John Mundy
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Glyn White
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Television comedy
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This chapter focuses on the situation comedy, the most clear-cut and the most studied sub-genre of television comedy. The situation comedy is the predominant comedic form in television, being the favourite television genre in the USA and second favourite in the UK. David Grote makes the point that even the most successful films at box office would be cancelled for low audience figures if they were sitcoms appearing on television. The BBC poll and historical survey show considerably more complexity in sitcom sub-genres than the basic models of domestic, family and workplace sitcoms. These sub-genres reveal significant differences and commonalities in British and American cultures. Recurrent variety show sketches gave birth to the sitcom on radio. Variety is also the ancestor of the television sketch show which packages, with or without a few remaining variety elements, comic sketches for its audience.

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Laughing matters

Understanding film, television and radio comedy


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