Elizabethan, and Jacobean
In Every Man and His Humor (1599), Ben Jonson offers a definition of comedy: I would fain here one of these autumne-judgements define once, Quid sit comoedia? if he cannot, let him content himself with Cicero's definition (till he have strength to propose himself a better) who would have a Comedie to be Imitatio vitae, Speculum consuetudinis, Imago veritatis; a thing throughout pleasant, and ridiculous, and accommodated to the correction of manners.
The Cambridge footlights are a college comedy group from Cambridge University. Several well known actors stared out as FootLights like Monty Python members John Cleese and Graham Chapman and more modern actors like Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson.
The Frost Report
The Goon Show
Monty Python's Flying Circus
"And now for something completely different," Monty Python's Flying Circus was the television adaption of the hysterical comedy group Monty Python.
Hancock's Half Hour
The Office was a trigger for the creation of popular situation comedies. Where more classical sitcoms are based on laughter-tracks, catchphrases and clownish behaviour, The Office derived comedy from the observation of modern life. It found humour in the mannerisms, the longing silences and embarrassment that are faced by modern British society and rewrote the rules on what popular television comedy should be. Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant showed that popular entertainment could resonate an underlying moral message through humour and shaped a format that many future comedies would successfully emulate.