Comedy - can you see the funny side?

How do you define comedy? Is it something that just makes you laugh? Yes, but within that definition lies a plethora of groans, sighs and the shaking of heads. The slapstick of Lee Evans has his fans reaching for their credit cards as soon as a new tour is announced, and yet to others he raises little more than a shrug.

Jack Dee could almost be described as depressed, or even depressing. Look on the bright side? No, not ever - but that's why people laugh at him, isn't it?

One man's comedy is another man's indifference. Our collective sense of humour is as varied as we are and that's what makes us such interesting creatures.

A generation later and the Two Ronnies (Corbett and Barker) are as famous today for the 'four candles' sketch as they were when the hardware shop scene was first televised. Their humour is the stuff of legend - good entertainment with a touch of innuendo thrown in for good measure. And to prove how they’ve sustained, enter ‘four candles’ into Google Image and up they pop!

Their secret, of course, was to understand their audience - and that's the secret of any successful comedian. Sounds easy, doesn't it? But it's all in the writing.

As well as crafting their own material (Barker wrote the 'four candles' sketch), comedians rely heavily on other writers too. Good writing often never dates. The repeats on TV of Dad's Army are still watched by millions - despite being shown for the umpteenth time. The jokes are as fresh today as when Jimmy Perry and David Croft wrote them.

So how do you define comedy?
The answer, of course, depends on whether you wanted four candles or fork handles!