Currents of Comedy on the American Screen: How Film and Television Deliver Different Laughs for Changing Times (Paperback)Nicholas Laham (author)
Paperback 216 Pages / Published: 30/06/2009
- We can order this
While its obvious purpose is to make people laugh, film and television comedy is much more than that. From the birth of motion pictures until today, comedies have reflected and reinforced the evolving cultural milieu which defined American society. This book analyzes the evolution of film and television comedy from the advent of talking motion pictures in the 1930s through the present, defining five separate and distinct periods of this evolution and revealing how each period has been characterized by a dominant trend in film and television comedy. Chapter One examines the period spanning 1934 to 1942, an era defined by screwball comedies that deflected public attention from the grim realities of the Great Depression. Chapter Two deals with the period form 1940 to 1951 and the emergence of suspense comedy, which, like the concurrent film noir, reflected a yet darker social outlook in light of America's involvement in World War II. Chapter Three examines the battle-of-the-sexes comedy, extremely popular throughout the 1950s, looking at ""I Love Lucy"", ""The Honeymooners"", and other husband-and-wife sitcoms that seemingly reinforced post-war sexism. Chapter Four details the shift from the outlandish physical and exaggerated comedy of the 1950s to more realistic characters and plotlines, especially ""The Dick Van Dyke Show"" and its semi-autobiographical reflection of creator Carl Reiner's early years in show business. Chapter Five explores the resurrection of suspense comedy since the 1970s and 1980s, particularly the era's wildly popular 'dumb cop' or 'dumb spy' movie series like ""The Pink Panther"" and ""The Naked Gun"", along with 21st century remakes such as 2006's ""The Pink Panther"" and 2008's ""Get Smart"".
Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 295 g
Dimensions: 226 x 150 x 18 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at