Definition of straight man in US English:

straight man


  • The person in a comedy duo who speaks lines which give a comedian the opportunity to make jokes.

    • ‘Anderson is so ridiculous it's comical, and O'Connell plays a perfect straight man in the midst of his stylings.’
    • ‘It's rough when an established comedic actor tries to become a straight man.’
    • ‘Martin's an unusual comic, because for the vast majority of this and his other films he's content, even comfortable, being the straight man.’
    • ‘He sets the film alight, literally, while newcomer Evans plays the straight man perfectly.’
    • ‘Martin didn't work as well as a straight man as he does carrying the humor, but this was the beginning of a real shift in the type of comedy he would do.’
    • ‘It's like a comedy routine with two guys playing the straight man.’
    • ‘But comedy needs opposites, a straight man and a gagster.’
    • ‘The team were very much a double act, but not one with a definite straight man or funny man.’
    • ‘A nine-year-old boy is looking for a straight man to help him clown around.’
    • ‘I'm always just the support act; the straight man who sets up the laugh for the real comedians.’
    • ‘Bobby proves to be a terrific comic foil and straight man for Durante.’
    • ‘Interestingly, the show's mockumentary format is liberating for the straight man.’
    • ‘He is an excellent straight man and the few jokes he makes are some of the best in the show.’
    • ‘He slides back and forth from being the focal point and the straight man.’
    • ‘Jason plays the ever-so-slightly confused innocent straight man very, very well in comedy.’
    • ‘Kinnear plays the role he's forever destined to play, the straight man, keeping one foot in reality.’
    • ‘He is surprisingly restrained in the first-ever role as straight man.’
    • ‘We have joked many times how she is my polar opposite; the straight man in the stand-up routine, if you will.’
    • ‘It's moderately funny, but I can't help feeling Brown would have been better used if he had a solid straight man to play off.’
    • ‘The roles they're given here never allow them to do much more than play straight men to the buffoons around them, who only provide comedy on the most base levels.’
    butt, foil
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straight man

/ˈstrāt ˌman//ˈstreɪt ˌmæn/