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The first thing that pops into my mind in relation to the respective
charcteristics of English and US sitcoms is the puppet duo 'Punch and
Judy'. The resonances with slapstick and/or violent sitcoms are
unmistakeable. P+J never caught on an America, and I can't think of any
television series like it in US broadcast. BBC comedy has a growing
following here, but only as 'cult' or non-mainstream material, though
I'm not sure that sheds mcuh light on the matter of slapstick vs
emotive/cathartic.
 
        khyron
 
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