History of Comedy


The man with the most important role in comedy was a guy named Aristophanes who was born in 446 B.C. and wrote about 40 plays but only 11 of them survived by today. In these days, TV was not invented and comedy was shown in stages.

GREEK COMEDY (6th century BCE)

Greek comedy was a popular comedy theater performed in ancient greek from the 6th century BCE. The way greek comedy was made is unknown but the way people put on masks and acted as others was a way greek comedy was made. One way we knowTheatre Masks greek comedy was in the 6th century BCE, was because of a painting a pottery. This decoration had actors dressed as horses, other people and many other. Greek comedies play had 2 structures. The first part was the Parados, the second part was the Agon, and the last part the ending was the Parabasis. The Parados was performing of songs and dances and the Agon was a play and the characters would be doing a skit. The last part, the Parabasis was the ending and finished the whole play. All of the plays were played by male actors and no women would perform on stage. Because of the small numbers of actors, many dancers and actors had to play multiple roles. The plays were played on theatre called theatron. Which was open to everyone in town.

MEDIEVAL COMEDY (middle ages)

In the time of medieval comedy, the churches tried to erase comedy but failed as it was still played in folk plays and festivals. Another reason comedy survived was because of court Jesters. Court Jesters were the clowns of the times. Their job was to make the clown or king happy and entertained. This could be anytime whether it is when someone royal is eating dinner, or when they are sick. The clowns would come whenever the royals wanted them to come, their job was to perform and entertain the royals and that was it.


The renaissance comedy was a special time of the comedy history as comedy meant something different from all the other times. During the Renaissance times, comedy was not meant to be funny or for humor. It was meant to be romance, marriages and to make the people happy when they watch the renaissance “comedy”. One of the artists in the renaissance comedy was Shakespear, he wrote many plays like Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar.


Melodramatic comedy takes place in 18th and 19th century. This type of comedy exaggerated characters and was mainly stereotypes. It exaggerated the scene, character, setting and the whole story. This comedy also had music because of the fact that in the 18th and 19th century, orchestras were used to assist the dancers. Melodramatic comedy is still used in comedy today as it uses many exaggerated stereotypes and makes people laught even for people today.


Circus comedy came in around 1970’s and the 80’s. After the renaissance comedy, the funny comedy came back to us. One of the main acts of the circus comedy was the clowns. They were an important role in the circus comedy as it was the mc of the shows. There is 4 different kinds of clowns, the white faced, auguste, the tramp, and the character clown. The white faced clown is pleasant clown which is really good with his movements and dances. This clown is the leader of he clowns and bosses the clowns around. The auguste clown is the funniest one of the clowns which does many wild performances including slap stick and many other movements to entertain the audience. He is the trouble maker. The tramp is the clown that cleans up after the other clowns, and is usually the quite one. The last clown, the character clown is the clown that can be anything he wants to. Depending on the audience, the character clown changes its character to make its audience entertained.

CINEMATIC COMEDY (20th century)

In the 20th century , when TV was created many of the comedy that we know came in. Comedy was now shown for entertainment on TV so people could see it everywhere. It was made to make people laugh. One of my favorite comedians from Japan is a group called anjyasyu. Some of the skills that they use are incredible. Another comedian I like is Mr. Bean. How he makes the audience laugh without talking is amazing and it is a little bit different from mime. Because the skills he uses is different from others people like seeing him and is funny. He plays a role in the Mr. Bean series and many others.


Cartwright, Mark. “Ancient_Greek_Comedy.” Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History, 25 Mar. 2013. Web. 04 June 2016.

Cash, Justin. “Melodrama.” Theatrelinks. Theatre Links, 2016. Web. 4 June 2016.

Google. “Types of Clowns.” All About Clowns. SBI, n.d. Web. 22 May 2016

“Shakespearean Comedy.” The World of the Renaissance –. NRMS English 7H, n.d. Web. 04 June 2016.

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