A classical meaning of comedy is comical theater as in one of two types of Greek plays (the other is tragedy). Comedies are not necessarily funny, but they end happily. However, even some of the earliest Greek comedies contained satire, farce, or other types of humor, and have even influenced comedies in modern times (20th and 21st century). Comedies tend to mock the establishment and make many references to popular culture.
A more popular modern meaning is the use of humor with an intent to provoke laughter in general.
A subset of comedy is unintentional comedy which happens when the subject is funny without meaning to be.
- ↑ Lerer, Seth. Comedy through the Ages (recorded lecture series). 2000. Springfield, Virginia: The Teaching Company.