The tragic truth about comedy

There are so many different categories of comedy, ranging from slapstick pie in your face, to play of words by fools in Shakespeare’s plays.

So what type of humour do I enjoy?
Lemme see. Off the top of my head, I remember enjoying these:
Mash
Allo allo
Dilbert
Woody Allen
Everybody loves Raymond
Frasier
I was trying to decipher what the common thread was that held all these together.  And then I figured it out, I like tragic comedy.
The list above are all about people caught in very realistic dire straits.
Mash and Allo Allo are comedic scenes set in a backdrop of war. Dilbert and Everybody loves Raymond, is the same, but instead of war setting, are in a more realistic work and home settings.
And Woody Allen? He is the epitome of comedy. He fusses about love, life and death (all very serious subject matters) in all his films. Yet, it’s amazing how profound and brilliant he gets in throwing light to the great questions of the meaning of light in a most hilarious and emphatic manner.
Comedians do not try to evade the truth about suffering. They take the suffering and expound on it. They bring it to the extreme, and the make light of the truth by declaring it. What wit! What audacity!  They succeed by playing on the dissonance between the reality of suffering and the laughter they can emit from the audience.  Who can better this than Woody Allen?
The first time I saw Hannah and her Sisters, I experienced laughing and crying at the same time. While thinking about Woody Allen’s films, I went to Youtube to check out the movies I used to watch when I was still schooling.  And yup, I still found these scenes funny and sad/serious at the same time.