Slapstick is a type of broad, physical comedy involving exaggerated, boisterous actions (e.g. a pie in the face), farce, violence and activities which may exceed the boundaries of common sense.
The name “slapstick” comes from the batacchio or bataccio — called the “slap stick” in English — a club-like object composed of two wooden slats used in commedia dell’arte. When struck, the battacchio produces a loud smacking noise, though little force transfers from the object to the person being struck. Actors may thus hit one another repeatedly with great audible effect while causing very little actual physical damage. Along with the inflatable bladder (of which the whoopee cushion is a modern variant), it was among the earliest special effects that a person could carry."