SituationComedy.docx - Asmita Rana Professor Natalia Browne Studies 400 History of Mass Media The Ancient Roots of the Modern Sitcom The modern

SituationComedy.docx - Asmita Rana Professor Natalia Browne...

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Asmita Rana Professor Natalia Browne Studies 400: History of Mass Media May 16, 2016 The Ancient Roots of the Modern Sitcom The modern situation comedy, or sitcom, is a peculiarly modern form of entertainment. It is broadcast on television, or, increasingly, via the Web. Its rhythms and conventions are drawn, to a surprising degree, from the needs of advertisers. Also, the average sitcom is relentlessly up- to-date with references to current events and popular culture—so much so that someone a hundred years in the future would have a hard time understanding the dialog on today’s popular shows. Yet despite its status as the quintessential modern entertainment, the sitcom has ancient roots. In this paper, I hope to describe some of the sitcom’s comedic ancestors. I attempt to describe the social and economic conditions contributing to the popularity of each type of comedy. Finally, I demonstrate how each type of comedy affected the development of the modern sitcom.
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