The first purpose of comedy is to make people laugh. Anything deeper is a bonus. Some comedians want to make people laugh and make them think about socially relevant issues, but comedy, by the very nature of the word, is to make people laugh. If people aren't laughing, it's not comedy. It's as simple as that. -Trevor Noah
Comedy is something that is quite regional. What is funny in one part of the world might not ring as funny somewhere else. Even in the same parts of the world, different demographics have different comedic preferences. British humor, for example is quite witty and dry. They like satire and wordplay. British comedians are usually dark and cynical and execute that quite effectively. However if you take the same irony and sarcasm across the narrow strip of ocean and into Germany, they will greet you with stony faced amusement. Germans like their jokes straight and to the point. In America, the comedy is as diverse as their demographic but they generally like flamboyant over the top energy performances.
In our part of the world, slapstick ridiculous humor is quite common in Japan and Korea, whereas the Chinese like a more straightforward approach to comedy. In Nepal comedy is ridiculous. In our sitcoms the characters are ridiculous and eccentric, they are often associated with an associated ridiculous sound. The jokes are punctuated with not laugh tracks but funny noises, this makes for quite an interesting viewing of TV.
Sit-coms man: Talking about TV brings me to my next point, Sitcoms. Humor as a screen genre has been around since the advent of motion pictures. Charlie Chaplin was the pioneer of comedy on the screen with his iconic silent films with slapstick humor. He rose to critical acclaim quite quickly with his humor with deep underlying social messages. The era of modern sitcoms was founded in USA with TV shows like The Honeymooners and The Dick Van Dyke show. USA is still the cultural hub for funny shows having hosted pop culture icons such as FRIENDS, Seinfeld and Home Improvement. Quite recently Mockumentary style sitcoms have gained in popularity with The Office, Parks and Recreation and Modern family pushing the front line. Finally it would be sinful to talk about sitcoms in USA and miss out Saturday Night Live. Having been on the air for more than three decades, SNL is a part of American Culture. In Nepal, Sitcoms are also an important part of humor culture. Shows like Jire Khursani and Meri Bassai have been running for over a decade now and are an iconic part of Nepali culture.
Get up Stand Up: Stand Up and comedy clubs have been a staple of comedy in a lot of places. Arguably the most raw form of mass humor available, stand up comedy allows the comedian to directly interact with their audiences. It has its roots in Ancient Greece where it was a platform for cynics to tell the reality without fear of censorship or repercussions. It has gained popularity in recent times and has been the launch pad of many famous comedians. It is my favorite medium of comedy but unfortunately is the least developed in Nepal. In recent times with Kapil Sharma and Kanan Gill among others, stand up comedy is starting to blow up in India, one can only hope that that culture leaks over to Nepal.
Read the room, man: An important but an often forgotten aspect of comedy is the delivery. I have met so many friends with amazing jokes or stories but have no delivery whatsoever. A lot of comedy is on not the story but how you tell the story. Some jokes are best said with a dry and unimpressive tone. Some stories need you to jump up, make a lot of hand and body gestures and eccentric language. And some circumstances like a funeral are not appropriate for jokes no matter how good your delivery. Conversely you can cut the tension off a serious situation with a well placed joke. It is up to you to read the room properly.
Maymay: A new cultural phenomena is memes, pronounced Maymays by you old folks. Memes are as exciting are as they are polarizing. Often times you will be shunned on the internet for being a Normie, not dank enough. Memeing and trolling are relatively new but they have gripped the world by storm. There are memes for every demographic and can be made by all. A single meme can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. With memes everyone has become a pseudo-comedian and their general success is governed by the virtue of how well received their brand of comedy is.