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Black comedy

Black comedy

Overview

A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work that employs black humor or gallows humor
Gallows humor
Gallows humor , derives from gallows which is a platform with a noose used to execute people by hanging. Gallows humor is the type of humor that still manages to be funny in the face of, and in response to, a perfectly hopeless situation...

. The definition of black humor is problematic; it has been argued that it corresponds to the earlier concept of gallows humor; and that, as humor has been defined since Freud as a comedic act that anesthetizes an emotion, all humor is "black humor," and that there is no such thing as "non-black humor".


Black humor (from the French humour noir) is a term coined by Surrealist theoretician André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

 in 1935, to designate a sub-genre of comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 and satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 in which laughter arises from cynicism
Cynicism (contemporary)
Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of other's apparent motives, or a general lack of faith or hope in the human race. It is a form of jaded negativity, and other times, realistic criticism or skepticism...

 and skepticism
Skepticism
Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

, often about the topic of death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

.
Breton coined the term for his book Anthology of Black Humor
Anthology of Black Humor
The Anthology of Black Humor is an anthology of 45 writers edited by André Breton. It was first published in 1940 in Paris by Éditions du Sagittaire and its distribution was immediately banned by the Vichy government. It got reprinted in 1947 after Breton's return from exile, with a few additions...

(Anthologie de l'humour noir), in which he credited Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 as the originator of black humor and gallows humor, and included excerpts from 45 other writers.
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Encyclopedia

A black comedy, or dark comedy, is a comic work that employs black humor or gallows humor
Gallows humor
Gallows humor , derives from gallows which is a platform with a noose used to execute people by hanging. Gallows humor is the type of humor that still manages to be funny in the face of, and in response to, a perfectly hopeless situation...

. The definition of black humor is problematic; it has been argued that it corresponds to the earlier concept of gallows humor; and that, as humor has been defined since Freud as a comedic act that anesthetizes an emotion, all humor is "black humor," and that there is no such thing as "non-black humor".

Coinage in France by André Breton


Black humor (from the French humour noir) is a term coined by Surrealist theoretician André Breton
André Breton
André Breton was a French writer and poet. He is known best as the founder of Surrealism. His writings include the first Surrealist Manifesto of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism"....

 in 1935, to designate a sub-genre of comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 and satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 in which laughter arises from cynicism
Cynicism (contemporary)
Cynicism is an attitude or state of mind characterized by a general distrust of other's apparent motives, or a general lack of faith or hope in the human race. It is a form of jaded negativity, and other times, realistic criticism or skepticism...

 and skepticism
Skepticism
Skepticism has many definitions, but generally refers to any questioning attitude towards knowledge, facts, or opinions/beliefs stated as facts, or doubt regarding claims that are taken for granted elsewhere...

, often about the topic of death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

.
Breton coined the term for his book Anthology of Black Humor
Anthology of Black Humor
The Anthology of Black Humor is an anthology of 45 writers edited by André Breton. It was first published in 1940 in Paris by Éditions du Sagittaire and its distribution was immediately banned by the Vichy government. It got reprinted in 1947 after Breton's return from exile, with a few additions...

(Anthologie de l'humour noir), in which he credited Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 as the originator of black humor and gallows humor, and included excerpts from 45 other writers. Breton included both examples in which the wit arises from a victim, with which empathizes, as it's more typical in the tradition of gallows humor, and examples in which the comic is used to mock the victim, whose suffering is trivialized, and leads to sympathizing with the victimizer, as is the case with Sade. Black humor is related to that of the grotesque
Grotesque
The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "Grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The original meaning was restricted to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome at the end of the 15th century...

 genre.
Breton identified Swift as the originator of black humor and gallows humor, particularly in his pieces Directions to Servants (1731), A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland From Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in...

(1729), A Meditation Upon a Broom-Stick (1710), and a few aphorisms.
The terms black comedy or dark comedy have been later derived as alternatives to Breton's term. In black humor, topics and events that are usually regarded as taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

, specifically those related to death, are treated in an unusually humorous or satirical manner while retaining their seriousness; the intent of black comedy, therefore, is often for the audience
Audience
An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art, literature , theatre, music or academics in any medium...

 to experience both laughter and discomfort, sometimes simultaneously.

Adoption in literary criticism


An English-language
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 anthology edited by Bruce Jay Friedman
Bruce Jay Friedman
Bruce Jay Friedman is an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor.Raised in the Bronx by Irving and Mollie Friedman, Bruce Jay Friedman graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School. He then attended the University of Missouri as a journalism major, then served as a First Lieutenant in...

, titled Black Humor, imported the concept to the United States, labeling with it very different authors and works, arguing that they shared the same literary genre. The Friedman label came to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s. Early American writers who employed black humor were Nathanael West
Nathanael West
Nathanael West was a US author, screenwriter and satirist.- Early life :...

  and Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

. In 1965 a mass-market paperback, titled Black Humor, was released. Containing work by a myriad of authors, which included J.P. Donleavy, Edward Albee
Edward Albee
Edward Franklin Albee III is an American playwright who is best known for The Zoo Story , The Sandbox , Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , and a rewrite of the screenplay for the unsuccessful musical version of Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's . His works are considered well-crafted, often...

, Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

, Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, John Barth
John Barth
John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.-Life:...

, Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Nabokov
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was a multilingual Russian novelist and short story writer. Nabokov wrote his first nine novels in Russian, then rose to international prominence as a master English prose stylist...

, Bruce Jay Friedman
Bruce Jay Friedman
Bruce Jay Friedman is an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and actor.Raised in the Bronx by Irving and Mollie Friedman, Bruce Jay Friedman graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School. He then attended the University of Missouri as a journalism major, then served as a First Lieutenant in...

, who also edited the book, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Louis-Ferdinand Céline was the pen name of French writer and physician Louis-Ferdinand Destouches . Céline was chosen after his grandmother's first name. He is considered one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, developing a new style of writing that modernized both French and...

, this was one of the first American anthologies devoted to the conception of black humor as a literary genre; the publication also sparked nation wide interest in black humor. Among the writers labeled as black humorists by journalists and literary critics are Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, fighter pilot and screenwriter.Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent, rising to the rank of Wing Commander...

, Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Pynchon
Thomas Ruggles Pynchon, Jr. is an American novelist. For his most praised novel, Gravity's Rainbow, Pynchon received the National Book Award, and is regularly cited as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature...

, Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut
Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

, Warren Zevon
Warren Zevon
Warren William Zevon was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician noted for including his sometimes sardonic opinions of life in his musical lyrics, composing songs that were sometimes humorous and often had political or historical themes.Zevon's work has often been praised by well-known...

, John Barth
John Barth
John Simmons Barth is an American novelist and short-story writer, known for the postmodernist and metafictive quality of his work.-Life:...

, Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller
Joseph Heller was a US satirical novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His best known work is Catch-22, a novel about US servicemen during World War II...

, and Philip Roth
Philip Roth
Philip Milton Roth is an American novelist. He gained fame with the 1959 novella Goodbye, Columbus, an irreverent and humorous portrait of Jewish-American life that earned him a National Book Award...

. The rationale for applying the label black humorist to all the writers cited above is that they have written novels, poems, stories, plays and songs in which profound or horrific events were portrayed in a comic manner.
Black comedy employs a form of humor that may be known as 'black humor', 'dark humor', or, if specifically relating to death, 'morbid humor.' The purpose of black humor is to make light of serious and often taboo subject matter, and some comedians 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 murder
Murder
Murder is the unlawful killing, with malice aforethought, of another human being, and generally this state of mind distinguishes murder from other forms of unlawful homicide...

, suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

, depression
Depression (mood)
Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and physical well-being. Depressed people may feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, or restless...

, abuse
Abuse
Abuse is the improper usage or treatment for a bad purpose, often to unfairly or improperly gain benefit. Abuse can come in many forms, such as: physical or verbal maltreatment, injury, sexual assault, violation, rape, unjust practices; wrongful practice or custom; offense; crime, or otherwise...

, mutilation
Mutilation
Mutilation or maiming is an act of physical injury that degrades the appearance or function of any living body, usually without causing death.- Usage :...

, war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, barbarism
Barbarian
Barbarian and savage are terms used to refer to a person who is perceived to be uncivilized. The word is often used either in a general reference to a member of a nation or ethnos, typically a tribal society as seen by an urban civilization either viewed as inferior, or admired as a noble savage...

, drug abuse
Drug abuse
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts...

, terminal illness
Terminal illness
Terminal illness is a medical term popularized in the 20th century to describe a disease that cannot be cured or adequately treated and that is reasonably expected to result in the death of the patient within a short period of time. This term is more commonly used for progressive diseases such as...

, domestic violence
Domestic violence
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, and intimate partner violence , is broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, or cohabitation...

, sexual violence
Rape
Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The...

, paedophilia, insanity
Insanity
Insanity, craziness or madness is a spectrum of behaviors characterized by certain abnormal mental or behavioral patterns. Insanity may manifest as violations of societal norms, including becoming a danger to themselves and others, though not all such acts are considered insanity...

, nightmare
Nightmare
A nightmare is an unpleasant dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the mind, typically fear or horror, but also despair, anxiety and great sadness. The dream may contain situations of danger, discomfort, psychological or physical terror...

, disease
Disease
A disease is an abnormal condition affecting the body of an organism. It is often construed to be a medical condition associated with specific symptoms and signs. It may be caused by external factors, such as infectious disease, or it may be caused by internal dysfunctions, such as autoimmune...

, racism
Racism
Racism is the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination. In the modern English language, the term "racism" is used predominantly as a pejorative epithet. It is applied especially to the practice or advocacy of racial discrimination of a pernicious nature...

, disability
Disability
A disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these.Many people would rather be referred to as a person with a disability instead of handicapped...

 (both physical and mental), chauvinism
Chauvinism
Chauvinism, in its original and primary meaning, is an exaggerated, bellicose patriotism and a belief in national superiority and glory. It is an eponym of a possibly fictional French soldier Nicolas Chauvin who was credited with many superhuman feats in the Napoleonic wars.By extension it has come...

, corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, and crime
Crime
Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction...

. A related theme is frustrated suicide.
By contrast, blue comedy focuses more on crude topics, such as nudity
Nudity
Nudity is the state of wearing no clothing. The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. The amount of clothing worn depends on functional considerations and social considerations...

, sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

 and bodily fluids. Although the two are interrelated, black comedy is different from straightforward obscenity
Obscenity
An obscenity is any statement or act which strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time, is a profanity, or is otherwise taboo, indecent, abhorrent, or disgusting, or is especially inauspicious...

 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
Irony
Irony is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions...

, or even fatalism
Fatalism
Fatalism is a philosophical doctrine emphasizing the subjugation of all events or actions to fate.Fatalism generally refers to several of the following ideas:...

. For example, the archetypal black-comedy self-mutilation in English appears in the 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 chaotic action and philosophic digression.
Comedians, like Lenny Bruce
Lenny Bruce
Leonard Alfred Schneider , better known by the stage name Lenny Bruce, was a Jewish-American comedian, social critic and satirist...

, that since the late 1950s have been labeled "sick comedy
Sick comedy
Sick comedy was a pejorative term for some comedy, that was made up by the mainstream weeklies Time and Life to attack the new satire that was affirming in the United States in the late 50s. The mainstream comic taste in the United States until the 50s was mostly based on more innocuous forms, like...

" by mainstream journalists, have also been labeled with "black comedy." After Lenny Bruce, others have been Sam Kinison
Sam Kinison
Samuel Burl "Sam" Kinison was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Kinison was known for his intense, harsh and politically incorrect genre humor...

, Richard Pryor
Richard Pryor
Richard Franklin Lennox Thomas Pryor was an American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic, writer and MC. Pryor was known for uncompromising examinations of racism and topical contemporary issues, which employed colorful vulgarities, and profanity, as well as racial epithets...

, George Carlin
George Carlin
George Denis Patrick Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author, who won five Grammy Awards for his comedy albums....

, Bill Hicks
Bill Hicks
William Melvin "Bill" Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, and musician. His material largely consisted of general discussions about society, religion, politics, philosophy, and personal issues. Hicks' material was often controversial and steeped in dark comedy...

, Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr
James Anthony Patrick "Jimmy" Carr is an English-Irish comedian and humourist. He is known for his deadpan delivery and dark humour. He is also a writer, actor and presenter of radio and television....

, Chris Morris
Chris Morris (satirist)
Christopher Morris is an English satirist, writer, director and actor. A former radio DJ, he is best known for anchoring the spoof news and current affairs television programmes The Day Today and Brass Eye, as well as his frequent engagement with controversial subject matter.In 2010 Morris...

 and the Monty Python
Monty Python
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

 team, and more recently Bo Burnham
Bo Burnham
Robert "Bo" Burnham is an American comedian, singer-songwriter, musician, actor, and Internet celebrity. Writing comedic and satirical songs with a politically incorrect slant, he achieved fame when his YouTube videos took off; they have received more than 70 million views...

, Tim Minchin
Tim Minchin
Timothy David "Tim" Minchin is a British-Australian comedian, actor, and musician.Tim Minchin is best known for his musical comedy, which has featured in six CDs, three DVDs and a number of live comedy shows which he has performed internationally. He has also appeared on television in Australia,...

, Louis C.K.
Louis C.K.
Louis Szekely , known professionally as Louis C.K., is a stand-up comedian, television and film writer, actor, producer, and director...

, and The Whitest Kids U' Know
The Whitest Kids U' Know
The Whitest Kids U' Know is an American sketch comedy troupe and television program of the same name. The group consists of Trevor Moore, Sam Brown, Zach Cregger, Timmy Williams and Darren Trumeter, though other actors occasionally appear in their sketches. They were accepted into the HBO U.S...

. Popular cartoon shows such as South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

, The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, The Boondocks, Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

, Futurama
Futurama
Futurama is an American animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the adventures of a late 20th-century New York City pizza delivery boy, Philip J...

, Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken is an American stop motion animated television series created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Green provides many voices for the show...

, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Aqua Teen Hunger Force , retitled Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 in 2011, is an American animated television series on Cartoon Network late night programing block, Adult Swim, as well as Teletoon's Teletoon at Night block and later G4 Canada's ADd block in Canada...

are known for their black humor, and have sparked numerous controversies as a result.

Motion pictures



Black comedy is commonly used in dramatic or satirical films, retaining its serious tone.
Black comedy is a tool of many films, television shows and video games. Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove presents one of the best-known mainstream examples of black comedy. The subject of the film is nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare, or atomic warfare, is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is detonated on an opponent. Compared to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can be vastly more destructive in range and extent of damage...

 and the possible annihilation
Annihilation
Annihilation is defined as "total destruction" or "complete obliteration" of an object; having its root in the Latin nihil . A literal translation is "to make into nothing"....

 of life on Earth. Normally, dramas about nuclear war treat the subject with gravity and seriousness, creating suspense over the efforts to avoid a nuclear war, but Dr. Strangelove instead plays the subject for laughs. For example, in the film, the fail-safe procedures designed to prevent a nuclear war are precisely the systems that ensure that it will happen. Plotwise, Group Captain Mandrake serves as the only sane character in the film, while Major Kong fills the role of the hero striving for a harmful goal.

Television


The most successful television situation comedy
Situation comedy
A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, accompanied with jokes as part of the dialogue...

 also to be a black comedy is M*A*S*H*, which, like the film version of MASH
MASH (film)
MASH is a 1970 American satirical dark comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner, Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. It is the only feature film in the M*A*S*H franchise...

 that had inspired it, treated the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 as a subject of black comedy; it deliberately kept recorded laughter
Laugh track
A laugh track is a separate soundtrack invented by Charles "Charley" Douglass, with the artificial sound of audience laughter, made to be inserted into television programming of comedy shows and sitcoms.The term "laugh track" does not apply to the genuine audience laughter on shows that shoot in...

 out of the operating room sequences, and many of the episodes described the absurdity of many combat situations, even in sequences where the characters were weathering hostile fire.

See also

  • Comedy horror
    Comedy horror
    Comedy horror, also known as horror comedy, is a literary and film genre, combining elements of comedy and horror fiction. The comedy horror genre almost always inevitably crosses over with the black comedy genre; and in some respects could be considered a subset of it.The short story "The Legend...

  • Crude humor
  • Cringe humor
  • Gallows humor
    Gallows humor
    Gallows humor , derives from gallows which is a platform with a noose used to execute people by hanging. Gallows humor is the type of humor that still manages to be funny in the face of, and in response to, a perfectly hopeless situation...

  • Macabre
    Macabre
    In works of art, macabre is the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere. Macabre works emphasize the details and symbols of death....

  • Problem plays
  • Schadenfreude
    Schadenfreude
    Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This German word is used as a loanword in English and some other languages, and has been calqued in Danish and Norwegian as skadefryd and Swedish as skadeglädje....

  • Shock value
    Shock value
    Shock value is the potential of an action , image, text, or other form of communication to provoke a reaction of disgust, shock, anger, fear, or similar negative emotions.-Shock value as humor:...