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Publicity photo of Don Rickles, a well-regarded insult comedian, in 1973.
Insult comedy is a comedy genre in which the act consists mainly of offensive insults directed at the performer's audience and/or other performers.1
Typical targets for insult include individuals in the show's audience, the town hosting the performance, or the subject of a roast. An insult comedian often maintains a competitive and interactive relationship with his or her audience. The style has been described as 'festive abuse'.
The style can be distinguished from an act based on satire, or political humor. Insult comedy is often used to deflect or silence hecklers even when the rest of the show is not focused around it.