black comedy

Related Overviews


Jean Anouilh (1910—1987) French dramatist

Joe Orton (1933—1967) playwright



'black comedy' can also refer to...


More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literature


Quick Reference

A kind of drama (or, by extension, a non-dramatic work) in which disturbing or sinister subjects like death, disease, or warfare, are treated with bitter amusement, usually in a manner calculated to offend and shock. Prominent in the theatre of the absurd, black comedy is also a feature of Joe Orton's Loot (1965). A similar black humour is strongly evident in modern American fiction from Nathanael West's A Cool Million (1934) to Joseph Heller's Catch-22 (1961) and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries