Pratfall

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Pratfall'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Pratfall'


Physical comedy, also known as slapstick is a comedic performance relying mostly on the use of the body to convey humour.

Physical comedy, whether conveyed by a pratfall (landing on the buttocks), a silly face, or the action of walking into walls, is a common and rarely subtle form of comedy. It is a clownish exploitation of movement, the most primordial human medium of expression, which predates language and the introduction of cerebral elements to humour such as cultural tradition, erudition and word puns. Often sitcoms will incorporate such movements into the scenes but may not rely on it exclusively to forward the story. Often it will be used as comic relief especially during more serious or intimate scenes.

Buster Keaton, The Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Lucille Ball, Martin Short, Don Knotts, Jerry Lewis, Ken Berry, Dick van Dyke's character "Rob Petrie" on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Ensign Charles "Chuck" Parker (Tim Conway) on McHale's Navy, John Ritter's character "Jack Tripper" on Three's Company, Jim Carrey's character "Ace Ventura", Michael Richards's character "Cosmo Kramer" on Seinfeld, Dustin Diamond's character "Samuel 'Screech' Powers" on Saved by the Bell, Chris Farley, Rowan Atkinson's "Mr. Bean", Johnny Lever, Jaleel White's character "Steve Urkel" on Family Matters, and Benny Hill are all examples of comedians who employ physical comedy as a medium for their characters. Charlie Chaplin started his film career as a physical comedian; although he developed additional means of comic expression, Chaplin's mature works continued to contain elements of slapstick.

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Pratfall Sample Sentences in News


  • Cubs 6, Cardinals 3 (11 innings)
    ST. LOUIS -- Just when it looked like the Chicago Cubs' bullpen would perform another late-inning pratfall Friday night, catcher Welington Castillo provided a dramatic turnaround. Castillo jacked a long three-run homer off St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal in the top of the 11th inning as the Cubs secured a 6-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium Read more on this news related to 'Pratfall'
  • Cubs blow lead but recover to win in 11
    ST. LOUIS -- It was shaping up as another crushing early season loss for the Chicago Cubs on Friday night. But catcher Welington Castillo, who played a part in a ninth-inning pratfall that allowed the St. Louis Cardinals to tie the score, made up for his mistake in dramatic fashion. His two-out, three-run homer off closer Trevor Rosenthal in the top of the 11th ga Read more on this news related to 'Pratfall'
  • Labor Day review: 'Sugary and humourless' | Peter Bradshaw
    Jason Reitman takes a holiday from his normally sophisticated wit in this bizarrely unconvincing film After excellent movies such as Juno and Young Adult, Jason Reitman has given us a misstep. Actually, it's more like a pratfall. Labor Day is a glossy, cloying nullity of a film, supposedly a "coming-of-age" tale, though the teen character is disconc Read more on this news related to 'Pratfall'

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