I then proceed to rattle off a few and my audiences stare at me dumbfounded.
They have never heard of the shows I speak of.
This makes me so so very sad.
I think that Jeff and I watch the most amazing T.V. shows ever made but it appears they have more of an underground following.
I remember sitting in my guidance counselors office in college and he asked me why I wanted to get into comedy and I said "I want middle America to know how good comedy can be."
Most shows on T.V. are awful.
You can see the joke coming from a mile away and its never funny.
But since we are so used to it we watch not knowing that there is smarter/ better comedy out there.
Now I don't really blame people.
I'm in the entertainment industry so I seek out a lot of different types of shows.
If my Mom comes home from work she's not going to be like "I'm gonna hop online and see what Ricky Gervais has got cookin in the next few months."
My point is that good comedy needs to be more accessible.
And by that I mean it needs to be on the big net works at the best time slots so people have no choice but to watch it and love it.
I will say that it breaks my heart when people say
"I tried to watch the British Office and I just didn't get it."
"Arrested Development moves to quickly..."
Well.....you have to give it a try.
Good shows are not set up in a typical fashion.
That's what makes them GOOD, UNIQUE, DIFFERENT.
When I first watched the British Office I was confused too.
It took me a while to even understand them!
But after 3 episodes...I got it.
Same with Arrested Development or Curb your Enthusiasm.
They have a lot of different camera work going on and often times they are shows "within" a show or stories with in a story.
Yes they are a bit complex....but so are we!
We have complex brains we can figure out these shows.
So here is a list of my favorite Comedy Shows.
1.) The Larry Sanders Show- I would start of your comedy education with this fantastic show. Its light years ahead of its time. Its about the inner workings of a late night comedy show similar to Johnny Carson show, Leno and Letterman. For part of the show they use an HD camera when you are watching the actors do the late night show. Then the camera switches to film for the behind the scene stuff.
2.) Fawlty Towers-Start off your British Comedy education with this classic T.V. show starring John Cleese. This show will give you a good understanding of British humor. Its about a man named Basil Fawlty who runs a hotel in Torque and he hates his customers. Its brilliant. Its important to start with Fawlty Towers because they reference it in so many other Britsh comedies.3.) The Office- The brainchild of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. This show is a mock documentary about an office in Slough. A dark comedy about the inner workings of a typical office. You can see how The Larry Sanders show helped influence this masterful British Comedy.
There are only 2 seasons but then you also have to buy the Office Holiday Special which came out 2 years after the show ended. It made me cry thats how good it is!
4.) The Office..American version- This is the American version of the British show. The first few episodes aren't that good because the first 2 or 3 episodes mirror the British show. But around episode 4 the show starts to find its own voice. This show gets better season to season because the actors really begin to discovery who their characters are. If for nothing else watch this show for Steve Carell.
5.) Extras- another brainchild of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. This time Merchant appears onscreen and is brilliant. The show is about a man named Andy Millman who is an extra and trying to break it into the biz. Each episode features a big celebrity and shows Andy's interaction with then on and off the camera. Brilliant! Season 2 is even more amazing.
6.) Flight of the Conchords- the New Zealand folk song duo Bret and Jermaine are the biggest thing out of New Zealand since The Lord of the Rings. A joke they make alot on their show. Every episode is based on one of Bret and Jermaine's corky comedic folk songs. They are very sweet guys and the show is endearing. Co-stars Rhys Darby and Kristen Schaal are equally hilarious.
7.) Curb your Enthusiasm- this show follows around Larry David (the mastermind behind Seinfeld) playing a characature of himself in his typical daily life. Larry, much like George Costanza whom the character was based on, is very pesimistic and gets himself into the worst prediciments ever. The show is embarresing, humiliating and hilarious. It also features numerous stars playing hightened versions of themselves.
8.) Seinfeld- I'm sure most of you have caught an episode of this NBC hit. It had 9 seasons for crying out loud. Master minded by David and Seinfeld the show combines Seinfeld's observant humor about "nothing" and David's neuroses. We can all relate to at least one of the episodes.
9.) Arrested Development- this show is about the Bluths, a family that try as hard as they might always strikes out. Everyone on this show is amazing. The characters are insanely hilarious. A very dark comedy about a very dysfunctional family. Also stars Liza Minnelli in season 2.
10.) Da Ali G Show and Little Britain- In our number 10 slot I have included two separate British sketch shows. Ali G a.k.a. Borat a.k.a. Bruno a.k.a. brian child of Sacha Baron Cohen...is a show in which Cohen plays a bunch of crazy characters and interacts with regular people and politicians. Little Britain, brianchild of Matt Lucas and David Walliams is an irreverent sketch shows that is reminiscent of Monty Python.
Promise me you will try some of them out.
And please please stop watching:
1.) 2 and 1/2 men
3.) Lipstick Jungle