Institute for Travesty,

Comedy, and Humor Studies


to the Institute for Travesty, Comedy, and Humor Studies (ITCHS). ITCHS was established for the research and study of comedy as a dramatic form and of humor, the spice of comedy. ITCHS uses a variety of research methodologies from multiple disciplines, notably including literary criticism, rhetoric, and the empirical sciences.  See below a list of dramatic works on this site employing these various methodologies.                           


Shakespeare's Comedies

Vitalist Film Comedies

Classic Film Comedies

Sombre Comedy

Senior Comedy

 The Essence of Comedy

Comedy's Analog in Tragedy

Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy

List of Works Discussed

Collections of Essays

Memorial Notes

Humor Quotient  Newsletter

Humor and Art

Humor and Mathematics

The Humor Corner

Humor and Aging



































































In 2014, the University of Chicago recognized its “overarching commitment to free, robust, and uninhibited debate and deliberation among all members of the University’s community.” The report of its Committee on Freedom of Expression went on to add “the University greatly values civility,” and “all members of the University community share in the responsibility for maintaining a climate of mutual respect.” But “mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off discussion of ideas, however offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of the community.”


The balance between academic respect and civility on the one hand and freedom of academic discussion on the other must be precisely maintained if academe is to have any hope of pursuing that difficult thing called Truth rather than the easy thing called propaganda. We at ITCHS stand with the University of Chicago in seeking that proper and necessary balance.


New!  "The Seven-Day Week"

A “first installment” on a study of the cultural background to the formative centuries for comedy and tragedy, 400 B.C. to 20 A.D.

Trending: Exploring Comedic Subgenres

Stagecoach, John Ford, and Redemption Comedy

Romantic Comedy: John Ford/John Wayne’s Hondo

Recent Shooting Stars

Humor Corner:  Incongruity

Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy Dynamis

Much Ado About Nothing:  Sombre Comedy

Full-length critical works published on this site include

Comedic Tenor, Comic Vehicle: Humor in American Film Comedy

Comedy in a New Mood

December Comedy: Studies in Senior Comedy and Other Essays

Cheshire Smile:  Humor Texture and Personality in Shakespeare's Comedies

Four Seasons:  Variations in American Vitalist Film Comedy

Excerpts from Comedy in Space, Time, and the Imagination.


ITCHS is the home of the Humor Quotient Newsletter and the designer and administrator of the Humor Quotient Test and the Langerian/Bergsonian Vitalist Humor Test.

We hope that students of literature, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines will find useful sources in the e-volumes we publish here.


ITCHS is at its core a collaborative effort. We are proud of thousands of volunteer associates who have made our research discoveries possible.  And we are constantly looking to increase the number of scholar affiliates with whom we continue our efforts. If you are a humor scholar, a comedy scholar, a scholar in a related field like travesty,  satire, or tragedy and especially if you are a graduate student looking for a dissertation topic and institute affiliation, we want to hear from you.  We are experts in research design and quantitative analysis, and we are anxious to consider possibilities for collaborative research and publication. 


Queries of ITCHS should be directed to Paul Grawe, Project Director,


 About Us        Staff 


List of Plays and Films Discussed on ITCHS


Jean Anouilh, The Waltz of the Toreadors, New Mood, Chap. 3, pp 8-14

Aristophanes, The Birds

Samuel Beckett, Endgame

Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress

Anton Chekhov, The Cherry Orchard

Anton Chekhov, Uncle Vanya, in New Mood, Chap. 3, p 3

William Congreve, The Way of the World, in New Mood, Chap. 1, p 7, 24

Friedrich Duerrenmatt: The Visit


Jean Giraudoux, The Madwoman of Chaillot, in New Mood, Chap. 1, p 32

Jean Giraudoux, The Madwoman of Chaillot, in New Mood, Chap. 3, p 7

Lorraine Hansburry, Raisin in the Sun, in New Mood, Chap 1, p 31

Henrik Ibsen, Master Builder

Henrik Ibsen, Peer Gynt

Henrik Ibsen, Pillars of Society

Henrik Ibsen, Rosmersholm

Henrik Ibsen, The Wild Duck, in New Mood, Chap. 1, p 40

Eugène Ionesco,  Rhinoceros, in New Mood, Chap. 2, p 31.

Ben Jonson, Volpone, New Mood, Chap. 1, p 11

Federico Garcia Lorca, Blood Wedding, in New Mood, Chap. 2, pp 2-5

Arthur Miller, After the Fall, in New Mood, Chap 1, p 36

Molière, L’Avare

Molière, Les Précieuses Ridicules

Molière, Tartuffe

Eugene O’Neill, The Iceman Cometh

Plautus, Menaechmi, in New Mood, Chap. 1, p 19

William Saroyan, The Time of Your Life

William Shakespeare, Comedies: 

 As You Like It:  As Modern Criticism Likes It

As You Like It:  Reconsidered as Formal Comedy

As You Like It:   As Enhanced by Humor

Comedy of Errors:   Comedy or Farce?

Henry IV, Part 1:  Comedic Structure

Henry IV, Part 1:  Falstaff

Henry V:  Heroic Comedy and Considerations of Scale

Midsummer Night’s Dream:  Comedy or Comickedy?

Much Ado About Nothing Sombre Comedy

William Shakespeare, Tragedies:

Hamlet: Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy

Hamlet: ISST Abstract, Chap. 6

Julius Caesar: ISST Abstract

King Lear Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy

Macbeth:   Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy

Othello:  Exploring Shakespearean Tragedy

Troilus and Cressida:  ISST Abstract, Chap.3

John Millington Synge, Riders to the Sea, in New Mood, Chap. 2 pp 2-4

Thorton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth  


Aladdin: Advocate Humor Personality

The Big Chill: Entropic Humor

The Blues Brothers: Bridgebuilder Humor Personality

Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Sombre Comedy, Definition, in New Mood, Chap.1, page 35

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Crusader Humor Personality

Driving Miss Daisy: Winter Vitalist Comedy

Driving Miss Daisy: Senior Comedy and Comedic Innovation

Driving Miss Daisy: Senior Vitalist Humor

Father of the Bride: Consoler Humor Personality 

Fiddler on the Roof:  Winter Vitalist Comedy

The Graduate:  Somber Comedy, Definition, in New Mood, Chap. 1, page 35

Forrest Gump: Twelve Forms of Irony 

Forrest Gump Finding the Dominant Humor Form

Grumpy Old Men:  Erich Segal and Aristophanes

Grumpy Old Men:  Senior Comedy and Comedic Innovation

Hondo: John Ford/John Wayne’s Romantic Comedy

Life with Father:  Fall Vitalist Comedy

A Mighty Wind:  Getting the Right Genre

The Music Man: Intellectual Humor Personality

My Big Fat Greek Wedding: Reconciler Humor Personality

My Fair Lady:  Summer Vitalist Comedy

My Fair Lady: Vitalist Techniques in Practice

On Golden Pond: Senior Comedy and Comedic Innovation

On Golden Pond: Senior Vitalist Humor

On Golden Pond:  Summer Vitalist Comedy

Rain Man:  Box Office Dark Comedy

Rain Man:  The Recent Rapid Development of Comedy

Rocky: Fall Vitalist Comedy

Roman Holiday: Summer Vitalist Comedy

The Sound of Music: Spring Vitalist Comedy

Stagecoach John Ford, and Redemption Comedy

 Steel Magnolias Humor Structure Interplay  

Steel Magnolias: Vitalist Techniques in Practice

The Student Prince: Spring Vitalist Comedy

The Whales of August: Humor and Comedic Restoration of Balance