This course traces the history of comedy across cinema, television, and digital platforms, drawing on theories of humor and laughter. Some topics that will be covered include: the silent cinema works of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the Hollywood screwball comedies era of the 1930s, television and the rise of the sitcom, the rom-com and bromance, contemporary late-night comedians, and Internet stars who deal in comedy – intentionally or not. Throughout, we will discuss issues of race, gender, sexuality, and other forms of identity in relation to what we find funny at a given cultural moment. While the focus will be on North American comedy, we will also look at examples from other national contexts. Prerequisite: FS 100 or permission of the instructor.