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Slapstick is essentially physical Comedic Sociopathy—people who aren't you getting hurt in obscene ways (e.g. falling into open sewers and dying); that's comedy. The defining feature of slapstick is its highly exaggerated nature, combined with a lack of serious physical consequences. The Pratfall is a staple of slapstick humor.
The name comes from a prop in the Commedia Dell'Arte: the battacchio, or "Slapstick", is two pieces of wood that sound more like punching than punching does, without causing any physical damage; making this Older Than Steam. It has been a staple of Vaudeville and Burlesque; and a consistent thread in many types of comedy, most notably the Farce. Exemplified in the modern era by artists like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Laurel and Hardy; and continued by recent performers such as the British comedy team of Rik Mayall and Ade Edmonson, and Canadian actor Jim Carrey.
While slapstick is present to some degree in many comedic works; examples should be works that depend entirely or predominantly on this form of exaggerated physical comedy for their humour.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- The Three Stooges.
- Laurel and Hardy.
- Buster Keaton.
- Charlie Chaplin.
- Countless silent-era film comedies.
- The Pink Panther films, particularly the later '70s ones.
- Jerry Lewis.
- Jim Carrey.
- The Mask.
- Son of the Mask.
- "Ow, my balls!"
- Bruce Campbell.
- Home Alone
- The Master of Disguise
- George of the Jungle
Literature[edit | hide]
- The Muppet Show.
- Any comedic show intended for boys under the age of 15.
- "Tool Time" and other handyman segments on Home Improvement.
- The Young Ones, as well as its' Spiritual Successors Filthy, Rich and Catflap and Bottom.
- Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer engage in moments of grotesque slapstick in The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and Shooting Stars
- The Mighty Boosh loves exaggerated comedy violence, usually directed at Howard, who is often hit with something equivalent to a stick.
- One of the other more common kinds of videos on AFV, usually a Groin Attack.
- The Goodies.
- The Benny Hill Show.
- A Bit of Fry and Laurie
- Assuming a lone sketch can count, then Studio C's Best Volleyball Blocks Ever and Scott Sterling and Top Soccer Shootout Ever With Scott Sterling would be examples. They are about Scott Sterling who came down from heaven and martyr'd his brick wall-like face for his sports team. What really makes it funny are the 2 announcers commenting about Scott Sterling's face being pummeled "in HD perfection".
Music Videos[edit | hide]
- The videos for Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock" and "We're Not Gonna Take It".
- A staple of circuses, from Ringling Brothers to Cirque Du Soleil, via their clowns.