Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Periscope: Our Lives Were Touched

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Commentary: Periscope: Our Lives Were Touched

Article excerpt

There have been only a few television series that have managed to make me laugh out loud at least once during every single episode.

30 Rock was one, because Tina Fey is a comedic genius in the realm of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett. Really, when Liz, 37, finds herself dating 20-year-old Jaime and Jack asks, "So how did you two meet? Amber Alert?" how do you not laugh?

Aside from that, Frasier made me laugh every Tuesday night for 11 years. The brilliance of Frasier was that you never saw it coming. You'd sit there and watch and it was OK, and all of a sudden a character threw out a deadpan line that made me spill my Diet Coke. Like the episode in which Niles said, "I really must go. I'm hosting a seminar on multiple personality disorders and it takes me forever to fill out the name tags." Or, that same season, when Niles said, "I really must run. I'm due at my sexual addiction group, and I don't like to leave them alone for too long."

Of course Frasier, which aired from 1993 to 2004, was a Cheers spinoff, where Frasier Crane spent hours on a bar stool grousing with Cliff, Sam, Carla, Norm, Woody and the gang. Cheers aired from 1982-1993 and was also good for at least one laugh per episode. Sam: "I'll tell you something else I haven't had much experience: saying 'No' to women. The closest I've come is 'Not now, we're landing.'"

Or from Season Eight's episode called Feeble Attraction:

Doris: Cliff, when you get out of the service, could we go out together?

Cliff: You know Doris, there's actually no rule against mailmen dating women. It just sort of turns out that way.

Wings, which aired from 1990-1997, was pretty darn funny too. Not Frasier funny, but pretty funny. Nothing before 30 Rock was Frasier funny.

The thing that Cheers, Frasier and Wings had in common was the talent trio of David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee. …

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