Currents of Comedy on the American Screen: How Film and Television Deliver Different Laughs for Changing Times
This book analyzes the evolution of film and television comedy from the 1930s through the present, defining five distinct periods and discussing the dominant comedic trends of each. Chapters cover the period spanning 1934 to 1942, defined by screwball comedies that offered distraction from the Great Depression; the suspense comedy, reflecting America’s darker worldview during World War II; the 1950s battle-of-the-sexes comedy; the shift from the physical, exaggerated comedy of the 1950s to more realistic plotlines; and the new suspense comedy of the 1970s and 1980s, focusing on the popular “dumb cop” or “dumb spy” series along with modern remakes including 2006’s The Pink Panther and 2008’s Get Smart.
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