverly Hills Cop series, Trading Places, and The Nutty Professor. In 2007, he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor and received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of soul singer James "Thunder" Early in Dreamgirls.Murphy's work as a voice actor in films includes Thurgood Stubbs in The PJs, Donkey in DreamWorks Animation's Shrek series, and the Chinese dragon Mushu in Disney's Mulan. In some films, he plays multiple roles in addition to his main character, intended as a tribute to one of his idols Peter Sellers, who played multiple roles in Dr. Strangelove and elsewhere. He has played multiple roles in Coming to America, Wes Craven's Vampire in Brooklyn, the Nutty Professor films (where he played the title role in two incarnations, plus his character's father, brother, mother, and grandmother), Bowfinger, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, Norbit, and Meet Dave. As of 2014, Murphy's films have grossed over $3.8 billion in the United States and Canada box office and $6.6 billion worldwide. In 2015, his films made him the sixth-highest grossing actor in the United States.In 2015, Murphy was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Family Guy

Family Guy is an American animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian. The show is set in the fictional city of Quahog, Rhode Island, and exhibits much of its humor in the form of metafictional cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture.

The family was conceived by MacFarlane after developing two animated films, The Life of Larry and Larry & Steve. MacFarlane redesigned the films' protagonist, Larry, and his dog, Steve, and renamed them Peter and Brian, respectively. MacFarlane pitched a seven-minute pilot to Fox in 1998, and the show was greenlit and began production. Shortly after the third season of Family Guy had aired in 2002, Fox canceled the series with one episode left unaired. Adult Swim aired that episode in 2003, finishing the series' original run. However, favorable DVD sales and high ratings for syndicated reruns on Adult Swim convinced the network to renew the show in 2004 for a fourth season, which began airing on May 1, 2005.

Since its debut on January 31, 1999, 326 episodes of Family Guy have been broadcast. Its seventeenth season began on September 30, 2018. Family Guy has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmy Awards and 11 Annie Awards, and has won three of each. In 2009, it was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, the first time an animated series was nominated for the award since The Flintstones in 1961. Family Guy has also received criticism, including unfavorable comparisons to The Simpsons.

Many tie-in media have been released, including Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story, a straight-to-DVD special released in 2005; Family Guy: Live in Vegas, a soundtrack-DVD combo released in 2005, featuring music from the show as well as original music created by MacFarlane and Walter Murphy; a video game and pinball machine, released in 2006 and 2007, respectively; since 2005, six books published by Harper Adult based on the Family Guy universe; and Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy (2010), a series of parodies of the original Star Wars trilogy. In 2008, MacFarlane confirmed that the cast was interested in producing a feature film and that he was working on a story for a film adaptation.

A spin-off series, The Cleveland Show, featuring Cleveland Brown, aired from September 27, 2009, to May 19, 2013. "The Simpsons Guy", a crossover episode with The Simpsons, aired on September 28, 2014. Family Guy is a joint production by Fuzzy Door Productions and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television. In 2013, TV Guide ranked Family Guy the ninth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.On February 12, 2019, Fox renewed the series for an eighteenth season.

Felicity Huffman

Felicity Kendall Huffman (born December 9, 1962) is an American film, stage, and television actress.

Huffman began her acting career in theatre, and in the 1990s also had many supporting roles in film and television. She starred as Dana Whitaker in the comedy-drama Sports Night from 1998 to 2000, which earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination. She is best known for her role as Lynette Scavo in the ABC comedy-drama Desperate Housewives (2004–2012), for which she earned the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for the debut season of the series, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three consecutive Golden Globe nominations.

Huffman drew critical praise for her performance as a transgender woman in the independent film Transamerica (2005). The role earned her a Golden Globe Award, Independent Spirit Award, National Board of Review, and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Huffman has also starred in such films as Reversal of Fortune (1990), The Spanish Prisoner (1997), Magnolia (1999), Path to War (2002), Georgia Rule (2007), Phoebe in Wonderland (2008), Rudderless (2014), and Cake (2014). From 2015 to 2017, she starred in a third ABC series, the anthology crime drama American Crime, for which she received critical acclaim including three Primetime Emmy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

On March 12, 2019, Huffman was arrested for her involvement with a nationwide college entrance exam cheating scandal, charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, and released on $250,000 bail. On April 8, she agreed to plead guilty. Though Huffman pled guilty, she may still face jail time along with the 33 other defendants in the case. Her upcoming Netflix comedy Otherhood will not be released as originally scheduled on April 26, 2019.

Jim Carrey

James Eugene Carrey (born January 17, 1962) is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, musician, producer, artist, painter and cartoonist. He is known for his energetic slapstick performances.Carrey first gained recognition in America in 1990 after landing a recurring role in the sketch comedy television series In Living Color. His first leading roles in motion pictures came with Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), Dumb and Dumber (1994), The Mask (1994), and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995), as well portraying the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995) and a lead role in Liar Liar (1997). He gained attention starring in serious roles in The Truman Show (1998) and Man on the Moon (1999), with each garnering him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

In the 2000s, he gained further notice for his portrayal of the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas and for the comedy Me, Myself & Irene (both in 2000), as well as Bruce Almighty (2003), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) for which he was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Fun with Dick and Jane (2005), Yes Man (2008), Horton Hears a Who! (2008) and A Christmas Carol (2009).

In the 2010s, he starred in Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011), The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013), Kick-Ass 2 (2013), and reprised his role as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber To (2014). Since 2018, he has portrayed Jeff Piccirillo in the Showtime series Kidding.

Kevin Hart

Kevin Darnell Hart (born July 6, 1979) is an American comedian, actor and producer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Hart began his career by winning several amateur comedy competitions at clubs throughout New England, culminating in his first real break in 2001 when he was cast by Judd Apatow for a recurring role on the TV series Undeclared. The series lasted only one season, but he soon landed other roles in films such as Paper Soldiers (2002), Scary Movie 3 (2003), Soul Plane (2004), In the Mix (2005), and Little Fockers (2010).

Hart's comedic reputation continued to grow with the release of his first stand-up album, I'm a Grown Little Man (2008), and performances in the films Think Like a Man (2012), Grudge Match (2013), Ride Along (2014) and its sequel Ride Along 2 (2016), About Last Night (2014), Get Hard (2015), Central Intelligence (2016), The Secret Life of Pets (2016), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017), Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), and Night School (2018).

He also released four more comedy albums, Seriously Funny in 2010, Laugh at My Pain in 2011, Let Me Explain in 2013, and What Now? in 2016. In 2015, Time Magazine named Hart one of the 100 most influential people in the world on the annual Time 100 list. He starred as himself in the lead role of Real Husbands of Hollywood.

Ricky Gervais

Ricky Dene Gervais (; born 25 June 1961) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, director, screenwriter and singer.

Gervais worked initially in the music industry, attempting a career as a pop star in the 1980s as the singer of the new wave act Seona Dancing and working as the manager of the then-unknown band Suede before turning to comedy. Gervais appeared on The 11 O'Clock Show on Channel 4 between 1998 and 2000. In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais, and then achieved greater mainstream fame a year later with his BBC television series The Office. It was followed by Extras in 2005. He co-wrote and co-directed both series with Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, he played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. He reprised his role as Brent in the comedy film David Brent: Life on the Road.

Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. He has performed five multi-national stand-up comedy tours, and wrote the Flanimals book series. Gervais, Merchant and Karl Pilkington created the podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show, which has spawned various spin-offs starring Pilkington and produced by Gervais and Merchant.He has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town, the Night at the Museum trilogy, For Your Consideration and Muppets Most Wanted. He wrote, directed and starred in The Invention of Lying and the Netflix-released Special Correspondents. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016, and appears on the game show Child Support.

Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and the 2006 Rose d'Or, as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. In a 2004 poll for the BBC, he was named the third-most influential person in British culture. In 2007, he was voted the 11th-greatest stand-up comic on Channel 4's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and again in the updated 2010 list as the 3rd-greatest stand-up comic. In 2010, he was named on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people.

Robin Williams

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor and comedian. Born in Chicago, Williams began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles during the mid-1970s, and is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame playing the alien Mork in the sitcom Mork & Mindy (spun off from Happy Days), Williams established a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting. He was known for his improvisation skills and the wide variety of memorable character voices he created. Williams has been called the funniest person of all time.After his first starring film role in Popeye (1980), Williams starred in numerous films that achieved critical and commercial success, including The World According to Garp (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakenings (1990), Aladdin (1992), The Fisher King (1991), One Hour Photo (2002) and World's Greatest Dad (2009), as well as box office hits, such as Hook (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Good Will Hunting (1997) and the Night at the Museum trilogy (2006–2014).

Williams was nominated four times for the Academy Awards, winning once for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as psychologist Sean Maguire in Good Will Hunting. He also received two Primetime Emmy Awards, seven Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Grammy Awards.

On August 11, 2014, Williams committed suicide in his Paradise Cay, California, home at the age of 63. His wife attributed his suicide to his struggle with Lewy body disease.

Sitcom

A sitcom, clipping for situational comedy, is a genre of comedy centered on a fixed set of characters who carry over from episode to episode. Sitcoms can be contrasted with sketch comedy, where a troupe may use new characters in each sketch, and stand-up comedy, where a comedian tells jokes and stories to an audience. Sitcoms originated in radio, but today are found mostly on television as one of its dominant narrative forms. This form can also include mockumentaries.

A situation comedy television program may be recorded in front of a studio audience, depending on the program's production format. The effect of a live studio audience can be imitated or enhanced by the use of a laugh track. During filming productions, the laugh track is usually prerecorded.Critics disagree over the utility of the term "sitcom" in classifying shows that have come into existence since the turn of the century. Many contemporary American sitcoms use the single-camera setup and do not feature a laugh track, thus often resembling the dramedy shows of the 1980s and 1990s rather than the traditional sitcom. Other topics of debate have included whether or not cartoons, such as The Simpsons or Family Guy, can be classified as sitcoms.

South Park

South Park is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for the Comedy Central television network. The show revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick—and their exploits in and around the titular Colorado town. Much like The Simpsons, South Park uses a very large ensemble cast of recurring characters. It became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience.

Parker and Stone developed the show from The Spirit of Christmas, two consecutive animated shorts. The latter became one of the first Internet viral videos, ultimately leading to South Park's production.

Since its debut on August 13, 1997, 297 episodes of South Park have been broadcast. It debuted with great success, consistently earning the highest ratings of any basic cable program. Subsequent ratings have varied but it remains one of Comedy Central's highest rated shows, and is slated to air in new episodes through 2019. The pilot episode was produced using cutout animation, leading to all subsequent episodes being produced with computer animation that emulated the cutout technique. Parker and Stone perform most of the voice acting for the show's male characters. Since 2000, each episode has typically been written and produced in the week preceding its broadcast, with Parker serving as the primary writer and director. The show's twenty-second season premiered on September 26, 2018.

South Park has received numerous accolades, including five Primetime Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and numerous inclusions in various publications' lists of greatest television shows. The show's popularity resulted in a feature-length theatrical film, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut which was released in June 1999, less than two years after the show's premiere, and became a commercial and critical success, even garnering a nomination for an Academy Award. In 2013, TV Guide ranked South Park the tenth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.

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