Definition of high comedy in English:

high comedy


  • Comedy employing sophisticated wit and often satirizing the upper classes.

    Compare with low comedy
    • ‘Molière wrote a high comedy in exquisite verse; Richard Wilbur magically transmuted it into equally lovely English dramatic poetry.’
    • ‘Going on holiday to Lanzarote may sound boring, but Houellebecq manages to turn the commonplace into high comedy.’
    • ‘It is a note that pervades his engaging memoir, Not Entitled, which extracts high comedy from his wartime service in the Royal Navy and his later career in the academy.’
    • ‘Best in Show is high comedy with great writing and an ensemble cast that consistently blows you away.’
    • ‘The story is epic in scope, but he isn't afraid to liberally sprinkle his story with humor, farce, and high comedy.’
    • ‘Perhaps the misinterpretation comes from the fact that this film is high comedy or perhaps ‘art comedy,’ which might be defined as humour that people don't get but it looks as if it should be funny.’
    • ‘By pulling back from high comedy the movie at times verges on camp.’
    • ‘Saunders wrote many of the scripts and her way with words and her cross between slapstick and high comedy meld well here, foreshadowing the masterpiece of British comedy that she would create with French in ‘Ab Fab.’’
    • ‘There are, however, many moments of high comedy, even if our protagonist is often the unwitting butt of the jokes he has, once again, somehow played upon himself.’
    • ‘But there is no payoff, no moment of clarity or high comedy.’
    • ‘In the right hands, even the simplest foible becomes high comedy.’
    • ‘Brian brings him back to the hotel room to kill him - it's quite a shock for the audience because they're expecting high comedy and this is quite intense.’
    • ‘It is no mean tribute to Stewart's literary powers that, amid the dead and the wounded, he manages to give his account of this attack a flavour of high comedy.’
    • ‘It really is one for connoisseurs of high comedy, but the characters and plot never quite take on a real life of their own.’
    • ‘Comedian Ricky Gervais's recent BBC comedy The Office catapulted the issue of incompetent management into the realm of high comedy - and into public consciousness.’
    • ‘His plays, suggested one of his directors, Caspar Wrede, have a closer relationship to the pre-20th century high comedies than to the naturalistic comedies of our own time.’
    • ‘But while McDonagh and Letts have in common the marriage of high comedy and unrelenting darkness, the similarities stop there.’
    • ‘In Altman's films we have come to expect a surplus of characters, overlapping dialogue, multiple plot threads, and high comedy.’
    • ‘When Toby eventually screens the finished film for an audience, the dysfunctional reality of the family - their poor communication and lack of emotional depth - is treated as high comedy rather than the sad tragedy it truly is.’
    • ‘Creating more than twenty characters between them, Manahan and Keogh offer virtuoso playing in an evening which blends high comedy and pathos and which can genuinely be considered a tour-de-force.’