Archive for July 24th, 2007

TV Comedy Changes

24th July 2007

There’s an interesting article on LA Times about the changing trends in television comedy in the USA.

For decades, multi-cam comedies have been a prime-time staple as much for their hit-making potential as for the relatively cheap production costs, but the shows, filmed before live studio audiences, have fallen out of fashion. Rising to take the few remaining network comedy spots has been the single-camera style, whose movie-like freedom and ease can be seen in such critically acclaimed programs as “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Arrested Development.” With a welcome change in pacing and no laugh-track-sweetened live audience, single-camera exudes a sophisticated cool that executives believe appeals to the prized and more tech-savvy 18-to-49 demographic.

Actually, few young viewers today probably realize that single-camera comedies are older than they are. The form used in such shows as “Bewitched” and “I Dream of Jeannie” in the mid-’60s was once the prevailing force of prime-time comedies. While not near those heights today, single-camera is again gaining ground. Of the eight new half-hour comedies greenlighted for this fall, five are single-camera — the first time in decades singles have outnumbered the multi-cams.

“The problem with multi-camera shows is that over the years there has been a glut of them and there have been so many bad ones with the same rhythm that the form itself got stale,” said Ken Levine, a veteran comedy writer for shows such as “MASH,” “Cheers” and “Frasier,” who blogs about pop culture. “Comedy itself is really at the lowest point it has ever been.”

Top Funny Films

24th July 2007

Based on the results of a reader’s poll, The Guardian has published its Top 50 Funniest Films of all Time.

Here’s the top twenty:

  1. Life of Brian
  2. Airplane!
  3. This Is Spinal Tap
  4. Some Like It Hot
  5. Withnail and I
  6. Blazing Saddles
  7. The Big Lebowski
  8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  9. Duck Soup
  10. Young Frankenstein
  11. The Producers
  12. Shaun of the Dead
  13. Groundhog Day
  14. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
  15. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
  16. The Man with Two Brains
  17. There’s Something About Mary
  18. Annie Hall
  19. Dumb and Dumber
  20. Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy

What would be on your perfect list?