blackout gag

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In reference to burlesque and vaudeville, when the lights were quickly turned off after the punchline of a joke to accentuate it and encourage the audience to laugh.


blackout gag (plural blackout gags)

  1. A rapid-fire joke in slapstick comedy.
    • 2015, Henry Jenkins, “Mel Brooks, Vulgar Modernism, and Comic Remediation”, in Andrew Horton; Joanna E. Rapf, editors, A Companion to Film Comedy, John Wiley & Sons, →ISBN, page 159:
      In some cases, Brooks could construct an entire sequence of nothing but blackout gags, as in the prehistoric sequence of History, which depicts the first artist and first critic, the discovery of fire, the invention of music, and so forth.

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