Comic relief

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Comic relief is the use of moments of comedy to interrupt tension in a dramatic narrative. The natural human tendency to break extended periods of tension by the making of jokes can ruin a dramatic effect before a mass audience by causing audience members to jeer at the production. Also, long periods of uninterrupted emotional tension can become deadening during the course of a show. To counter these effects, playwrights and scriptwriters often interject brief moments of comedy into tragedies, dramas, melodramas and adventure dramas in order to "cleanse the palate" of the audience before continuing with the main plot.

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