comic relief

noun
1.
an amusing scene, incident, or speech introduced into serious or tragic elements, as in a play, in order to provide temporary relief from tension, or to intensify the dramatic action.
2.
relief from tension caused by the introduction or occurrence of a comic element, as by an amusing human foible.

Origin:
1815–25

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Example sentences
Apparently, our fans needed a little comic relief the day after the tragedy.
Sci-fi films too often resort to an irritating, cuddly alien for comic relief.
For comic relief, show monkey approaching a skunk and getting sprayed.
He is not a sports commentator as much as he is comic relief who does not know
  when to simply shut up.
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