A comedy film is a category of film which emphasizes humor. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending (black comedy being an exception). Comedy is one of the oldest genres in film and it is derived from the classical comedy in theatre. Some of the earliest silent films were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1930s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.
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In The Screenwriters Taxonomy (2017), Eric R. Williams contends that film genres are fundamentally based upon a film's atmosphere, character, and story. Therefore the labels "drama" and "comedy" are too broad to be considered a genre. Instead, his comedy taxonomy argues that comedy is a type of film that contains at least a dozen different sub-types.