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Comedic Films - A Brief History

May 10, 2008
The task of creating a funny film is a daunting proposition. It is susceptible to either not pushing the boundaries of taste enough or to pushing them too far and alienating an audience in one direction or the other. Few entertainers have really mastered this craft, but the ones who have, have been rewarded with legendary status.

The history behind the genre known as comedic film is as diverse as the performers who have delighted us through the years. Film has now been around long enough to classify it as an old art form, not some young, silly upstart with no experience under its belt. And as a respectable institution, it's history can now be dissected and marveled at.

The general public first started to recognize films en masse in the early part of the twentieth century. Film makers quickly grasped the scope of what could be done with the medium, and veered away from producing only dramatic works. Realizing the appeal of laughter as a worthy form of entertainment, they gave birth to what we now know and love as the comedic film.

The preferences of movie buffs have always been somewhat of an unstable thing. All forms of entertainment have had to adapt to this through the years. The comedic film is no exception to this rule.

The boundaries imposed by the technology of any given age have also affected the style of movie to be released, and the style of acting therein. In the beginning, films had no sound. The thespians to gain notoriety in this era were forced to amuse audiences solely by means of physical comedy. The unique slapstick of Harold Lloyd comes to mind as example of this.

The innovation of sound in film brought the performers whole new ways of practicing their craft. One of the first to perfect an act centered around this new style of entertainment was The Three Stooges. They are responsible for 190 short films, many of which are beloved to this day.

Television would be next in line to alter the landscape. Many movie concepts were adapted into something of a more episodic nature to facilitate this new medium. Many of us are old enough to remember nights spent watching the antics of Jackie Gleason, or wondering what mischief Lucille Ball would get into this time.

The next notable change in the way things were done came about due to new talent, not new toys, when Woody Allen brought about an entire style all his own. Everyone has their own favorite picks out of the truly staggering amount of films this genius has produced throughout his career. His trademark was the use of unusually witty dialogue to exaggerate normal conversation.

As a result of the hard work and dedication of all these masters of the art, and the popularity that they achieved, the modern film connoisseur can track down all sorts of comedic films in their local video store. An endeavor I recommend for anyone, if not for the enjoyment of the film itself, then for a look into the times they were filmed in. There really is so much we can learn by watching films from different eras.
About the Author
Joseph Pope loves the internet, and loves sharing the sites he's enjoyed on it. If you're interested in a tremendous amount of funny junk then please visit Silly Lobster for an enjoyable surfing experience.
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