American Comedy Throughout the Decades
American comedy films are one of the oldest genres in which the main point is purely focused on humor. From silent films of the early 1920s to modern classics such as The Hangover, American comedies have transformed though out the years. American comedies became popular as a way of escape from reality in the 1920s. It was a way to bring out humor and laughter from the audience watching these films. American comedies would take serious social issues like racial and ethnic issues, immigrants, male and female relationships and differences in social and economic class and use these issues as their material for comedies. American comedies used their exaggeration of situations to amuse the audience. There are many different types of American comedies and they have changed dramatically though out the years.
The silent film era was a massive part of the history of American comedies. Silent films took silent comedians and used their exaggerations of body language and humorous story lines and transformed them into stories to amuse the audience. The two most predominate actors in the silent film era were Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. With the introduction of slapstick comedy, where use of physical comedy involving exaggerated, energetic actions, violence, and activities which may exceed the boundaries of common sense, actors such as Chapin and Keaton rose to the top of the entertainment industry. Movies like “The General” by Buster Keaton, allowed for a different element of comedy. Instead of Keaton always interacting with a human costar he would have relationships with machines, which lead to a more interactive experience because he would play off of the machine and it would engage the audience even more. “More often then not, Keaton’s comic costar was a machine…Keaton’s Relationships with machines often proved more harmonious than those with human costars…” described John Belton, author of American Cinema American...
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