A comedian (also comedienne, female) is a person who attempts to make people laugh through a variety of methods, normally through joke telling, or a stream of funny banter. However, other comedians rely on methods such as slapstick (for example, Laurel and Hardy), or prop comedy to get the desired humourous effect.
Typically, a comedian stands up and talks to the audience; hence, they are often called stand-up comedians.
Since the mid-1980s, a new wave of comedy, called alternative comedy, has been gaining popularity and delighting audiences with its offbeat style. This normally involves more experiential, or observational, reporting to get a laugh.