There are several comedy genres, each making use of humor in its own way. Some of the most common comedy genres include physical comedy, such as slapstick, and black comedy, which seeks to make light of serious topics like death and war. Horror comedy, which usually incorporates humorous elements into traditional horror-story plots, may be considered a type of black comedy. Parody, which normally makes fun of things or people in the world, is another popular comedy genre. Other genres of comedy generally include dramatic comedy, romantic comedy, action comedy, and surreal comedy.
Romantic comedy may be among the most popular and oldest comedy genres. In this genre of comedy, lovers are typically placed in a difficult situation. Their budding relationship may face a series of obstacles. Romantic comedy stories are generally kept light in theme, and usually have a happy ending, in which the lovers overcome their obstacles and live happily ever after. The realities of romance are generally glossed over and the romantic relationship is typically idealized.
A dramatic comedy is normally defined as a comedy in which dramatic, serious events take place as often as comedic events. In this type of comedy, both serious and funny events are balanced against one another. It can sometimes be similar to black comedy, a comedy genre which typically deals with dark and often uncomfortable themes. The black comedy audience may often find itself simultaneously disturbed and amused. Some horror movies are considered a part of the black comedy genre, because they integrate humorous elements into stories are traditionally not treated humorously, such as vampire or zombie stories.
Parody is a type of comedy that seeks to poke fun at things and people that exist in the real world. There are several types of parody, such as the mockumentary, a humorous, fictional film that presents itself in the style of a traditional, non-fiction documentary. Spoofs are also considered a type of parody. This type of comedy usually uses satire and may present an underlying message about politics or society.
Physical comedy is a type of comedy that generally relies on humor generated from the physical movements of the comedian. In slapstick, for instance, humor typically arises from exaggerated physical violence. Physical comedy need not, however, incorporate simulated violence. Humorous facial expressions or exaggerated gestures and movements are often used.
Comedy genres like surreal comedy may also use elements reminiscent of physical comedy. Surreal comedy generally uses ridiculous jokes and situations that would not occur in the real world. Action comedy may also use some physical comedy elements, especially since its characters are usually responsible for delivering its humor.