There are various types of comedy routines and comedians often do more than just one specific type. Many comedians began their careers doing stand-up comedy and then went on to perform in television sitcoms. Below you’ll learn about the most popular types of comedy and some of the performers of each genre.


A stand-up comedian performs on a stage in front of an audience and his or her job is more involved than just telling jokes. To be a success, he or she must make a connection with the audience, have spot-on tim-ing, and be original. A stand-up comedian often tells one-liners, humorous anecdotes and may use props with his or her routine. Popular stand-up comedians include Gallagher, Larry the Cable Guy and Sarah Silverman.


Situational comedies, or sitcoms, are shows that have a continuing storyline with the same characters. Shows are often set at a workplace or involve a family at home. Each storyline has some comedic up-heaval that involves some or all of the characters. By the end of each show, the fracas is resolved.
Situational radio shows played on the airwaves beginning in 1926 with Sam ‘n’ Henry, and this show was later renamed Amos ‘n’ Andy. Popular sitcoms throughout the years include The Andy Griffith Show, The Jeffersons, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Malcolm in the Middle.


This type of physical comedy consists of comedians performing silly things such as falling down and tripping to make their audience laugh. Slapstick comedians also act out mild violent routines, such as slapping each other on the head and throwing a pie in someone’s face. Popular slapstick performers in-clude The Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin, and the Marx Brothers.


Satirical comedy pokes fun at other people or society by using wit and sarcasm. Today you can see satire in the media, on television shows and in theatrical plays. Popular satirical television shows include South Park and The Colbert Report. The comic strip Doonesbury mocks politics and The Onion is a parody news organization.