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When someone says "comedian," they are referring to someone who tries to make an audience laugh. For example, jokes or funny situations, acting stupid (as in slapstick), or the use of prop comedy are all examples of ways to amuse an audience. It is referred to be stand-up comedy when the performer addresses the audience directly.

"A comic says funny things; a comedian says hilarious things," according to a famous adage attributed to Ed Wynn,[1] which makes a difference between how much of the humour can be ascribed to linguistic content and how much can be credited to acting and character in a given situation.

Since the 1980s, a new generation of humour has emerged, dubbed alternative comedy, which is distinguished by its more unusual and experimental approach to humour. Alexei Sayle, Daniel Tosh, and Malcolm Hardee are examples of journalists who use more immersive or observational reporting in their work. In terms of substance, comedians like as Tommy Tiernan, Des Bishop, Kevin Hart, and Dawn French rely on their own experiences to make fun of themselves, while others, such as Jon Stewart and Ben Elton, have extremely strong political and cultural overtones in their material.

Many comedians gain a cult following while performing at prestigious comedy festivals across the world, including the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and the Melbourne Comedy Festival in Australia. When a comedian wins a prestigious comedy prize, such as the Edinburgh Comedy Award, it is common for their career to take a big leap forward (formerly the Perrier comedy award). Comics artists sometimes branch out into other forms of entertainment, such as cinema and television, where they become more well-known, like with Eddie Izzard and Lee Evans, for example. However, a comic's stand-up success does not imply that his or her film will be a critical or commercial hit.


  1. "Simpson's Contemporary Quotations, 1988". Retrieved 2008-04-01.