Fellini certainly had a taste for the absurd, and a surreal wit- a circus master, with a film "Clowns". I'm not his biggest fan, but i do think you're being a bit unfair!
As for Visconti; many of his lush dramas (Senso, L'Innocente..) have a bitter sting in the tail. Hadn't thought of him as a joker before, more a serious artist with a keen historical and film-making intelligence, and often a gorgeous visual sense.
No doubt Tarkovsky, Antonioni and Angelopoulos were masters of screwball and slapstick comedy. (There is a little trip in Nostalgia).