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a. comedy characterized by horseplay and physical action
b. (as modifier): slapstick humour
2. a flexible pair of paddles bound together at one end, formerly used in pantomime to strike a blow to a person with a loud clapping sound but without injury



in the circus, theater, and motion pictures and on the variety stage, a highly comic method of portraying life. Slapstick involves behavior that is illogical and departs radically from generally accepted norms. It may include the bizarre use of props, for example, the playing of musical works on saws, frying pans, or brooms with strings stretched over them and with a resonator made from an ox bladder.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Slapstick application was launched in mid April during the 2010 playoff season and can be view on the Washington Capitals website or at washingtoncaps.
If you are doing beautiful dancing, you don't want to suddenly come across with this blatant slapstick moment that cheapens the whole thing," says Garter.
Along the way, there will be no shortage of surreal sequences, including a statue that comes to life and a cartoon that crawls out of the newspaper; there's also slapstick aplenty--the central character is modeled on the American comedian Harold Lloyd--and sets inspired by expressionist and constructivist art.
And in fact it was this mode of address--unapologetically broad, with a taste for slapstick as much as for the wry conceptual bon mot--that dominated the show.
Readers will enjoy the plot that unrolls like an I Love Lucy episode, in which Lucas' efforts to do right are met with almost slapstick results.
In a scene of sheer slapstick, family harmony collapses into chaos and mayhem just as the bishop arrives, seeing the family at its most dysfunctional.
New Yorker critic Pauline Kael observes, "The assurance "[Grant] gained in slapstick turned him into the smoothie he had aspired to be.
LET'S hope England tonight can avoid the sort of slapstick football which gifted Macedonia their opening goal at the weekend.
It is well known that Keaton began making films at a time when the industry was encouraging a transition from short slapstick films to feature-length comedies.
On one level it can be completely slapstick and have garage humor, and on the other hand it can have very sophisticated cultural references about obscure French literature and [architect] Frank Lloyd Wright.
Anyone who has ever watched the slapstick comedy, The Three Stooges, must have concluded that America of the 1930's had a child-like sense of humor.
When a person in a slapstick comedy slips on a banana peel, or is otherwise hurt, people laugh because they identify with their superiority over the situation.