Lateline creator Al Franken was in a past a comedian, writer for Saturday Night Live, he was an actor, but then he became an active politician and right now is US Senator. Lateline was his first stab at creating a sitcom, because in the past he was usually writer or co-author of the scripts. Unfortunately Lateline was a disaster...
Roy Clarke is one of the best comedy writers in Britain with such titles in his resume as Last of the Summer Wine, Keeping Up Appearances or Rosie, often concentrating on the Yorkshire, where he was born, and often writing a bitter-sweet stories. But one of his early productions is still fondly remembered by the audience - Ronnie Barker as stingy shop owner Arkwright and his always suffering nephew Granville as errand boy.
Jack Rosenthal started his career as writer for British soap opera Coronation Street, but after he wrote spin-off called Pardon the Expression (starring Arthur Lowe) that was rather typical sitcom his next project was something from completely other dimension - The Dustbinmen. The title pretty much explains the topics covered in this sitcom, but the approach to comedy was something completely unconventional.
The first solo project of comedians Robert Webb and David Mitchell, The Mitchell and Webb Situation, which they wrote themselves and played most of the parts, was more or less a failure. It showed their style, it showed their potential, but failed miserably on the content - most of the sketches seemed under-developed or simply unfinished. Fortunately they moved to the radio to work on their next project, which save their careers.
Drew Carey, the Assistant Director of Personnel in Winfred-Louder department store in Cleveland, is unhappy with his job, lack of any hope to be promoted, lack of choices to change his life. And yes, it is a comedy, and for some time it was the top-level comedy.
There are few themes that are hardly the laughing matter, like someone’s death, illness, being broke or having the personal crisis. Yet comedy series managed to deal with all those themes without actually crossing the boundries. Death? Getting on (British or American version). Illness? Only When I Laugh or Scrubs. Personal crisis? The Fall and Raise of Reginald Perrin for example. Being broke? Oh, this list would be too long - from Steptoe and Son to Married with Children and many more. The Job Lot is another example of trying to make comedy of something that on first glance seem hard to achieve - unemployment.
Since 1980s the comedy series started to look for new themes, one of which was of course the new generation of... unique young people known as the nerds. The revolution started with computers led to such shows as Dweebs, IT Crowd or lately Silicon Valley and Big Bang Theory. Lab Rats, similiar in concept and atmosphere was showing a different world - the world of scientists working on ground-breaking experiments... Well, working anyway.
British sitcoms have a long history of presenting characters that on the first glance are not only unlikeable, but also it seems they are completely unsuitable for comedy series. Steptoe and Son was just another example of such sitcom.
Comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb gained most notoriety by taking part in Peep Show, an unusual sitcom about two misfits, who try to cope with the world, but their careers have started few years earlier, when they were writers for different shows, including Armstrong and Miller, Bruiser and Big Train. The Mitchell and Webb Situation was suppose to be their big break - first solo project. Unfortunately it failed miserably.
Many things can be said about Vince Powell, but certainly not that he avoided controversial topics in his sitcoms. Let’s see: George and the Dragon (mother-in-law jokes), Never Mind the Quality Feel the Width (religion), Love Thy Neighbour (race), Odd Man Out (gay character), Mind Your Language (foreigners) or Never the Twain (two nasty old men). The Wackers seemed to be rather typical sitcom of the era - story about Liverpool family living is typical small house, yet he managed to put another touchy subject in that simple sitcom.
Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.
Wasteland - the final frontier... for logic
Magical 5 characters
You’ve been watching for years, but never realized it