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Sitcoms

  • By: Brett Mills
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Sitcoms, or situational comedies, are one of the dominant forms of television and radio comedy in the world, with a history aligned with that of global broadcasting and a wealth of programming from multiple nations. This entry outlines the key characteristics of the majority of sitcoms, and examines how the humor within sitcoms commonly functions.

Defining Sitcoms

The most fruitful way to think of sitcoms is as a television and radio genre. Genres are forms of culture that have characteristics in common but can never be concretely defined to the point that what belongs in such a category is beyond discussion; therefore, deciding what is and is not a sitcom is always up for debate. That said, there are characteristics that can be seen to recur often ...

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