Callback (comedy)

callbackcallbackscall backcalls backI love that duck!
A callback, in terms of comedy, is a joke that refers to one previously told in the set.wikipedia
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Running gag

running jokerunning gagsrunning jokes
Repeatedly calling back to the same joke is a running gag.

Comedy

comediescomediccomedy writer
A callback, in terms of comedy, is a joke that refers to one previously told in the set.

Joke

jokesjocularjest
A callback, in terms of comedy, is a joke that refers to one previously told in the set.

Allusion

allusionsalludesallusive
It is also known as an internal allusion, a literary device that helps give structure to the piece of writing.

Audience

audience participationaudiencesviewers
Callbacks are usually saved for later, towards the end of a set, the result is usually a much bigger laugh the second time as the audience is much more surprised the longer it's held back.

In-joke

inside jokein-jokesinside jokes
When the second joke is told, it induces a feeling similar to that of being told a personal or in-joke.

Sitcom

situation comedysitcomssituation comedies
Particularly in earlier sitcoms—though even until the early 1990s—callbacks were rare and often frowned upon by networks, because they threaten to alienate a viewer who is new to the series, or who has missed episodes, particularly if the callback is tied to previous episodes (this is especially a threat to a show's syndication value, as shows in which the episodes are self-contained, and thus can be rerun out of order, can fetch a higher sale price than shows that must be run in sequence).

Broadcast syndication

syndicatedsyndicationfirst-run syndication
Particularly in earlier sitcoms—though even until the early 1990s—callbacks were rare and often frowned upon by networks, because they threaten to alienate a viewer who is new to the series, or who has missed episodes, particularly if the callback is tied to previous episodes (this is especially a threat to a show's syndication value, as shows in which the episodes are self-contained, and thus can be rerun out of order, can fetch a higher sale price than shows that must be run in sequence).

Rerun

rerunsre-runrepeat
Particularly in earlier sitcoms—though even until the early 1990s—callbacks were rare and often frowned upon by networks, because they threaten to alienate a viewer who is new to the series, or who has missed episodes, particularly if the callback is tied to previous episodes (this is especially a threat to a show's syndication value, as shows in which the episodes are self-contained, and thus can be rerun out of order, can fetch a higher sale price than shows that must be run in sequence).

Serial (radio and television)

serialSerial dramaserials
Particularly in earlier sitcoms—though even until the early 1990s—callbacks were rare and often frowned upon by networks, because they threaten to alienate a viewer who is new to the series, or who has missed episodes, particularly if the callback is tied to previous episodes (this is especially a threat to a show's syndication value, as shows in which the episodes are self-contained, and thus can be rerun out of order, can fetch a higher sale price than shows that must be run in sequence).

Seinfeld

Kramer vs. Kramer: Kenny to Cosmocurseeponymous sitcom
Seinfeld, a show built around stand-up comedy, was one of the first sitcoms to regularly use callbacks in its scripts, although on a level that would often be missed or disregarded by viewers; its use of the strategy commonly kept the callbacks confined to events in the same episodes, having the effect of bringing the episode full-circle or creating an ironic twist ending.

Stand-up comedy

stand-up comedianStand-upstand-up comic
Seinfeld, a show built around stand-up comedy, was one of the first sitcoms to regularly use callbacks in its scripts, although on a level that would often be missed or disregarded by viewers; its use of the strategy commonly kept the callbacks confined to events in the same episodes, having the effect of bringing the episode full-circle or creating an ironic twist ending.

Irony

ironicironicallydramatic irony
Seinfeld, a show built around stand-up comedy, was one of the first sitcoms to regularly use callbacks in its scripts, although on a level that would often be missed or disregarded by viewers; its use of the strategy commonly kept the callbacks confined to events in the same episodes, having the effect of bringing the episode full-circle or creating an ironic twist ending.

Plot twist

twist endingsurprise endingtwist
Seinfeld, a show built around stand-up comedy, was one of the first sitcoms to regularly use callbacks in its scripts, although on a level that would often be missed or disregarded by viewers; its use of the strategy commonly kept the callbacks confined to events in the same episodes, having the effect of bringing the episode full-circle or creating an ironic twist ending.

30 Rock

TGS with Tracy Jordan30 Rock: The WebisodesThe Girlie Show'' (fictional show)
A more recent series, 30 Rock, employs callbacks to reference fictitious movies and television programs created within the show.

Arrested Development

Arrested Development (TV series)Bluth CompanyArrested Development'' (TV series)
Arrested Development became well known by fans for its regular use of callbacks throughout all of its episodes.

Continuity (fiction)

continuitycontinuity errorcontinuity errors
The line between a callback and simple continuity can be ambiguous.

Stewart Lee

[Stewart] LeeBritish comedianStewart Lee’s
His stand-up is characterised by repetition, frequent callbacks, generally deadpan delivery and a pronounced use of deconstruction, which he often self-consciously refers to on stage.

Comedic device

comic devicecomediccomedy devices
The "callback" in comedy writing—in which a statement or theme is recalled as the punchline or close of a scene—is a classic example of the tension and release that are possible using repetition.

You didn't build that

sparked a controversyechoed her sentimentsU Didn't Build That
In her victory speech on November 6, 2012, Elizabeth Warren made a callback, stating it had been "an amazing campaign, and let me be clear, I didn't build that, you built that."

Swarley

This culminates to the point of the entire bar shouting "Swarley" when he enters, as a callback to the sitcom Cheers.

The Bertha Butt Boogie

Bertha Butt
The record was a follow-up to the band's 1972 top 10 hit "Troglodyte (Cave Man)", which also featured the "Bertha Butt" character, who showed up on several more Jimmy Castor Bunch tracks in following years; it also calls back to two previous Castor recordings, "Hey Leroy Your Mama's Calling You" and "Luther the Anthropoid (Cave Man)", who appear with the troglodyte midway through the song to boogie with the Butt sisters.

List of 8-Bit Theater characters

Black Belt (''8-bit Theatre'')character in ''8-Bit Theatercharacter of ''8-Bit Theater
Chaos himself is eventually defeated in a deliberate anticlimax by four White Mages, a twist that was described by Brian Clevinger as "probably the longest ranged call back attempted by a webcomic."