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Is this a golden age of TV comedy?

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  • Daniel Montgomery
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    #358770

    It strikes me that there’s such a wide variety of voices doing comedy on TV these days in so many different ways beyond the sitcom. In the last five years or so we’ve had Louis CK, Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Derek Waters’s “Drunk History,” Andy Daly’s “Review,” “Portlandia,” and talk shows like “Last Week Tonight” and “The Nightly Show” bringing new voices to TV comedy while folks Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have kept doing the great work they’ve been doing. It feels like TV is experiencing an explosion of auteurist comedy. Thoughts?

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    CanadianFan
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    #358772

    I would say we are in a golden age of comedy. Setting aside any sympathies or nostalgia for the great multi-cams of long ago, right now we have razor-sharp writing in ‘Veep’ and ‘Silicon Valley’, inventive sketch-shows like ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ and ‘Review’, a singular vision from one of comedy’s great auteurs (‘Louie’), dramedies that are tackling serious issues in a humorous way (‘Looking’, ‘Transparent’, ‘Getting On’), and new platforms that can resurrect or save shows that would have been cancelled a long time ago (‘Arrested Development’, ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’).

    We are also seeing a lot more diversity in the types of stories being told (‘Black-ish’, ‘Fresh off the Boat’). This collection of comedy series nominees is my favorite ever, and I think it is a solid reflection of this golden age of comedy.  

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    Denis
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    #358773

    Key and Peele, despite being very repetitive, is still a great sketch show. I would say yes.

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    mikeboy898
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    #358774

    I would agree that this is a Golden Age. It’s indeed a new age, with comedies taking many many forms beyond the traditional multi-camera laugh tracks of yesteryear (*YAWN*)

    I also love that comedies don’t always have to make you just laugh. It can make you cringe (Girls!), cry (Parks and Recreation!) or scream (I just made that up…but there’s gotta be one, right?)

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    Riley
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    #358775

    Meh, just like in drama right now, there are a lot of good comedies right now, but not many great ones.  There were more a few years ago (The Office, Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm), but there were still not enough that I would consider it a new golden age like with drama.

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    Anonymous
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    #358776

    no

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    nahborghi
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    #358777

    You can say whatever you want about multicams, but the 90’s provided some of the greatest comedies of all time. Look at the nominees back then! You can’t say that they didn’t end up being all iconic shows. I struggled this year to find 7 worthy tv shows to put on my predictions. I watch a lot of comedies, and they are all okay, but there are only two or three that I’d consider great. Yeah, CanadianFan does make a point about diversity and different storytelling formats, but as I said, they never achieve full potential. This year’s most creative comedy, ‘Last Man On Earth’, started out with an amazing episode, had 11 average-to-terrible ones in the middle, and then ended in the right tone; I can’t consider it a great series based on its unever performance. And most new shows (and old ones too!) are like that. So no, it’s not a golden age of comedy for me. We’re in a phase where we are trying to adjust to new formats and trying to define what is, in fact, a comedy nowadays. If we can’t define what it its, it ain’t the apex for me.

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    WaltEagle
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    #358778

    Not even close. I’m not even positive that there are 3 of, say, the all-time 30 greatest comedies on the air in their prime right now. Whereas in 1991 or 1986 you would have about 12 of those. And I’m allotting current shows room for improvement/legacy.

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    Boidiva02
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    #358779

    Far from it. I’d say this is one of the worst time periods for TV comedy ever. Yes, we have a lot of pay-cable comedies that are edgy, but in terms of broadcast comedy, this may be the worst era since the early 1970’s.    

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    montana82
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    #358780

    When you have Chuck Loree shows winning so many acting Emmys I would say no.  His writing could be written by a grade school boy.  Burping, farting, calling women sluts, 20 minutes of Parsons/Cryer/Janney just acting obnoxious.  It’s raunchy and juvenile and without substance.  Not exactly what I would call a golden age.

    Compare that to some of the great shows and acting/writing that would dominate in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00’s.  All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, Cheers, Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Frasier, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Will and Grace, Ally McBeal, Everybody Loves Raymond, Desperate Housewives, Arrested Development, etc etc etc.  Heck a show like Married with Children which got no Emmy love is still funnier than most shows today and did Loree’s style in a far more clever and effective manner.

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    Turner Unruh
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    #358781

    Sitcoms are almost dead

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    DominicCobb
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    #358782

    I don’t think the question is “are the greatest comedies of all time on TV right now?” but rather “is there a greater variety of the comedy on TV right now and better opportunities for different types of comic voices to find their way onto the screen?” If it’s the latter, I most certainly agree with Daniel. This is a golden age of comedy on TV. Probably on all media too. Sharp comedians can increase their profiles and offer additional bite sized bits on Twitter and other social media. And of course podcasts continue to be a fantastic (and growing) outlet for comics who aren’t high profile enough to land a network show or a mainstream movie. Although it doesn’t even have to be a mainstream movie anymore with the ever increasing independent market, which has now been boosted by VOD and streaming.

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    Anonymous
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    #358783

    TCA Program of the Year nominees, comedy, in last 10 years:
    Office, Glee, Modern, Parks, Transparent, maybe Orange – 1 nom each 

    Not the best gauge, but it certainly seems true that despite many feeling that the Golden Age of tv dramas is over, the dramas are still being seen as having most of the greatness.

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    Atypical
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    #358784

    I’ll say no. It doesn’t feel like we’re quite there yet in a sustained sense like in Drama. But this does feel like an unprecedented time where such varying voices (both racial and gender diverse) can be seen and heard on television. Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Louis C.K., John Oliver, Tina Fey, Jill Soloway, Kenya Barris, Armando Iannucci, etc.

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    BTN
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    #358785

    When you have Chuck Loree shows winning so many acting Emmys I would say no.  His writing could be written by a grade school boy.  Burping, farting, calling women sluts, 20 minutes of Parsons/Cryer/Janney just acting obnoxious.  It’s raunchy and juvenile and without substance.  Not exactly what I would call a golden age.

    Compare that to some of the great shows and acting/writing that would dominate in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00’s.  All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Taxi, Cheers, Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, Roseanne, Frasier, Seinfeld, Sex and the City, Will and Grace, Ally McBeal, Everybody Loves Raymond, Desperate Housewives, Arrested Development, etc etc etc.  Heck a show like Married with Children which got no Emmy love is still funnier than most shows today and did Loree’s style in a far more clever and effective manner.

    In the years you talk about and in 70’s and 80’s John Ritter was nominated and won for threes company. Just because its a golden age or just strong era doesn’t mean bad shows don’t win Emmys or are highly rated. So if you think all chuck Lorre shows are bad it doesn’t mean its not a golden age of TV auterism

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