TELEVISION HUMOR: Sit Coms & Late Night TV by Don L. F. Nilsen and Alleen Pace Nilsen 54
Ten Top Sit Coms of All Time 54 1. Seinfeld 2. Friends 3. Scrubs 4. My Hero 5. The Vicar of Dibley 6. The Simpsons 7. Frasier 8. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 9. The King of Queens 10. Everybody Loves Raymond (Thelen ENG 414 PowerPoint)
“ Take a few stereotyped characters whose views/interests/inclinations are discordant; place them in a context of interaction from which they cannot escape; set in motion a course of events which leads them to formulate interpretations which clash, but without serious consequences; vary the action from one episode to another, but maintain the setting and the underlying patterns of conduct; provide clear and repeated signals of humorous intent; and arrange each episode in the form of a prolonged joke sequence with an ‘unexpected’ semantic reversal at the end.”
The static sitcom, sticks to its expected characters and themes.
On Seinfeld , Jerry, Elaine, George, Kramer, and above all, Jerry’s nemesis Newman have a great deal in common with such never-changing cartoon icons as Bugs Bunny and Road Runner, constantly bringing the same traits to the same situations.
There are military sitcoms, school based sitcoms, comedies that feature aliens from abroad as far as Mars and Ork, ethnic shows, urban and rural shows, and work-place comedies.
“ All the familiar character types of American humor from the wise fools of the colonial and early national literature to the ‘little men’ of comic strips, silent film, and journalism, to con men and tricksters are featured in sitcoms.”