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Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Fortnightly Sorts out the Compartmentalized Contemporary Comedy Film

It seems now more than ever, the comedy community is quite sectionalized. We at the Fortnightly have broken down the contemporary comedy film into 15 different loose groups.

Here’s your guide to the comedic landscape. There’s a lot of overlap between the groups, but each group is pretty much group by its own brand of comedy. Be aware this is a working list, and open to lots of potential changes/corrections.

The Frat Pack, Sister Sorority, and other Associates

By far the most successful and prolific of the comedic groups today. Here are the several different types of comedy in this group:

The Freaky Greeks ( The Apatow Faction )

Style: A comedy from the outsiders pov. Conversationally based. Throw out as many jokes as possible.

· Seth Rogan

· Jonah Hill

· Leslie Mann

· Martin Starr

· Jay Baruchel

· James Franco

· Christopher Mintz-Plasse

· Paul Rudd

· Jason Segel

· Paul Feig

· Matthew McKane

· Adam Herschman

· David Krumholtz

· Russell Brand

· Danny McBride

The Gratuitous Nudity Alliance (The Will Ferrell Faction)

Style: Body humor; grown men acting juvenile.

· Will Ferrell

· John C. Riley

· Adam McKay

The Recent SNL/ 30 Rock: Faction

Style: Absurd characters, but more situational.

· Tina Fey

· Kristin Wiig

· Bill Hader

· Tim Meadows

· Chris Parnell

· Jack McBrayer

· Molly Shannon

· Fred Armisen

· Amy Poehler

· Andy Samberg

· Seth Myers

· Alec Baldwin

The Banna Stand Gang (The Arrested Development Faction)

Style: Dry, meta-comedic, double-entendres, farce-driven.

· Jason Bateman

· Portia De Rossi

· Tony Hale

· Will Arnett

· Michael Cera

· David Cross*


The Office/Daily Show Faction

Style: Satirical, exaggerations of real-life events, people, and situations.

· Steve Carrell

· Harold Ramis*

· BJ Novak

· Mindy Kaling

· Jenna Fischer

· Phyllis Smith

· Ed Helms

· Rob Riggle

· Jon Stewart

· Rob Cordry

· John Hodgman

· Dan Bakk

· Nancy Walls

· Beth Littleford

· Aasif Mandvi

· Wyatt Cenac

· Dan Bakkedahl

· John Oliver

· Rob Corddry

· Mo Rocca

· Brian Unger

· Matt Walsh

· Stacey Grenrock-Woods

The Ben Stiller Show Faction (and Stiller Associates)

Style: Self-deprecating, more focused on getting funny lines or situations than rapid-fire laughs.

· Ben Stiller

· Jerry Stiller

· Owen Wilson

· Christine Taylor

· Jack Black

· Kyle Glass

· Janeane Garofalo

· Jeff Kahn

· Andy Dick

· Bob Odenkirk

· David Cross*

· Jay Johnston

Misc. Frat Packers:

Not much of a style, just people who appear in the films…

The Orphan Pledges (TV Journeymen/women)

· Jane Lynch

· Andy Richter

· Justin Long

· Gary Cole

· Peter Lewis

· Kathyryn Hahn

· Cedric Yarbrough

· Charlie Hartsock

· Romany Malco

· David Koechner

· David Bowe

· Matt Price

· Joe Lo Truglio

· Michael Clark-Duncan

· Matt Besser

· Ian Roberts

· Tim Bagley

The Rogue Foxes (Network) Group

· Mo Collins

· Mike Judge

· Wayne Federman

· Ken Jeong

· Joe Nunez

· Stephen Root

· Gilian Vigman

· Bobby Lee

The Musicians

· Snoop Dog

· Mos Def

· Loudan Rainwright III

· Andre 3000

The Festers (Indie Film stars)

· Luke Wilson

· Jo Wilson

· Christopher Walken

· Andrew Wilson

· Mos Def

· Tim Robbins

· Vince Vaughn

· Jon Favreau

· Steve Coogan

· Mike White

The View Askew (Kevin Smith) Group

Style: Alienated, frustrated, cynical, sarcastic.

· Jason Mews

· Kevin Smith

· Scott Mosier

· Joey Lauren Adams

· Jason Lee

· Ben Affleck

· Matt Damon

· Chris Rock

· George Carlin

· Sara Silverman

· Jimmy Kimmel

The Happy Madison Group (Adam Sandler)

Style: Playing to the lowest common denominator. High-concept.

· Adam Sandler

· Rob Schneider

· Dana Carvey

· David Spade

· Jonathan Loughran

· Nick Swardson

· Peter Dante

· Allen Colvert

· Justin Long

· Kevin James

· Steve Buscemi

· Michael Westphal

The _____ Movie Group

Style: Spoofs. And more spoofs. Cultural references, sight gags.

· The Wayans Brothers

· Anna Farris

· Regina Hall

· Tony Cox

· Leslie Nielsen

· Carmen Electra

· Method Man

· Adam Campbell

· Eddie Griffin

The Christopher Guest Reparatory Guild

Style: Mockumentary. Neurotic, self-important people in crisis.

· Christopher Guest

· Eugene Levy

· Catherine O’Hara

· Michael McKean

· Parker Posey

· Jane Lynch

· Harry Shearer

· Fred Willard

· John Michael Higgins

· Rachael Harris

· Ricky Gervais

The Harold/Kumar (and adopted young male comic) Group

Style: Male-driven humor; sex, drugs, and sex and drugs. Pop-culture references.

· John Cho

· Kal Penn

· Neil Patrick Harris

· Ryan Reynolds

· Jamie Kennedy

· Dane Cook

· Dan Fogler

Comedians Your Roommates are Annoyingly Devoted to (The Indie Stand Up Darlings)

Style: Playing a caricature of themselves. Unassuming, quasi-observational.

· Demitri Martin

· Sara Silverman

· Patton Oswalt

· Mary Lynn Rajskub

· Zach Galifianakis

· Bert Mckenzie and Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords)

· Kristen Schaal

The Wine Tasting Darlings

Style: Witty, dry, witty, cynical.

· Sandra Oh

· Paul Giamanti

· Thomas Haden Church

· Sarah Jessica Parker

· Ellen Page

· Christine Lahti

The Mike Myers Group

Style: Stereotypes, sight gags, genre spoofing, body humor.

· Mike Myers

· Verne Troyer

· Michael McDonald

· Rob Lowe

· Justin Timberlake

The William’s Street Kids (Adult Swim, Seth MacFarlane, and MAD TV alum group)

Style: as Absurd as possible.

· Matt Maiellaro

· Dave Willis

· Seth MacFarlane

· Alex Borstein

· Mila Kunis

· Seth Green

· Matthew Senreich

· H. Jon Benhamin

· Andy Merrill

· C. Martin Croker

· Tim Heidecker

· Eric Wareheim

· Mike Henry

· Patrick Warburton

· Dana Snyder

· Tom Root

· Carey Means

· Adam West

· Rachael MacFarlane

· Phil LaMar

· Will Sasso

· Mike Lazzo

· Jon Glaser

· Christopher McCullugh

· “Weird” Al Yankovic

· Neil Hamburger

· Mark Hamill

· Breckin Meyer

· Chad Morgan

· Matthew Lillard

· Jay Johnston

The Comedy Anarchists

Style: Make you so uncomfortable you either leave or laugh uncontrollably.

· Sacha Baron Cohen

· Ken Davitian

· Bam Margera

· Johnny Knoxville

· Kenny Hotz

· Spencer Rice

South Park

Style: Topical. Full-frontal offensive.

· Trey Parker

· Matt Stone

· Pam Brady

The Farrelley Bros.

Style: Over the top, gross-out.

· Jim Carrey

· Jeff Daniels

· Harland Williams

· Chris Elliot

The Ivy Leaguers (The Simpsons/Futurama)

Style: Hyper-literate, sight gags, subverting expectations.

Eddie Murphy

Style: Foam latex rubber, flatulence. High Concept.

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