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I and a group of friends were watching a video on TV when one idiot from the group (who wasn't my friend but a friend's friend) wanting to sound intellectual claimed that the video was based on "dark humour". The rest of us downright disagreed and said that the video was a spoof or a satire but could never be dark comedy. This idiot not wanting to give up then claimed that the video was both a spoof and a dark comedy. We did not argue with him further on this as there as no point. But what piqued my curiosity was that could a film/video or a work of literature be both a dark comedy and a spoof? By the way I am not a native English speaker but have taken every care to write in proper English and I would appreciate it if you could correct any errors I've made and also answer my question.

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Yes. For example, Kubrik's Dr. Strangelove is a extremely well-known black comedy which employs a significant amount of satire (or a satire which employs a significant amount of black humor). For example, here's an academic review of the film which ascribes both qualities to "At its purest, Strangelove is a black and satirical comedy about ...": iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall11/wyzan_a/strangelove.html –  Dan Bron Aug 10 at 17:33
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I see no fundamental reason that would prelude someone doing a spoof in the style of a dark comedy. –  Jim Aug 10 at 17:33
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You wrapped that up, Dan! –  Joe Blow Aug 10 at 17:37
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Oh, no. @mgb did, with the Ur-example: Swift's A Modest Proposal! –  Dan Bron Aug 10 at 17:40
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I think the meanings of spoof and dark/black comedy/humour are General Reference (and have effectively unrelated meanings). Any given comedy may reasonably be described using either, both, or neither terms, depending on exactly what kind of comedy it actually is. –  FumbleFingers Aug 10 at 17:54

1 Answer 1

The British TV show Brass Eye is a dark comedy that spoofed government/media hysteria about paedophilia and drugs. Similar, though less dark, are the The Day Today and The Office.

If you want to be more literary: Swift's A Modest Proposal

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+1 for A Modest Proposal. The perfect example. –  Dan Bron Aug 10 at 17:37
    
But I forgot Dr Strangelove ! Although sometimes it seems that America is actually a spoof of Dr Strangelove –  mgb Aug 10 at 17:38
    
@mgb we were watching a video in my native language which was a satire on our country's existing "art" film industry. The video showed some dark scenes from art films, based on the noir genre but in a comical way. Could this be considered as dark comedy? –  user3125707 Aug 10 at 18:37
    
@user31225707, Wikipedia literally defines black comedy as a subgenre of satire (which makes sense, given its cynical bent). In regards to your specific film, does any professional (or at least well-regarded) critic or site (imdb.com, metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes, etc) mention an element of black humor? Does the following description apply, in any way? "Topics and events that are usually regarded as taboo, specifically those related to death, are treated in an unusually humorous or satirical manner while retaining their seriousness" –  Dan Bron Aug 10 at 18:54
    
Monty Python was almost totally satire and often bc. –  Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 at 19:37

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