Comedy, in the contemporary meaning of the term, is any discourse or work generally intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter. This sense of comedy must be carefully distinguished from its academic one-the comic theatre that has Western origins dating back to Ancient Greece. Comedy was used as a form of political satire performed at theaters during ancient Athenian democracy where voters were influenced by what they saw on stage and enjoyed themselves while laughing their heads off! Comedy for them was an indispensable pastime during the winter months. Comedy, first as a drama than as its own genre, returned to the Western world in modern times when a few comedians began performances held in music halls. Comedy can be divided into three major forms: spoofs or parodies of existing material such as movies, novels or plays with humorous take-offs; sketch comedy where actors perform short comedic plays usually written by themselves but from time to time improvised; finally political satire where artists like Jon Stewart use humor influence voters and make them think about what they see. Comedy is the most popular genre in film, TV and stand-up comedy shows; these three forms of entertainment are only considered part of Comedy when viewed from a historical perspective.
Comedy has been used as a major tool for spreading political messages since the 18th century. Starting with newspapers, writers could talk to their readers without fear of being jailed or hanged because under British law it was very difficult to prove libel against printed material. This helped journalists who wanted to criticize politicians by using funny caricatures that no one could mistake for real people. The best example was Thomas Nast in his drawing called “The Bosses of the Senate” which appeared in Harper’s Weekly Magazine between 1872 and 1874. Nast portrayed the Republican leaders of the senate as either animals or monsters to make his point that they were worse than the Democratic party. Comedy has been used for political purposes by television personalities since its invention in the early 1930s; Comedy Central‘s popular TV show “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” is a good example where issues are discussed satirically so viewers can understand them more clearly. Comedy is still used today to get voters’ attention, but like anything else, it has become a part of our society and lost some of its original meaning, especially when it comes to music videos which now mock racism, sexism, and other social problems just because an artist decided to make fun of them rather than actually fight against them.