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February 1997, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Eckart Voigts-Virchow <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 10:24:05 +0000
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While I cannot contribute on transatlantic variation in comedy
appraisal, I can report that there seems to be a cult following of
British comedy in Germany especially among young people, while German
attempts at the genre have failed miserably. There is even a project
that attempts to dub Monty Python which up to now has been shown in a subtitled
A related question which I am interested in is a genre question. Can
we distinguish itcoms from a non( or short-)-narrative sketch or
stand-up show that may be tied together just by the comedian personality, e.g.
Allen, Smith & Jones, Not the 9 o'clock news ( a format that
certainly does not travel at all, not even in Europe). If so, what
seems to be more popular, the sketch show or the narrative sitcom?
And one more question. In England there is a very lively comedy
scene, especially in London, with lots of venues for stand-ups etc.
that also feeds TV comedy.
The scene has even been called (somewhat stupidly) 'the new
Rock'n'Roll' with a related star system etc. Can we go beyond
attempts to explain the comedy boom with a cliche like 'times are
bad-so people need to laugh' or 'post-socialist consumerist nihilism'
Is there anything like this comedy boom in the USA?
Dr. Eckart Voigts-Virchow
Institut fuer Anglistik & Amerikanistik
Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen
Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10 B
D-35394 Giessen
Phone +49 6 41 / 99 - 30030 or 30033
Fax +49 6 41 / 99 - 30039
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