Dear Dr. Hegel,
I'm finishing a screenplay and the other people in my class don't think it's funny enough. One of them said it seems like I took you for my model and recommended I contact you for suggestions about how I can punch it up. What do you think is funny?
—The Bringer Of Funny
Dear The Bringer Of Funny,
Comedy is concrete instantiation of the Unhappy Consciousness in the universal tragedy of History. The truth of Comedy is that all great big essential fixtures that stand over against self-consciousness are really products of, and at the mercy of, self-consciousness.
Comedy has, therefore, above all, the aspect that actual self-consciousness exhibits as the fate of the gods. These elementary Beings are, as universal moments, not a Self and are not equal. They are, it is true, endowed with the form of Individuality, but it is only in Imagination and does not really truly belong to them. They are entangled in actual existence merely through the pretensions of the Self.
When the gods deem it necessary to alter the identities, for example, of children in possession of similar gaits and countenances, such that the mistake of their mothers is codified by the mechanism of Law, the immanent dialectic of the Self is evident in the mutual recognition of the Self in the Other. They, the children, each observe in their counterpart the fundament of Self which they have taken as their own. Their mistake is the essence of Comedy.
P.S. Concerning the most appropriate mode of representing situations pregnant with conflict—the final result of the issuing from the entirety of the interthreading and conflicting skein of human life, movement, and accomplishment—it is asserted and maintained that flatulence never fails to work out tranquil resolution.