Comedy in my Opinion
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By: Sam Awa

On Comedy
Over the years, scholarship and research have always revolved around an existing phenomenon and I see nothing wrong with this. This is because we don’t seem to create anything by ourselves except to explain or make an attempt to explain what have been created. However, what has baffled me a lot is the way almost all of us have continued to describe “the elephant” the same way others have done so. I see this as academic superfluity.  There are only three possibilities here: either we don’t know what we are trying explain or we don’t know how to explain what we know or both!

Let’s take a look at the concept of comedy.  We have always believed or made to believe that the intention of comedy is to make us laugh. In My Opinion, comedy is a dramatic presentation that appeals to us differently. It makes “those outside” (those who are not identified with the object of scorn) laugh; it makes “those inside” (those who are identified with the object of jest) cry and it makes the comedian afraid.

Comedy Makes “Those OutsideLaugh
But why do we laugh at expense of somebody’s misfortune or sadness? The answer is simple: the comic character deserves his fate. We laugh because the misfortune of a comic character elicits in us joy and vindication.  By vindication, we tend to believe that we are better than the comic character.  The success of any comedy presentation depends on the ability of the comedian to make those who are not affected by the object of the jesting (those I choose to call the outsiders) laugh by presenting on stage characters that are inferior to them.

We see this happen regularly as we interact with people. This is why I believe that life itself is a comedy to those who are victors and tragedy to those who are victims. For instance, if I pass by a group of students and hear one of them say something like, “Yesterday I did not came to school”, I may laugh if I know that the grammatical construction of that statement is faulty. On the other hand, if I don’t know that the sentence is faulty grammatically; such statement will not appeal to my sense of humour. The same thing will happen if a comedian comes on stage and makes jest of ungrammatical or exotic diction of our former First Lady. It is only those that know better that will laugh. I do know that a few members of the audience who don’t know better may still laugh. In My Opinion, I believe they only laugh to conceal their ignorance of the subject of distortion.

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