Re: Who's funny? (OT)
posted at 1/13/2014 4:10 PM EST
In response to yogafriend's comment:
In response to MattyScornD's comment:
Agreed re: Poehler, Rock, and Dreyfus (JL-D is a titan of TV comedy.)
Add: Louis C.K., Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, JB Smoove, Marc Maron, Fred Armisen
New TV: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia; Curb Your Enthusiasm; Archer; Louie; Veep; Arrested Development
Old TV: Night Court; Cheers; Seinfeld, Happy Endings, Weeds, Futurama, Moonlighting, The Thick Of It
And RIP: George Carlin, Richard Pryor, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg
It's so easy to forget what how great "Cheers" was and the quality of the ensemble cast on the whole. If I catch an episode now and again, it still amazes me. "Moonlighting" was a a very sophisticated comedy as well.
And speaking of Cheers, that's a segue for "Frasier" which was, and will remain, one of the best sitcoms as well.
There are still a number of very good sitcoms on the air, but it seems unfair to compare them to shows of that stature. Even "Modern Family" which had me howling when it was first on the air, has run its course on many levels, since last year. For one thing, any time you feature that number of children / kids / young teens in a sitcom, you're going to see them grow up, and the story line adjustments are never as funny to accomodate. The entire cast seems to be somewhat tired as well; the spark is gone.
Some of the newer ones are ok; many of the setups are different, and they appeal to a more self-centered, social media-feeding culture, hence the "fourth wall-breaking" trend of The Office and Modern Family. (I like Parks & Rec, too.)
You mentioned TBBT (not a fan), which is more of a classic sitcom and compares more evenly, I think. I can't stomach most of the other network stuff...either too tame or too lame.
Moonlighting was a great mix of comedy, drama, romance, and light action that paved the way for more complex relationships on-air, though with a classic premise (with classic gags to boot).
Psych is one of my current favorites. Funny, irreverent, light-hearted, not at all mean-spirited and above all, entertaining. It's like a good pulp novel that doesn't overpromise or over-deliver.
Weeds was great in its prime, too...intelligent, well-acted, edgy, and a great ride 'til the end. Mary Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin made one of the greatest characters ever. (Note the creator of Weeds, Jenji Kohan, also created Orange Is The New Black.)
And then there's Louie, which pretty much destroys every stand-up comedian-based sitcom ever...by turns funny, touching and profound in all the best ways.