A term coined by artist and writer David Robbins, concrete comedy is the comedy of doing rather than saying. As comedy communicated via objects and actions, concrete comedy offers a rich alternative to mainstream comedy — sketch, sitcom, stand-up — which evolved from narrative traditions. In this video introduction based on his groundbreaking book about the subject, Robbins contrasts concrete comedy with mainstream comedy, discusses its origins in the work of German comedian Karl Valentin, and identifies its modern practitioners in the fields of visual art, entertainment, music, fashion, and architecture.

Film by David Robbins.

Based on Concrete Comedy: An Alternative History of Twentieth-Century Comedy (Pork Salad Press, 2011).

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