This essay collection is dedicated to intersections between gender theories and theories of laughter, humour, and comedy. It is based on the results of a three-year research programme, entitled "Gender - Laughter - Media" (2003-2006) and includes a series of investigations on traditional and modern media in western cultures from the 18th to the 20th century. A theoretical opening part is followed by four thematic sections that explore the multiple forms of irritating stereotypical gender perceptions; aspects of (post-)colonialism and multiculturalism; the comic impact of literary and media genres in different national cultures; as well as the different comic strategies in fictional, philosophical, artistic or real life communication. The volume presents a variety of new approaches to the overlaps between gender and laughter that have only barely been considered in groundbreaking research. It forms a valuable read for scholars of literary, theatre, media, and cultural studies, at the same time reaching out to a general readership.