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BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.

Rick Fielding 23 May 02 - 01:09 PM
Rick Fielding 23 May 02 - 01:12 PM
DMcG 23 May 02 - 01:18 PM
DMcG 23 May 02 - 01:19 PM
GUEST 23 May 02 - 01:24 PM
GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road) 23 May 02 - 01:27 PM
John Hardly 23 May 02 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 02 - 01:48 PM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 01:48 PM
M.Ted 23 May 02 - 02:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 02 - 02:15 PM
Kim C 23 May 02 - 02:16 PM
catspaw49 23 May 02 - 02:32 PM
michaelr 23 May 02 - 03:08 PM
Mrrzy 23 May 02 - 03:25 PM
Rich_and_Dee 23 May 02 - 03:28 PM
Stilly River Sage 23 May 02 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,cretinous yahoo 23 May 02 - 04:02 PM
Mudlark 23 May 02 - 04:27 PM
katlaughing 23 May 02 - 04:51 PM
GUEST 23 May 02 - 07:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 May 02 - 07:32 PM
greg stephens 23 May 02 - 07:44 PM
Rick Fielding 23 May 02 - 07:57 PM
DonD 23 May 02 - 08:07 PM
GUEST 23 May 02 - 08:44 PM
CarolC 23 May 02 - 09:01 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 08:49 AM
katlaughing 24 May 02 - 09:09 AM
JedMarum 24 May 02 - 09:20 AM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 09:26 AM
Jeri 24 May 02 - 09:42 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 May 02 - 11:23 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 May 02 - 11:44 AM
Nigel Parsons 24 May 02 - 11:45 AM
Peg 24 May 02 - 12:26 PM
CarolC 24 May 02 - 01:02 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 01:07 PM
CarolC 24 May 02 - 01:10 PM
GUEST 24 May 02 - 01:15 PM
CarolC 24 May 02 - 01:24 PM
Rich_and_Dee 24 May 02 - 01:50 PM
Mudlark 24 May 02 - 02:15 PM
katlaughing 24 May 02 - 03:38 PM
SharonA 24 May 02 - 03:38 PM
katlaughing 24 May 02 - 04:01 PM
Kim C 24 May 02 - 04:46 PM
katlaughing 24 May 02 - 05:41 PM
Celtic Soul 25 May 02 - 02:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 May 02 - 06:31 PM
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Subject: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:09 PM

OK, I'm a total 'Britophile' when it comes to humour. (even spell it that way) More than a few Canadians listened to "The Goons", Tony Hancock etc, on the radio when growing up, and it's HARD to find Bob Hope and Milton Berle funny after that kind of early indoctrination. A little later on I discovered "Yes Minister", and if there has ever been a more sharply written TV series, I ain't seen it.

However, I often see (on Mudcat) references to a lack of irony (or appreciation of it) from Americans in general. I suspect this has more to do with the make-up of an internet chat group than a reflection of an "American sense of humour". A casual look at American TV programs (which should be representative of SOMETHING) reveals a huge amount of dreck and obvious silliness....BUT some of the most popular programs are fairly dripping with irony and hard-edged satire. An awful lot of people are watching these shows, and I can't believe those filks would hang in there year after year, if they weren't getting the jokes.

Three comedy shows come to mind: 'King of the Hill', "The Simpsons", and 'Seinfeld'. All have millions of regular viewers and all have taken vicious shots at our individual and collective frailties....often with side-splitting results.

An interesting (to me) phenomenon is that NONE of the Seinfeld principals (including Jerry) have been able to do bupkis after the termination of the show. The combination of perfect casting, perfect writing, and four of the most flawed (but honest, in a 'know thyself' way) characters produced 8 or 9 years of top rated TV, but has left the actors high and dry and (from the results of their subsequent spin-offs) trying futiley to use 'bits' of their 'Seinfeld' personae to get back on TV. Hope they all made a bundle...'cause it may have to last a long time.

The thing about 'King of the Hill", and "The Simpsons" is that although one slants more to a liberal point of view and the other to a conservative one, very few institutions (and individuals for that matter) escape the barbs. The writing on both shows IMO is superb.

So...my guess (and I don't know about this) is that British TV ALSO has it's share of comedy crap (maybe a lot more lately?) but in general, it strikes me as the ability to appreciate (and use) irony is pretty universal.

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:12 PM

"Filks"?

I really DO poof-read...maybe I need glasses!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: DMcG
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:18 PM

British TV certain has its share of unbelievably poor comedy. "Yes (Prime) Minister" has not been equalled since, in my opinion. There are plenty of people who are good at banter, such as Paul Merton in "Have I Got News for You" but consistant well-planned comedy with the accuracy of YM? 'Fraid not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: DMcG
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:19 PM

"certainly", not "certain". I also proof-read, but only AFTER I press SUBMIT :-<


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:24 PM

Michael Moore had a TV show on one of the major networks, no less, as a summer replacement show some years back. It was one of the highest points of TV comedy I ever saw.

On one segment, he went to a Ford plant in Mexico. They actually let him into the plant. So, he is standing there talking to the floor sup, and he says to the sup "How do you say in Spanish 'As soon as you get your arm out of that machine, you're fired?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST,Bullfrog Jones (on the road)
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:27 PM

Sadly, the great tradition of British TV Comedy seems to have dried up. Most of my recent favourites have been American. I agree with Rick that The Simpsons has some of the sharpest writing anywhere, and I'd include Frasier, Seinfeld and Larry Sanders as examples of how TV writing can be funny and intelligent, but is rarely either. I can't think of any really must-see British comedies in recent years. As DMcG says HIGNFY at least has some funny lines (even if they're not necessarily as impromptu as we're led to believe).


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: John Hardly
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:30 PM

...after burning down the local church with a bottle rocket:

Marge: Homer! That's the worst thing you've ever done!

Homer: You say that so often it's lost all meaning...


The Simpsons is perhaps the most well written, funniest show ever on TV. jus' my 'umble opinion


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:48 PM

The glib comments that American don't understand irony are pretty silly really, as any comment about "the Americans" is bound to be. That's a whole continent with hundred of millions of people.

Clearly there are masses of TV programmes shot through with irony, and since they are popular programmes in America, there have to be a whole lot of Americans who appreciate it.

I suspect however there may a be a few differences in how irony gets used. My impression - and it is only an impression - is that it is more typical for Americans to move consciously into ironic mode as a kind of vacation, as opposed to living in it, which is typical for a lot of people in the British Isles.

What I mean is the way that instinctively someone here meaning to praise something will describe it as "not bad"; or if they aren't well "not feeling too good. Or in the context of web speak, if someone says "In my humble opinion" they aren't meaning to be more modest than "In my opinion", but the reverse. IMHO from the British Isles means "This is what I think, and if you disagree you are dead wrong". "I beg your pardon" might mean what it says "I humbly beg your pardon " almost certainly doesn't.

And it seems to me that most Americans don't work that way. Is it fair to say that while they may understand irony well enough, they tend to signal when they're moving into that mode, and expect signals from others. Whereas over here we give the signals when we are moving out of using irony. For American the default mode would be direct, while for people in the British Isles the default mode is ironic.

If that tends to be the case, it's a wonder we don't misunderstand each other more than we do. Or (in ironic), it's not surprising we understand each other so well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 01:48 PM

Entirely agreed the Simpsons are the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I'll have to analyse it in terms of irony levels. I think theBritish/Irish theory that irony is not an American art is based on two facts. (1) Alanis Morisette(Sp?) wrote a song called something like "Isnt it ironic" and none of the things that happened in the song are actually ironic.. I'm not too sure about this theory as I've neverheard the song. (2) is the more obvious fact that, while irony can mean many things, themain feature of ironic conversation is that you say the opposite of what you mean as a humorous or emphatic device. And this works fineBrit talking to Brit, but you can't do it toAmericans because they tend to take us literally, so it leads to misunderstandings or argumentative situations which go in strange directiobs. And then there's post-modern irony which is A-level standard stuff. Anyway, Simpsons are on, I'll do an irony count.trouble is, if you use it all the time it's so second nature it's difficult to recognise...


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:11 PM

Some people have a sense of humor, and some don't, when the humor works, British and Americans laugh at much the same sort of thing--then there are the ones who don't have a sense of humor, but think they do, like, say, the French--


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:15 PM

Sense of humour and sense of irony aren't exactly the same thing.

Someone once suggested that there needs to be an ironic type face we could use on these forums. For people in the British Isles it'd be set as the default. For Australians too?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Kim C
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:16 PM

King of the Hill is just about my favorite comedy show on TV. I don't keep up with it as often as I'd like, but I've been a fan since the start. My favorite episode, though, is still The Order of the Straight Arrow - where they took the boys out camping in the woods.

My favorite British comedy is As Time Goes By.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: catspaw49
Date: 23 May 02 - 02:32 PM

Sorry Rick. I'd love to participate in this thread, but I just don't get it.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: michaelr
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:08 PM

Some other very funny, and occasionally ironic, US TV shows: "Malcolm in the Middle", "Futurama" (a Simpsons spinoff), and the alsways savage "Dennis Miller Live" - though I must say that Dennis has become something of a reactionary since 9-11. And Bill Maher just got fired as host of "Politically Incorrect" for being, well, politically incorrect...

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Mrrzy
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:25 PM

Waiting For God! You want irony... I give you old folks! They got Seinfeld beat all hollow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Rich_and_Dee
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:28 PM

I haven't put together a coherent feeling about American vs British irony, so I'll back away from that for now.

One observation I would like to propose about American TV, however, is the best examples of funny TV we've seen listed here are ironic, not for what is said in any given episode, but more for the structure and format of the shows.

The Simpsons is a cartoon, fer chrissake, in the style of The Flintstones, but look at what they're doing. Shoddy nuclear plant in town, dad's a drunken lay-about, etc. Also look at South Park, which, if anyone hasn't seen it, is very much in the general style of a Charlie Brown cartoon. In the South Park world, however, the adults are crack-whores, homicidal weirdos and closet perverts. The kids are not sweet and slightly philosphical. They're mean, nasty and cruel, and yet they manage to come out with some thoughtful observations on the world.

During the early 1980's when the NBC network ran a set of family-based sitcoms (Cosby and Family Ties), Fox responded with Married with Children, the anti-family show.

For me, the fact these shows ran at all is the irony.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 May 02 - 03:37 PM

If you look back, there have been some very good programs, but they're few and far between. The Smothers Brothers was cancelled (three times!) because they bit the network that hosted them. They combined wit and music with true artistry. Carol Burnett was consistently excellent, at least in the years before Lyle whats-his-name was on it. I enjoyed her later series also, but the first was best. Frank's Place (does anyone but me remember that one?) was marvelous. M*A*S*H was also one-of-a-kind marvelous.

I don't watch much tv now, though I enjoy Frasier if I happen to pass it on the dial. I never saw much point in Seinfeld but have to admit that's because I never sat down to watch one of them all of the way through.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST,cretinous yahoo
Date: 23 May 02 - 04:02 PM

King of the Hill. never miss it. The Simpsons, sorry but I know too many men who act just like that. Waiting for God is top quality.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Mudlark
Date: 23 May 02 - 04:27 PM

Somehow, saying one thing while meaning the opposite doesn't quite sum up irony for me. Saying "Didn't you just LOVE the....whatever", meaning "Wasn't it awful" seems more like sarcasm. For me, irony needs sardonic wit and a subtle sense of incongruity. It is ironic, when a person spends half their life running from something, only to end up with it in the end. Not necessarily "funny", but definitely ironic.


On a comedic level I think "wit" (which is different than humor, and demands more intelligence, IMHO) has to be part of the mix to push my buttons. Some of the American comedies I've seen that have that are Seinfeld, Larry Sanders, Cheers...characters that don't just spout funny lines, but who have inherently witty personas (personae?). While in British comedies The early Blackadder shows had it, Mr. Bean lost it. As Time Goes By has it in spades. Just watching John Cleese run upstairs, in Faulty Towers, was enough to have me rolling on the floor.



On blind choice, I would always choose British humor--or drama-- over American, because it is more often intelligent, skilled and professional in the true sense of the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 May 02 - 04:51 PM

Doing some more ironying, Spaw? Key-riced! I thought that was your middle name!

King of the Hill is done by the same guy/crew as Simpsons, two of our favs. My son knew him when he first started the Simpsons in a little newspapre where we lived. He never dreamt it would hit so big. I wished I'd saved all of those papers!

I hated Cheers and Seinfeld, still do. I enjoy Frasier, but don't have to see it. We both LOVED The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin and, imo, nothing has compared since. All in all, we do prefer some Britcoms but no necessarily based on the ironic factor.

BTW, Michael Moore's program was still running last fall. Hi irony packs a real "wollop" as he confronts the evil-doers live, on camera...such as the time he had people dying of emphysema dressed up in holiday costumes, singing Christmas carols at a ciggy-manufacturer's HQ, while he tried to question execs on camera. His stuff is so blatant. I think it goes beyond irony because he actively tries to do something about situations that sicken him and tries to motivate others to "wake up."

Nobody beats the deadpan delivery of Tommy Smothers or Steven Wright, both Americans.

katwithasardonicgrin


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:09 PM

As far as the "anti-family" shows, I thought The Rosanne Show (or whatever it was called) was far superior to Married With Children.

Some of my other favorite classic comedy shows would be Monty Python (still, and always #1). Anyone remember the late night comedy soap Mary Hartman Mary Hartman? Loved that one. And it's spin off Fernwood Tonight wasn't so bad either.

I've never been much of a fan of most prime time US comedy. But Kids in the Hall was a good Canadian one. My current fave is really Jon Stewart's The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Much better political wit and humor than Politically Incorrect, which I thought was sorta stupid. The current cast of SNL sucks, and Dennis Miller? Please. Any comedian who thinks of Monday Night Football as a positive career move, well...what can you say?

kat--I think the Michael Moore stuff on recently was a different show on cable called The Awful Truth. I have a Real Player site of it bookmarked--Mike Meets the Taliban:

http://www.michaelmoore.com/sidebars1/mike_meets_taliban.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:32 PM

Irony doesn't just mean saying the opposite of what you mean. Another style would be where you leave something unsaid in a way that implies some comment. "What did you think of the music tonight" "It was really great tonight - I couldn't hear it."

Add a touch of malice to irony - as in that last example - and it becomes sarcasm. Whether it is subtle or not is a completely separate matter. "Nice weather for ducks" when it's raining is mot subtle, but it is irony.

But the suggestion that American humour doesn't encompass irony is in fact a bit rich (ironic expression) in the light of the fact that the Jewish tradition of humour is so central to it, and you can't get more ironic than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: greg stephens
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:44 PM

Very much agree with McGrath's previous comment:American Jewish humour is based on complex levels of irony no Brit would ever aspire to. And my mention of one kind of irony being the habit of saying the opposite of what you mean was just that: a description of one kind of irony. Of course it's not a definition. Irony is obviously based on the juxtaposition of opposites, but in a huge variety of ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 May 02 - 07:57 PM

Forgot about Larry Sanders....Damn that was funny! Same with Fernwood tonite.

The oft repeated crack about Americans lacking irony (around here) may well come from one 'Guest' type person, but a lot of it comes down to not seeing the expression of someone's face when they make a comment. I think McGrath's comment about Brit's ALREADY being in 'ironic mode' is probably pretty close to the truth,

Oops..got a student

Rick


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: DonD
Date: 23 May 02 - 08:07 PM

Am I creeping to thank Rick in his original post for introducing this New Yorker to those unusual Canadian terms: "drek" and "bupkis'?

Any discussion of humor, especially US vs British, reminds me of the tale of the staid Brit visiting the American Midwest for the first time , and seeing vast fields of corn stretching to the horizon, asked the farmer: "My, word, what do you do with all that corn?" The farmer laconically replied, "We eat what we can, and what we can't eat, we can."

Several days later the Brit saw the light and chuckled, and on his return home was eager to retell the comment to his chums:

"By George," he said," when I asked the farmer chappie what they did with all that corn, he said, 'We consume as much as we're able to, and what we're unable to consume, we tin.' Ripping, what?"

Americans, laugh now, Brits, post a *G* on Sunday.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 May 02 - 08:44 PM

Reading this reminded me of the old Bill Cosby gag about Brits:

"I say, I say" - and then he don't say nothin!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: CarolC
Date: 23 May 02 - 09:01 PM

The impression I'm getting, in keeping with the idea that there are different kinds and levels of irony, is that irony found in television shows in the US tend to be more of the hard-hitting variety, the Simpsons being one example of this.

I think British TV shows have a fair share of this. I think Fawlty Towers would probably fit into this category, except when it's being downright sarcastic. I see quite a lot of more subtle and elegant irony as well. I think in its first season, Red Dwarf was packed with subtle irony along with the goofiness.

I'd put Canadian humor right up there with the best of them when it comes to subtle and elegant irony. I haven't seen it, but from what I've heard about it, it sounds to me like This Hour Has 22 Minutes would probably fit into this category.

Some of the most subtly ironic people I've ever seen on US television shows are Canadians. The funniest TV show I've ever seen was ABC World News Now (late night news) when Mark Mullen and Thalia Assuras were the co-anchors. Mark is American, but Thalia is Canadian. Just the looks those two used to give each other could send me rolling on the floor with laughter. Lots of incredibly subtle and ironic double takes and side glances. (I think there can be non verbal irony.)

A lot of the people who were involved in the production of ABC WNN used to be Canadian as well. I don't know if that's the case any more. It seems like most of the best people are gone now, and the show isn't very funny any more. I guess it was Disneyfied when Disney bought ABC.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 08:49 AM

I agree with you about the Canadians CarolC. Some of the best American comedians are Canadian. Kids in the Hall, many of the Chicago Second City and later SNL folks are Canadian, etc.

There are definitely culturally different ways of using irony, in no way limited to Jewish humor. In fact, I wouldn't typify Jewish humor as ironic at all, but that's the way I perceive it.

I've never thought that the British and Irish were better at irony than other cultural groups, but I will agree that they think they are!

But thankfully, irony isn't the only form of humor. I much prefer a wickedly sarcastic wit, and a good well-aimed parody, myself. Not abusive, Don Rickles stuff, though. Is that more "American" because it is more direct? Maybe. But Americans certainly aren't the only ones in the world who use that for humor.

Perhaps the British need to get out in the world more and experience more kinds of humor than their beloved "default" ironic mode?

Just a thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:09 AM

Colin Mochrie is another Second City Canadian who has shared his wicked wit with the rest of us on Whose Line Is It, Anyway, first on BBC, then the American version with Drew Carey. He and the others are always slinging stuff back and forth about his nationality and I know what you mean about that look, Carol. he and Ryan Stiles have it down to a science.:-)

Maybe American humour is more direct because the early ones had to be sure King George III "got it" when they said they didn't want any more tea?!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:20 AM

What's wrong with humor? Why do I have to get a spoonful of political messaging with every laugh? Even the British sitcoms are moving toward the political correct messaging with every episode. American sitcoms generally suck. I can't watch moments of them without being blasted by some as*hole's political message. Why do I need Maggie Simpson to teach me a lesson on homophobia? Why does the King of the Hill have to prove to me the flawed underpinnings of male behaviours? Why does Seinfeld have to be the one to point out the utter stupiduty of sexual constancy?

At least Al Bundy made me laugh for NO other political point. I hate these silly, trite American sitcoms. I know there are moments of humor that work, and some talented (and usually pretty) people working them, but I just can't stand watching them. Just like TV doesn't happen without Advertizers selling their stuff, Network TV shows don't happen without someone using them to push their political message.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:26 AM

Whoa there Jed. If you read through this entire thread, I think you'll see that people here appreciate many types of political and non-political humor. I think you are being a bit dense here. It is easy to take cheap shots at the politicians of the day, hence the popularity of lampooning politicians. Same is true of stupid male behaviors. Michael Moore didn't title his latest book the way he did for no reason.

As to your complaints about "politically correct" sexual humor, I just don't see that. Maybe you are one of those thin-skinned white guys so many people are always joking about, hmmm?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Jeri
Date: 24 May 02 - 09:42 AM

Jed, I don't really think things have changed all that much. All In The Family had a boatload of political and moral humor, The Andy Griffith show had a lot of episodes of right vs wrong - not political but moral - just like Maggie Simpson but more subtle. Remember "Get Smart?" That seemed to be loaded with cold war political satire. I do agree it's more "in-your-face" these days and MUCH more apt to be one-sided. (Less "we all think this is funny no matter what we believe," and more "if you think the same way we do, you'll think this is funny.")


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:23 AM

"Irony isn't the only form of humor. I much prefer a wickedly sarcastic wit". Is it possible to be sarcastic without being ironic as well? I'd class sarcasm as a subdivision of irony.

Irony with people in the British Isles isn't primarily a form of humour, it's a habit of speech and thinking. It seems to me that when it comes to humour, for Engish anyway the quintessential form is nonsense and buffoonery - the Goons, Monty Python, Faulty Towers, Carry On etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:44 AM

Rick Fielding: "Filks"
either search for it in the Digtrad, or do a full Google search. This is (simple version follows) the Sci Fi version of folk music.
If you can't find enough, PM me.

IF ANYONE NEEDS MORE, I'LL PUT A "FILK" BOOK IN THE AUCTION!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 24 May 02 - 11:45 AM

Sorry, my system said this had been rejected!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Peg
Date: 24 May 02 - 12:26 PM

The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Malcolme in the Middle, Futurama, that Sunday night FOX line-up is hard to beat for a night of down and dirty sarcasm and parody...excellent microcosmic commentary on contemporary society.

I miss The Vicar of Dibley which was on the Brit/PBS line-up for a while (with Ballykissangel, both of which are gone and Blackadder has been removed too). But they have brought Fawlty Towers into the mix. Not fond of May to September but I do love Waiting for God and One Foot in the Grave...also I watch As Time Goes By almost every night at either 7:30 or 12:30, if I am home!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:02 PM

Speaking of SNL, I believe the creator of that show, Lorne Michaels, is Canadian. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.) And of the early cast, I believe that Dan Ackroyd is Canadian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:07 PM

Yes Carol, Lorne is Canadian. And if I'm not mistaken, is also the producer of Kids in the Hall. I know there have been other Canucks on SNL, but can't remember who now? Is Dana Carvey Candian?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:10 PM

Martin Short, John Candy, and Katharyn O'Hara are three that come immediately to mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: GUEST
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:15 PM

Right! Was Martin Short on SNL or Second City?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: CarolC
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:24 PM

Martin Short was on both. He was in the SNL crew with Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer (also of Simpson's fame).

I'm having some difficulty separating the SNL crew with the SCTV crew also. Were Rick Moranis and Andrea Martin ever on SNL, or were they just on SCTV? What about Dave Thomas?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Rich_and_Dee
Date: 24 May 02 - 01:50 PM

Hi,

I may be wrong, but I believe of the SCTV group, only Martin Short went on to appear on Saturday Night Live. Most of the others (including Short) have appeared in countless films. More recently, Andrea Martin has a standing gig on Sesame Street, which she plays a much subdued Edith Prickley character.

Don't know if Dana Carvey is Canadian, but Mike Myers certainly is.

Rich


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Mudlark
Date: 24 May 02 - 02:15 PM

I still remember with great fondness a sendup of Katherine Hepburn that Martin Short did years ago on SNL (also one of synchronized swimming)...wish I had a copy now... He has become, largely, a parody of himself now, but in the early days he was a very funny man. And I really miss John Candy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 02 - 03:38 PM

Bill Murray was from SCTV wasn't he? And, Dan Ackroyd?


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: SharonA
Date: 24 May 02 - 03:38 PM

I'd thought that Jane Curtin was Canadian also, but no: she was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

michaelr said, "...Bill Maher just got fired as host of ' Politically Incorrect' for being, well, politically incorrect..." Actually, the show itself has been canceled, which is to say that it will not be renewed for the next TV season which begins around September. No word as to when the last "Politically Incorrect" program will air... but I'm amazed that it has lasted this long on network TV, particularly after Maher's outspokenness on September 17th of last year. I found an article on www.calendarlive.com wherein Maher is quoted as saying, "I don't mind at all losing my job.... If it came down to a choice between losing my job and losing my soul, I'm glad I lost my job."


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:01 PM

Here's a complete list of SCTV Alumni and those of its predecesor, The Compass Players which included Alan Alda and Ed Asner!


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Kim C
Date: 24 May 02 - 04:46 PM

Kat, King of the Hill belongs to Mike Judge, creator of Beavis & Butthead. The Simpsons and Futurama both belong to Matt Groening. To my knowledge neither one of them has anything to do with the other's shows. I could be wrong about that, though!

Waiting for God is a SCREAM. I loved it when they started the Dangerous Sports Club and went go-cart racing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 May 02 - 05:41 PM

Oops! You're right, Kim! Thanks. Now I remember being amazed that I liked a show as well as "King of the Hill" while hating his other show so much...*bg*


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 25 May 02 - 02:21 PM

British and American TV not only have their own drek, they seem bound and determined to borrow one anothers as well.

The American "Golden Girls" series was remade in England. But it doesn't just go from here to there...don't we Americans have the Brits to thank for "3's Company"?

And we sometimes try to borrow each others successes with spectacular failure.

The American version of "Red Dwarf" was a complete and total waste of film, time, and money.

In my mind, it is not about any particular "American" condition, or any particular "British" condition. It is a human condition to both succeed and to fail.

You'll find the good, the bad, and the ugly no matter where you go.


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Subject: RE: BS: Irony on American TV? Quite a bit.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 May 02 - 06:31 PM

A bit of thread drift here, but it had started already.

Remaking foreign programme/films, and even English language ones, and setting them closer to home seems generally to be pretty well only done by the American industry. (Golden Girls being the only exception that I can think of for British TV).

It seems a strange idea. For example, I try to imagine people remaking High Noon, but setting it in Yorkshire - no, it just doesn't seem right. Or trying to relocate "Cheers" in an English pub... I find it hard to imagine remakes of American programmes set over here attracting as many viewers as the originals. (Well High Noon in the Yorkshire Dales might attract some viewers as a novelty.) And yet since presumably the people who do this know their business, it must mean many Americans actually prefer to have such things domesticated, which I'd have thought takes half the fun away.


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