Do you know what the films Super Bad, Tropic Thunder, Anchorman, Animal House, The Hangover, Bridesmaids, Zoolander, Air Plane, Talladega Night, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Juno, Team America: World Police, Waynes World and Step Brother have in common? (pause for audience answers, if any) They all ended up on Best comedy lists for their year of release and that decade. Each of these films may have the fact that they are all comedies in common but that is where the similarities end. Each caters to a specific audience and a particular type of humor. Lets take a look at various television shows of the last few decades. The Cosby Show, Roseanne, The Office, 30 ROCK, Parks and Recreations, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Modern Family, Full House, I Love Lucy, Threes Company, Will and Grace, Family Guy and Batman. Yes, I said Batman. All of the shows, much like the movies mentioned earlier, apply different techniques and cater to different audiences. The earlier shows such as I Love Lucy, Threes Company, Batman rely on slapstick humor and exaggeration in order to entertain.
Its a more, simplistic and physical style of comedy. These shows were bit farcical which is merely a comedy of errors. One of those I overheard part of s conversation and completely misunderstood the context. Let hilarity in sue. Later on though as our society developed so did the comedy. It moved from farcical to more of a situational comedy, focusing on familial discord. Shows in this genre are Full House, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Roseanne. These shows still strike a chord today due to their relatable situations. The comedy of the current time demands that you are educated; as we become more sophisticated so does our comedy. Todays comedies feature biting wit and pop culture references galore. Many of the most popular shows of today are satires. Weve evolved as a society in the west and require than a clever disguise to keep us entertain so why not poke fun at ourselves. Shows like Modern Family, 30 Rock, The Office and Parks and Recreations all really on the fact that nothing is funnier than imitating life.
Each takes a standard concept and uses exaggeration to make it funny. But that doesnt explain why we find it funny? What makes these shows humorous? Many of the shows dont appeal to some and yet others swear by them. What makes people experience humor so differently? According to BBC writer Tom Stafford, its a part of the brain that developed before the higher learning complex, so its a primal response; a communicative gesture. But its unclear as to why. From a sociological standpoint its individualized because it stems from our experiences and moral teachings. This is why, according to BBC writer Jonathan Duffy, many shows that try to function in a different culture have a hard time.
British shows rarely do well on American Television and vice versa with two exceptions being The Office and Queer as Folk. Each nation developed with different societal teachings. This cannot be said of Asiatic countries, which have various remakes of each others shows with no problem. Everyone has experienced life differently. While some people may enjoy the same types of humor or similar aspects no two persons will find all of the exact same things funny. We may never truly know what makes us respond the way we do to certain situations. For now we might as well sit back, relax and enjoy lifes funny moments.