Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesTheatre & Acting · 2 years ago

Is Comedy Acting Difficult?

Is comedy acting more difficult than serious acting?

It astonishes me how, especially on British Sitcoms of the 1970s and 1980s other actors don't burst out laughing.

Many like Porridge, Dads Army, Only Fools And Horses etc are inTill Death Us Do Part and sequel In Sickness And In Health, when Alf Garnett starts ranting about something that annoys him, the studio audience goes mad with laughter but the other actors are completely straight faced.

I did however see a 1970s show called Sykes with Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques, and Peter Sellers appears and when he starts with his lines, Hattie Jacques, looks away with her head in her hand, trying to stifle the laugh.

And that is a an actress with 30 years of comedy experience at the time

I wonder is comedy difficult to act, how do the other actors stop themselves laughing when something is so funny and play it so serious

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes. It is all about timing and knowing how to deliver a line. When rehearsed properly it easier to avoid corpsing but even consummate professionals like Prunella Scales would do it in Fawlty Towers (see Gourmet Night).

    Peter Cook would delight in making Dudley Moore struggle, but that was all part of their style. Brendan O'Carroll still does it and it is all kept in the finished cut and includes a live audience.

    On Till Death US Do Part, Tony Booth and Una Stubbs frequently struggled like mad not to corpse, only Dandy Nichols managed to soldier on.

  • Verity
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    It's easy to get an audience to cry, but getting them to laugh is an art form.

    'Dying is easy. Comedy is hard". __American actor Edwin Forrest, on his deathbed

  • Cogito
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    Yes, it is, but there's far more to it than not 'corpsing' - laughing.

    It's about having amazing timing, the right tone of voice, the right micro-expression, and a hundred more things.

    And acting in a comedy live on stage or to a studio audience is far more difficult that it would be to camera with no audience.

    Actors have to leave enough time for the audience to understand the joke and react, but not make their pause obvious or awkward. And if they don't laugh when they're supposed to, that makes it doubly difficult.

    For TV and movies, dubbed laughter is far easier to work with - but totally unrewarding.

  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    Some actors say it is. I think it depends on if one has a naturally 'funny' nature.

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  • Stella
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    They have rehearsed it.

    The same joke is not as funny the fourth time.

    Of course sometimes the silliness gets to them and they start laughing.

    Have you ever seen blooper outtakes?

    Occasionally it's actors saying the wrong line, but mostly it's just actors laughing.

  • 2 years ago

    As in does Jim Carey act differently than Liam Neeson. Yes, the comedic acting is usually decievingly stupid, even though they are geniuses they act harmless or silly or like an arogent wise-asz who is too stupid to see they're being a prick haha, yes they are called comic genius' because to make people laugh with out making them hate your stupidly ignorant person is brilliant.

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