Most comedy must at least be partially based in reality to work. An audience unable to relate to a subject is usually an audience that isn’t going to laugh because they can’t make a connection to the joke or story being told.
For that reason, most people under the age of, say, 85, have had a hard time relating to the idea of slipping on a banana peel. Yet, it has remained a comedy staple practically since the invention of motion pictures.
This seems as counterintuitive as the French love of Jerry Lewis.
Apparently, though, slipping on banana peels was once a very real concern; hence, their role in comedy.
Consider this 1918 story, under the headline “Banana Peel Gets Verdict,” taken from the Greenwood Index, a South Carolina newspaper:
We note that some days since a suit was brought against the city of Columbia (S.C.) by a party…
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