play something for laughs

play for laughs

To do, act, or perform with the express intention of being funny; to do something for comedic effect. A noun or pronoun can be used between "play" and "for laughs." I do like getting dramatic roles, but if I'm honest, I prefer playing for laughs when I act. While many took offense at the rather unsavory theater piece, I can't help feeling like the whole thing was, at heart, being played for laughs. I wish he hadn't played the role for laughs, since there was the potential for some real dramatic weight in his performance.
See also: laugh, play

play something for laughs

(of a performer) try to arouse laughter in an audience, especially in inappropriate circumstances.
See also: laugh, play, something