Straight man

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A straight man (or comic foil, to include women) is the person in a comedy who is serious, reasonable or simply normal. The term derives from vaudeville and its comic duos, in which the straight man was distinguised from the "comic", who would be the bizarre, foolish or funny character. The term has moved beyond comic duos, however, and many contemporary comedies may have multiple straight men or multiple comics. In many comedies, the straight man is confused and even outraged by the actions going on around him or her, while in others, the straight man is an instigator and may even manipulate or verbally abuse the comic or comics. Notable straight men throughout TV history include: