The Chronicles of Comedy: A comprehensive blog on the history of humour

The Chronicles of Comedy: A comprehensive blog on the history of humour

Years and years have passed by but history never ceases to remind us that humor has always been one of our greatest survival tools!

Comedy is something we are all well acquainted with. It is one of those expressions that help us cope with the difficulties of living. If you dig deeper, you’ll realize that the jokes made in serious situations are the most hilarious. We all have our own comic preferences while facing the realities and anxieties of life. Comedy has not only become a part of our own personal routines but also you’ll find comedy being mentioned almost everywhere whether professionally, politically, or socially. If you think comedy is only restricted to dramas and movies, you really need to pick up your device and scroll through social media, for it is a very ancient belief. The fact that as soon as we wake up in the morning and open our mobile, finding a few notifications from different brands with very funny catchphrases, makes us wonder how the world is using humour as a presentation. Almost every company is using comedy as the prime tool to create advertisements and gain recognition. 

history of humour

The pandemic has given rise to a new wave of comic relief, we can’t not mention the importance of stand-up comedy today in our daily lives. Seldom do we find someone who isn’t a fan of stand-up comedy or a comedian. The popularity of stand-up comedy is being witnessed by people of all ages. In these stressful times, after a long workday, everyone likes to come home and have a few hours of laughter to keep those blues away and stand-up comedy has taken a very important part in making our leisure time more entertaining and fun and obviously full of laughter. 

While there is no doubt that comedy is in vogue like never before, it is imperative to know that it has a rich history that goes way back and it only gets interesting. By looking at how comedy plays a key role in making our lives as colorful as a rainbow, it’s certain that life would be colorless and desolate without it. So it is no understatement to say that comedy is simply timeless and essential. And with that, the question occurs, when did comedy blessed our lives and turn it a little better?

history of humour blog by e4m

We at Engage4more have prepared a brief timeline of how comedy evolved and if you’re a lover of laughter and laugh like you mean it, then it’s time for a history lesson!

Why is Comedy called Comedy?

The origin of the word ‘comedy’ is still unknown. It is said that, the word derives from two separated Greek root words, the second part ‘oide’, which translates to ‘the song of’, and the first part, ‘komas’ which translates to ‘revel’ or ‘the party’. The word later came into modern usage through the Latin comoedia and Italian commedia.

history of humour blog by e4m 1

Romans and Greeks confined their use of the word “comedy” to descriptions of stage-plays with happy endings. As years passed the word came into use with any kind of performance that intended to cause laughter. The term later became synonymous with satire and humor in general.

When did Comedy start blessing us?

history of humour blog by e4m 2

The origins of comedy are obscure as it was not taken seriously in its inception. But it is a true fact that comedy has been prevailing in this world for a very long time. It originally began somewhere in 335 BCE in public celebrations, while singing and drinking and in the light treatment of what was deemed as ugly in those times. Comedy even has its own muse, who in Greek mythology is known as Thalia.

history of humour blog by e4m 3

Comedy was being heavily used in plays and poetry. For the writers and performers, comedy was about the fortunate rise of a sympathetic character. The famous comic playwright, Aristophanes, wrote about 40 comedy plays, 11 of which still survive. The Greek polymath Aristotle also thought that comedy was positive for society and bring forth happiness, which for him was the final goal in any activity. We all have heard of Shakespeare who wrote various comedies which are still adapted in many countries in different forms. 

history of humour blog by e4m 4

Slapstick comedy came into the scene in the 19th and 20th centuries, while Joseph Grimaldi is revered as the first mainstream clown, comedy routines also started featuring in British music theatres, some of the comedians who are remembered as the legends of comedy today are, Charlie Chaplin, Dan Leno, and Stan Laurel. The advent of cinema changed history and now comedy was showcased in various languages, in various ways through songs, plots, and actors all over the world. Charlie Chaplin in the silent film era became one of the most known faces on earth.

Genres of Comedy

history of humour blog by e4m 5

Comedy does not have a limited means, it has several styles to keep one entertained which also keeps the artist’s creativity alive. Some of those genres are-

  • Slapstick Comedy- It involves physical comedy. 
  • Dark Comedy- Also known as black comedy, that makes light of serious subject matter like wars, crime, and death. 
  • Romantic Comedy- Romantic comedy involves themes of romance and love with humor. 
  • Parody- It imitates existing works through exaggeration.
  • Observational Comedy- The comedy and humour drawn from everyday life which usually goes unnoticed.
  • Surreal Comedy- It is focused on absurd situations that defy logic and reason. 
  • Improvisational Comedy- Here the comedians perform without the script 
  • Surreal Comedy- It involves events and behaviors that are nonsense or illogical.
  • Satire- Here the comedian uses comic elements to expose the realities of a person, society, or a problem.
  • Blue Comedy- It is typically sexual or abusive in nature.

Legendary Comedians

We can’t talk about comedy without mentioning these comic geniuses, who undoubtedly made the world a better place by making all of us laugh. Just like comedy, these icons are also evergreen and will never be forgotten in time. We have made a list of all these legendary comedians from all around the world who are synonymous with comedy.

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

A name that even the kids of this generation are aware of. A person who made comedy his religion. His character, “The Tramp”, is still adapted in various movies around the world. The global genius is still known as the singular icon of cinema who created history with his work and performance.

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

When it came to comedy, Robin Williams was someone who could do anything and he often did. He was another brilliant actor and a stand-up comedian who had a flair for comedy that was loved by his audiences. The Academy-winning star was someone every comedian now looks up to.

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers changed the comedy scene for women. She is regarded as one of the most legendary comedians in history. She pushed the limits of the stand-up comedy world just by being honest about her life, never caring about the opinions of the world. Rivers was a talent house who always had the last laugh. 

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy

Murphy was a pop culture phenomenon of the 1980s, and one of the most successful black artists in Hollywood history. He preached comedy which could be seen in his works, stand-up specials, and his movies. Today Eddie Murphy and comedy are not two but one and that’s a fact. 

Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson

There’s no one in this world who hasn’t watched ‘Mr. Bean’. Atkinson is regarded as one of the most talented and entertaining geniuses in the comedy scene and we all can second that fact. The man with a rubber face is globally regarded for his physical comedy and ever since the 90s, he still has a great number of fans and is still one of the most loved artists in the world.

Hall of Fame

Comedy is being used for generations in various pursuits. Whether it’s used in novels, theatre, movies, or live shows, comedy has had a rich history and there’s no way it won’t be present in the future. The world cannot be at peace without comedy. When we think of the past, we cannot ignore the fact that it has played a substantial role in entertaining us. We have created a museum of all the iconic people and their works from all over the world that couldn’t be what they are today without comedy.


Comedy movies

  • Bruce Almighty (2003)
  • The Hangover (Film Franchise)
  • Ted (2012)
  • Home Alone (1990)
  • Meet the Fockers (2004)

Television Shows


  • Friends (1994)
  • The Office (2005)
  • How I Met Your Mother (2005)
  • The Big Bang Theory (2007)
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013)
  • The Simpsons (1989)

Stand-up Specials

Stand-up Specials

  • Eddie Murphy: Delirious (1983)
  • Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996)
  • Amy Schumer: The Leather Special (2017)
  • Robin Williams: An Evening at the Met (1986)
  • Dave Chappelle: Killin’ Them Softly (2000)
  • Bill Hicks: Relentless (1992)
  • Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (2017)
  • Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (2016)


P.G. Wodehouse

  • P.G. Wodehouse 
  • Charles Dickens 
  • Douglas Adams 
  • Oscar Wilde 
  • Terry Pratchett
  • George Grossmith
  • Tom Sharpe
  • Dr. Seuss
  • Wiliam Shakespeare



  • Bill Watterson
  • Stephen Bentley 
  • Walt Kelly
  • Stan Lee
  • Dave Pascal
  • Vince Deporter
  • Seth
  • Bob Kane

Black Comedians

Black Comedians

  • Kevin Hart
  • Chris Rock
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Dave Chappelle 
  • Chris Tucker
  • Tiffany Haddish
  • Wanda Sykes 
  • Steve Harvey
  • Martin Lawrence 
  • Katt Williams

Female Comedians

Female Comedians

  • Phyllis Diller 
  • Joan Rivers
  • Wanda Sykes 
  • Sandra Bernhard
  • Moms Mabley
  • Gilda Radner
  • Margaret Cho
  • Kathy Griffin



  • PewDiePie
  • Amanda Cerny
  • Mark Williams 
  • Lele Pons
  • Joji
  • Domics
  • Hodgetwins

Comedy in India

Comedy in India

Indian comedy scene has always been filled with joy and laughter. Starting from the hilarious Akbar-Birbal exchanges to R.K Narayan’s stories filled with humour and satire. Indians mature with age but their hearts are always ready for a good laugh. The Indian film industry has played a huge role in building this comedy haven with actors like Mehmood, Mukhri, Asrani, Johnny Walker, and Keshto Mukherjee being the legends who are still in our memories today. If you wish to know more about the kings and queens of comedy, play our ultimate quizlet Veterans of Comedy.

Comedy in India

Every Indian has watched the movies Hera pheri, Hulchul, Dhamaal, Golmaal, Hero No 1, etc., and honestly, these movies are not just movies, these are the source of pleasure, the industry has blessed our hearts with. Actors like Johnny Lever, Kader Khan, and Paresh Rawal have written their names in gold in the history of Indian comedy and humour. Play our Comedy Movies quizlet to learn more about the Indian Comedy Movies. We can’t forget to mention the role of television in creating an impact in the world of comedy which also later gave birth to stand-up comedy. Shows like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Hum Paanch, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai, Khichdi, Tu Tu Main Main, etc are still watched and loved by the audiences. 

Great Indian Laughter Show

Television gave birth to the recent phenomena of stand-up comedy with shows like Great Indian Laughter Show, Comedy Circus, and Comedy Nights in the 2000s, and ever since then, the future of comedy is only exuberating and ruling the entertainment world. Thanks to the Internet, the years the 2010s saw the stand-up comedy club grow into a revolution, which gave a platform to some of the rising stars of comedy whom we know today. The audience also grew to accept and love this art form and now these stand-up comedians like Vir Das, Papa CJ, Atul Khatri, Anubhav Singh Bassi, Zakir Khan, etc perform globally in front of thousands of people and get to showcase their talents like never before.

book hire standup comedian

You can also play our Standup Comedians quizlet to know more about some of the most loved comedians of India.

comedy youtubers

While stand-up comedy has become a whole new industry today, it is no doubt that YouTube also plays a very relevant role in the world of comedy. YouTube has given a platform to many ordinary people who with their talents and wits have become some of the most celebrated celebrities today. YouTubers like Ashish Chanchlani, Bhuwan Bam, Carryminati, Harsh Beniwal, and many more are just as much recognized today as any Bollywood star is. 

Today Indian comedy scene stands tall in the entertainment world, having a rich and boisterous history. It is breaking the boundaries in the global space and we can only say that the future of the world of comedy is only bright because no one does it like Indians!

Comedy Today

Thanks to the internet, now when you come back home from a tiring work day or are simply bored, you can just switch to your device and open the trending apps, scroll through and watch whatever you like. Comedy is ruling our lives and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The advent of Instagram reels and Tik Tok has also blessed us with little hilarious funny cuts and we simply can’t get enough of them. Along with the movies, television series and the YouTube, OTT services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar have also changed our life for the better by giving more platform to the talents that have become pop culture icons today. Today almost every brand uses a very witty and humorous tagline to keep us engaged which actually works really well. Daily talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, James Corden, Trevor Noah and Lilly Singh are the known faces, who host some of the biggest shows in the world and they are all about comedy. Everyone wants a good laugh and as the troubles grow, comedy springs up, and its only fair!

book hire comedian in india

When it comes to booking top-class comedians of India, you can book it via team engage4more’s passionate team. We have working relations with over 500 talented artists of India and assure you best-suited artist suggestions for your event with pacy booking at great prices. Also, enjoy our value adds like complimentary quizzing for your events along with free publicity by our post-event coverage via our social media handles!

Start your artist booking journey here.