Free Essay Example on Types of Television Comedies

Published: 2019-09-30
Free Essay Example on Types of Television Comedies
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Entertainment Movie
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1183 words
10 min read

Apparently, television comedy has been in existence for decades now. In the entertainment world, people are vulnerable to programs that make them laugh or feel entertained. Perhaps that is the reason behind the popularity comedy, as the genre of entertainment. It can be pointed out that comedy, whose main purpose is to bring humor as well as laughter to the audience, takes different format: they can be in the form of movies or television. When it comes to comparing other television programs with television comedy, it is understood that the later has a larger viewing, which can be attributed to the profound effect it has on the audience. It is common to find individuals animated with a particular comedy show in a television, due to the significance it has to them, in respect to its general entertainment. It can, therefore, be contended that different types of television comedy have thrived due to a large audience it commands and can be in the form of a sitcom, comedy-drama, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy, animated cartoons and news comedy.

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Sitcom (Situational comedy)

Sometimes referred to as a situational comedy, the sitcom is deemed to be the most successful type of the television. The sitcom is characterized by the recurring artists, who are given humorous roles to play (Taflinger 2). Sometimes, sitcoms are aired or performed as a live television program, where the audience will cheer the cast animatedly. Sitcoms are also identified with a laugh track or canned laughter, which is a recorded laughter that is played repeatedly whenever a comical or hilarious scene is played. Unlike other television comedies such as standup comedy or sketch comedy, sitcoms have a storyline which can make them be perceived as a comedic drama. Commonly, the setting of the sitcom is based on the family, workplace or even a group of friends, containing the main characters who are given hilarious roles in the program to play.

The sitcom has since undergone a great revolution since its inception, on the basis of its performers/characters as well as their respective plots (Taflinger 3). For instance, in 11950s and 1960s, the delivery method adopted in different sitcoms was called the slapstick approach. With this approach, it was common to see characters engaging in an exaggerated violence or fights, culminated with exaggerated sound effects, but do not hurt each other, after all. Slapstick approach adopted in various sitcoms also enabled characters to do things that will seem silly, unthinkable or crazy, in real life situation. The television comedy called Friends is considered to be one of the most popular sitcoms. It is the series that was premiered in the 1990s, running up to early 2000s. It consisted of six main characters (Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe). It follows that sitcom has been integral in transforming the face of the television comedy, for decades.

Stand-up comedy.

This is also among the most popular television comedy, who are associated with various television talks as well as reality television shows. In this type of the television comedy, the comedians perform before the live audience, speaking directly to this live audience (Sankey 3). The artists under this genre of television comedy are mainly referred to as the stand-up comedians or simply stand-up. The stand-up comedians usual usually embark of reciting hilarious tales, jokes or one-liners to the group of enthusiastic audiences, with an expectation that they will laugh and feel entertained. Some stand-up comedians also incorporate props, music as well as magic tricks as a way of enhancing their comedy, much to the cheering of the audience.

One of the contrasting feature of the standup comedy to the sitcom is that, whereas the main setting of the sitcom is about family or group of friends; standup comedy is mainly performed at the theatres, comedy clubs, colleges or in nightclubs, where the comedians perform cover various subjects that will make the audience laugh in real-time. Unlike in sitcom, stand-up comedy does not follow a specific storyline, but rather, it involves elements that will make the audience laugh. Apparently, in standup comedy, Were only guessingthe audience is the judge. (Corley 4). This implies that the comedians can judge their performances on the basis of the audiences responses: If there are a lot of cheers or jeers, it implies that their respective performances have been well-received or have not met expectations of the audience, respectively.

Sketchy comedy.

This is also another form television comedy that encompasses short-lived comedy scenes or vignettes, which are mainly referred to as sketches (Lockyer 2). Mainly, sketch comedy is performed by selected group of comedians, which can be on the stage or via a video as well audio. When it comes to the sketches, the actors normally embark on improvising the script and eventually written down on the basis of an improvised script. Such an improvised script can either be used in the sketch comedy or be discarded/improvised further by the comedians, while performing. Sometimes, there has been a mishap between skit and comedy skit. It should, however, be noted that whereas a skit is a single joke that has been dramatized, the sketch comedy can be considered to be an exploration of a concept, character as well as the situation, by utilizing the elements of comedy.

The commonly used elements and approaches in sketch comedy are contemporary issues and the use of satire (Locyer 3). The sketch comedy does not feature repeated characters, which is not the case with the sitcom, where there is a recurring set of characters, to help in enhancing the continuity of the storyline. However, sketch comedy can have other recurring features such as scenarios and characters, who can reappear in different sketches or vignettes. Apparently, Little Britain which is an example of the sketch comedy, is considered to have been an instant hit, since its inception as the television comedy in 2003 (Locyer 2). This Television program was written and later performed by Matt Lucas and David Williams. It is a satirical oriented show that draws its roots in the radio comedy series. It featured contemporary characters such as Daffyd who played a greater role in the series Im the only gay in the village.

Other television series comedies include animated cartoons, which are adored mainly by children and news comedy. Despite the existence of different types of television, it should be noted that making their targeted audience laugh remains to be the common element across all types of television comedy. Various elements and approaches have been incorporated into these various types of television comedy in order to continue maintaining its status of quo in the entertainment industry as far as winning over the largest viewers are concerned. This has since escalated the popularity of the television comedy.


Corley, Jerry. "Contrasting Elements of standup comedy." Standup comedy clinic (2004): 2-4. print.

Lockyer, Sharon. "Reading Little Britain : comedy matters on contemporary television." AU LIBRARY (2010): 1-3. print.

Sankey., Jay. "Zen and the art of stand-up comedy." AU Library (1998): 1-2. print.

Taflinger, Richard F. "Sitcom: What It Is, How It Works A History of Comedy on Television: Beginning to 1970." wsu education (1996): 1-5. print.

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