Academic journal article Journal of Research in Gender Studies

The Humorous Role of Television: The Example of Sit-Coms Sample Program

Academic journal article Journal of Research in Gender Studies

The Humorous Role of Television: The Example of Sit-Coms Sample Program

Article excerpt


At the beginning of the factors that cause the development of communication technologies one needs to control political, administrative and economic formations. To meet these needs, telegraph and telephone have been used primarily. At the same time, to transferring the words without being on wire and cable, radio has emerged. After the radio, inventions like photograph or film were used to solve the needs of modem society and its life style like as curiosity or entertainment.

Communication tools which are including in community life were followed by the emergence of television. Television is used to provide for transferring the voice and image to the long distance and today, it's the biggest mass communication tool that affects to people.

As the reasons of non-payment of fees for programs, provide to rich alternatives about type of program, entering to homes easily, television was increased its' audience more than more to every year.

The aim of this article is to review the role of media on social structure with the sample of sit-coms from humorous perspective. For this purpose, we will try to answer the following questions.

With its structure and functioning, situation comedies that to be a media content are in which direction and intensity? How do the situation comedies (sit-coms) as structure and function, change from the socio-cultural point of view? How to compose humorous elements and humorous structure?

1. Historical Development Process of Situation Comedies

The origin of first sample to the television comedies are based on until the radio comedy program broadcasted in United States. This is a kind of radio show program that was very common to between in the early 1930s and middle of 1950s. But, before the radio, its origin was based on vaudeville sketch. In the duration of thirty-minute The Benny Show, which was one of the most popular radio program, had a six minute sketch and this was one of the first situation comedy sample in the radio (Neale ve Krutnik: 1994, 214215).

1.1 Situation Comedies Starting with Radio Broadcast, Transfer to Television

The successful situation comedies (like 'The Goldbergs,' 'The Life of Riley,' 'The Ardich Family') on radio in America, transferred to television. This comedy programs were the pre-examples of television situation comedies; but the real example of this genre was broadcasted in 1961, its name was 'I Love Lucy.' It was a family comedy. In that, as a result of a bona fide error made by one the characters (usually the main characters) have a disruption of the order (situation); characters want to fix to situation, but it's all mixing; eventually with change or with the help of others the situation become obsolete. This is the basic narrative structure of the comedy. During the years '50s and '60s, America has exhibited a happy family nest in its situation comedies and T Love Lucy' was the most popular one in others. The basic elements of humor were chaos in family. Then, 'The Beverly Hillbillies' which was published in 1962, offered a new world based on the conflict between tradition and innovation, instead of the moral and the static structure. Events began with a family of oil-rich highlander who moved the Beverly Hills and this situation caused a chaotic comedy. In this example, the main source of humor is the life style of family. With 'The Beverly Hillbillies' social change problems were coming on the agenda. With "All in The Family" and "M.A.S.H" that published between the years 1971-79, a new period began to the situation comedies.

Topics, characters and funny situations changed in the situation comedies that published in 1970s'. The 50's and 60's middle classes perfect family model (with mother, father and children) left its location to the single-parent family. Taboo subjects such as the image of woman living alone, curettage, homosexuality, impotence or menopause appears on television. The effect of the feminist movement in the 1980s', trigger this change more to more. …

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