How long has comedy been around as entertainment?

Comedy as entertainment has been around for a while. The oldest written comedy was written by a playwright of the ancient Greek theater, Aristophanes. He wrote 40 comedies, and 11 of them are still performed today.

These ancient Greek comedies were based on “humor” that today would be called “politically incorrect.” They were obscene, sexist, and full of sexual innuendo, and made fun of certain groups or stereotypes.

Vaudeville gave birth to modern humor. Although the humor was still mostly politically incorrect, it shifted from sexual innuendos and mockery of certain groups of people to more sophisticated forms of “thank you”.

When moving pictures first appeared, comedy was almost entirely based on action. We call it “slapstick.” Hitting, punching, twisting arms, etc. it was fun. The Three Stooges were the quintessential comedians of the day. They could walk into a room full of Francoist socialites and leave the place a mess. The Three Stooges movies are still popular today, and no one has improved on their slapstick technique, ever.

You can’t talk about comedy without mentioning the “first comedy couple”, Lucy and Desi. The show “I Love Lucy” was the best of comedy. The jokes are still politically correct today. There was no need to rely on sexual innuendo or ethnic humor. Lucy and Desi were just FUN. Those old reruns can still make people laugh!

Sexual and ethnic humor gets the “cheapest” laughs. Very little talent is required, and even time is not that important. REAL comedy makes you laugh without relying on cheap laughs. Think about that the next time you watch what sometimes passes for comedy today.

True comedians are true artists. Comedy is probably THE hardest form of entertainment. Comedians and sitcoms don’t have to wait for reviews to be written. If the audience laughed in the right places, the show was a success. If they didn’t, it wasn’t.

The entertainment industry includes everything that is fictional and/or makes us laugh, cry, scare, make us happy or sad, or experience any other emotion because of what is happening before our eyes.

I call the circus entertainment at its best, but some would disagree with me. Some want to classify the “entertainment industry” only as plays, movies, or television shows that employ actresses and actors to portray fictional characters. That’s just too narrow a definition for me. I stood in front of the monkey cage at the zoo and laughed harder than at the last comedy production I attended.

The entertainment industry, in my opinion, includes everything that provides entertainment, and that includes the circus.

The circus has it all. There’s suspense (tightrope acts), there’s drama (trapeze acts), there’s comedy (clowns), and the most amazing trained exotic animals you can imagine. That is entertainment. What else would you call it?

The circus is not new. There was a circus in ancient Rome. There were horse shows, riding displays, staged battles, and jugglers, acrobats, and trained animals. The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey did not invent the circus.

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