Humor, Life, Musings, Reflections

When did I quit laughing?

All right, I haven’t quit laughing totally, but as far as television viewing I laugh a lot less than I used to. That fact occurred to me recently when I saw a candy bar commercial featuring Abe Vigoda and Betty White. Of course, Barney Miller and Golden Girls popped into my mind. Then I started thinking of all the sitcoms I used to watch, from The Dick Van Dyke show to Jerry Seinfeld, which was probably the last one I made a point to watch weekly.

Is it my age? It’s a sobering thought to think I might reach an age where I no longer have a sense of humor. But that’s not the case now. I can laugh. I like to laugh. And especially late at night as I drink a glass of wine while watching reruns, I do laugh—unless I’ve tuned in Law & Order. That’s the problem really: somewhere along the line I switched my viewing preference to drama.

Is there a TV aficionado out there? Did the ratio of TV drama to sitcom used to be different than now? While I was busy watching M*A*S*H and Cheers and The Cosby Show, what dramas did I ignore?

I believe at one time I watched at least one sitcom a night. Sometime during the 90’s I even got hooked on British sitcoms. Now, I regularly watch none … from any country. And now that I think of it, I don’t see many movies that are comedies either. Wow! I might be turning into a real sourpuss. I think I’d better order Spinal Tap from Netflix.

Do you watch less comedy than you used to?

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Photo credit: Jaxxon

23 thoughts on “When did I quit laughing?”

  1. Once again a thought provoking post.

    Here’s my thought, but remember it’s based on not having only watched one sitcom (The Office – British & US) since Seinfeld went off the air.

    I think it’s the characters. From bad sitcoms I’ve seen in the past, from one happens to catch my peripheral vision over the years, the bad ones, not funny, are based on gags and stereotyped characters. Seinfeld characters (in my view, The Office characters) have nuance.

    Thanks for helping me think about character as I get ready for the first re-write of my new novel, starting with character sketches!

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    1. Interesting point, Cathryn. I just haven’t connected with the characters in recent sitcoms, I think. As for our fiction characters, I’ve been interviewing news ones for my next novel. They are surprising me already.

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  2. I am really enjoying a number of sitcoms lately:
    Community, Thursday at 8 – great new show, likable characters, witty scripts.
    Parks and Recreation, right after: good silliness.
    Modern Family, Wednesday at 8
    Cougar Town, right after it, which is about five 40-something friends, not cougars of either variety.
    How I Met Your Mother season 2 in reruns: very witty, fast paced, goofy.

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    1. Um, Paul, we have the exact same taste in television viewing. I watch every one of those and was about to leave them as suggestions until I saw you already did. I will add The Office to that list.

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  3. Have you watched Glee? It’s HILARIOUS!

    Sitcoms are not what they used to be. I find them unwatchable. I DVR old reruns just to get a decent laugh in every now and then. But Glee definitely satisfies. And it’s an hour long!

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    1. There’s a lot of music, but frequently the music is funny because the glee club is a bunch of dorks. The music in the early episodes was roll-on-the-floor funny for me.

      It’s a love it or hate it, though. Watch it and let me know what you think!

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  4. I do watch less comedy. I think reality TV has replaced a lot of what could be good TV. But of the few comedies out there right now The Office, Glee, and Spongebob are the only ones that can generate a laugh out of me.

    Speaking of three dimensional characters, the mean woman gym teacher on Glee (who is the funniest woman ever), also has a sensitive side that only we, the viewers, ever see.

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  5. I get the occasional chuckle, but no out-and-out laughter from TV “comedy” anymore. It stopped being funny long ago for me. I watched some of them, but was busy and active as a young man, so when I slowed down and started sitting more, I found TV stunk.

    I prefer dramas too. But they have to be good ones. And sometimes, they make me laugh more than any comedy ever could.

    I never liked the Brit shows. I guess I’m not “sophisticated” enough for their “elevated” humor. You know, like Benny Hill. 🙄

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