Comic Visions: Television Comedy and American Culture

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Unwin Hyman, Jan 1, 1989 - Comedy programs - 239 pages
Comic Visions by David Marc is the most influential critical history of American television comedy. This Second Edition updates the subject matter and takes into account how new technology, especially cable TV, has affected this popular form of home entertainment.Marc examines the roots of television comedy beginning with the influence of Vaudeville, cinema and radio on the variety shows and sitcoms of the 1940's and 1950's. He then moves into television's response to the turbulent 1960's and the great expansion of situational comedy popular in the 1970's. A completely new chapter looks at recent developments such as Comedy Central and the proliferation of stand-up comedy and also includes an engaging analysis of why shows like Seinfeld and The Simpsons are such major hits in the 1990s.Witty, lucid, and engaging, Marc combines historical research with cultural analysis to provide a study of television comedy that is deeply rooted in the diversity in American society.

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Comic visions: television comedy and American culture

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Following his Demographic Vistas (1984), Marc continues to study the situation comedy as a major exponent of our existing social order. Isolating the sitcom from other comic forms it eclipsed on TV ... Read full review

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About the author (1989)

David Marc is a writer and editor who teaches at Syracuse University and Le Moyne College. He is the author of "Demographic Vist"as (1984; 1996), "Comic Visions" (1989; Blackwell, 1997) and "Bonfire of the Humanities" (1995).

Robert J. Thompson is a Professor at Syracuse University, where he heads the Center for the Study of Popular Television at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. His books include "Adventures on Prime Time" (1990) and "Television's Second Golden Age" (1996).

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