Influential Comedy Writers of the Past Two Decades

Topics: Father Ted, Seinfeld, Larry David Pages: 4 (1605 words) Published: January 10, 2013
Who are the most influential writers of comedy on screen over the last two decades? It would be hard to argue that any genre on TV hasn’t changed, followed social trends or broken out into sub-genres in the past twenty years but comedy specifically has changed drastically since the early nineties. Being a genre that relies heavily on social issues and the public perception of what is accepted as funny, comedy is constantly evolving and with it so does the writers and the writing behind the sitcoms. Of the hundreds of sitcoms that have been aired in the past two decades there are a select amount that are written with such originality and in such a way that a new aspect of comedy is discovered because of it. Up until the late eighties and early nineties the most common American sitcoms were set in a family environment, this steadily changed and branched out to more original concepts in the early nineties. One of the most popular prime-time sitcoms of all time began to propel in the nineties, this sitcom was Seinfeld, based on a comedian and his three friends surviving the social jungle that is New York City. Seinfeld paved the way for many sitcoms centred on friendships and social awkwardness that carry a slight theme of the absurd along with them . Larry David began using a formula which today is so common in sitcoms but in the nineties was rarely used, this formula involved two or three stories from different characters all intertwining somehow at the end of each episode. The reason it is such a strong formula is due to the fact that the audience are not solely invested in the protagonist, despite being about Jerry’s life Seinfeld shows through as more of an ensemble piece. Larry David had created four strong comic characters that were most appealing due to their many faults and audiences (particularly metropolitan US) took a huge liking to them. Whether it is Jerry’s constant procrastination, George’s hypochondria and neurotic tendencies, Kramer’s mad-cap...
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