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TV comedies used to be funny. Now, ha. TV comedies used to be funny. Now, ha.

Letters From Home

Life looks at infmom / infmom looks at life

Sitcoms

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Braun HF 1, Germany, 1959

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I have come to the conclusion that I’m too old and cranky to appreciate situation comedies any more.  Or maybe I’m just, in the immortal words of the Muppet Show, too hip for the room.

Or maybe not.  Does anyone find any of the current crop of half-hour sitcoms genuinely funny?  If you turn off the sound and watch the closed-captions, are there really any jokes there at all?  I don’t think so, but then again I can’t stand to be in the room long enough to finish a show these days, much less pay attention to what’s supposedly entertaining us on the screen.

The thing is, a lot of sitcoms used to be funny and witty and well written.  Oh sure, every era had its share of stinkers, but just put any of the classic Norman Lear shows–All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, Good Times before it got blown to bits by “DynOMite”–up against what passes for comedy these days and you’ll see.  One “Hello? … that’s MRS. Findlay!” out of Bea Arthur beats any number of wise-ass kids (JJ’s dyn-o-mite descendants, alas) any day of the week.

And, of course, the classic sitcoms had to be written so adults would get all the risque double-entendres and situations, while kids would not.  No bad language.  No rude gestures.  It took a higher level of writing talent to get that accomplished.  Nowadays they just drop a few language bombs and have done with it.

Oh, the joys of days gone by.  I Love Lucy was well into reruns by the time my parents got a TV, so maybe it was just entertaining to kids my age, but I don’t think so.  It wouldn’t still be running otherwise.  The Sixties had I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster (could there be any better pairing than John Astin and Marty Ingels?), The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Norman Lear’s finest.

Then came Cheers, Night Court, and Taxi.  Family Ties. Square Pegs.  The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.  M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show and Alice.  The Cosby Show and the all-too brief Police Squad.

Now what do we have?  I dunno.   I haven’t cared enough to watch.

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Author: infmom

Otherwise known as Infamous Mom.

2 Comments

  1. I have heard good things about “The Office,” but I haven’t watched it. I’m probably missing out on a good thing.

    You know, I really liked “Hee Haw.” Gloom, despair, and agony on me, Deep dark depression, excessive misery, If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all… 🙂

    The Simpsons continues to be great, year after year. I guess I don’t think of it as a sitcom.

    I’ve never heard of Moral Orel but I’ll definitely look for it! Thanks!

    From your Tweets it looks like we have much the same outlook, which can only be good!

  2. I agree with you except “The Office” is one show I try to catch. I find it uproariously funny.

    I grew up with a strange phenomena where “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” was somehow rolling-on-the-floor funny. In retrospect, I have to surmise that our sense of humor simply hadn’t matured yet. And then came “Hee-Haw.”

    What times those were. And yet somehow, since then, we might have developed a collectively sharper sense of humor, but someone said it was okay to dump trash into the mix, and now that’s all it is. I find myself turning the television off, or watching C-Span. (Now THERE’S funny!)

    I do like to catch The Sarah Silverman Show now and again, and even though she can be rather crass and shocking, I do find it funny. The Simpson’s, South Park, and Moral Orel are some of the funniest animated features I like also. In case you haven’t seen moral Orel, I highly recommend you do a search for it and watch every episode. What you had to say about Jesus coming back and kicking people’s butts tells me you would thoroughly enjoy Orel.

    Thanks for following me on Twitter.

    Mitch

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