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Observational comedy is a style of humor based on making remarks about commonplace aspects of everyday life.

In the United States, the style was popularized by comedians such as Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Robert Klein, Richard Pryor, Jay Leno and David Letterman in the 1970s, continued by Bill Hicks, Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, and Mitch Hedberg in the 1990s, and is currently practiced by comedians such as Louis C.K., Dave Chappelle, Dylan Moran, George Lopez, Russell Peters, Rex Navarrete, Demetri Martin, Arj Barker, Patton Oswalt, Brian Regan, Chris Rock, Nick Swardson, Dane Cook, Daniel Tosh, Jim Gaffigan, Carlos Mencia, Craig Ferguson, Buddy Lewis, Demetri Martin, and Garrison Keillor.

It is also very popular in Britain, with comics such as Victoria Wood, Billy Connolly, Eddie Izzard, Jack Dee, Peter Kay, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand, Jason Manford, Michael McIntyre, Lee Mack, Lee Evans, Russell Howard, Dara Ó Briain and Frankie Boyle.

Like the UK, it is very popular in Australia, comedians like Rodney Rude,Carl Barron, Jimeoin, Dave Hughes and Adam Hills.

In Canada, comedian Rick Mercer often presents segments utilizing observational comedy on The Rick Mercer Report.

The humor, based on the premise of "It's funny because it's true,"[1] consists of observations made about sometimes very minor and superficial aspects of Western culture: from airline peanuts to the Jared Diet to the lines at Walgreens. Jokes may often begin with the phrase, "Did you ever notice?..." or "What's the deal with...?", and may end with ...'What's that about?'.


  1. ^ Scientific American - It's Funny Because It's True, 13 Oct 2009

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