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Sunday, 8 June 2014


Comedies can be dated back to 425 BC, when Aristophanes, an Ancient Greek comic author and playwright, wrote ancient comedic plays.

Aristophanes' plays was a blend of satire and fantasy, physical farce and subtle word play. They inevitably featured an ingenious trickster and closed on a lavish choral song and dance.

Most of the comic plays written in Latin during the Roman republic and in imperial Rome are now lost to us. Of those preserved all are by Plautus and Terence and are loosely adapted from the 'New Comedy' of the Greek theater.

Roman-era mosaic depicting a scene from Menander's comedy Samia 

The Japanese have a comic tradition known as rakugo that has the performer sat down and delivering a long comical story with hardly any gestures, using only a fan and a towel for props. Rakugo was invented by Buddhist monks in the 9th and 10th century to make their sermons more interesting.

Restoration comedy flourished after the reopening of theatres, following the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660. A type of social comedy of manners, it was characterized by glittering, cynical, licentious, and extravagant language and plot.

Among the notable actresses during the Restoration comedy era was Nell Gwynne, the leading comedienne of the King's Company.

Max Boyce's 1975 recording We All Had Doctors' Papers was the first comedy album to reach #1 on the UK Album Charts.

M*A*S*H didn't have a laugh track when it was broadcast overseas in the UK, this was how the show's creator intended it. However, in the United States CBS required a laugh track because they had never produced a comedy without one.

Most canned laughter that you hear on TV today, was recorded in the 1950s.

The word "Sitcom,” meaning situation comedy, first appeared in 1964.

The word “Romcom," meaning romantic comedy, first arrived in 1971.

Source: The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia.

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