Are you unpopular? Do you get pooped out at parties?
If you know me and/or have read anything I have written, you know I like to write humor. My personality is wired for the “funny,” and someone recently gave me the ultimate compliment: “I love your quick wit!”
I could say it’s just me, but I owe a good chunk of my sense of humor to Lucy, Laverne, Shirley, Oscar, and Felix.
It’s so tasty, too!
Classic sitcoms are my “jam,” as the younger set would say. I grew up on them, cut my teeth on them, and still watch them whenever I can. I have a substantial DVD collection, and I am constantly scouring streaming services and YouTube for episodes.
Do I just sit around all the time, passively watching classic TV? No (well, mostly “no”). In my writing, I can tell that my “style” has developed over the years from tricks and tips learned through these wonderful comedies. The “triple” joke, used so often in the Dick Van Dyke Show? I use it all the time. Broad exaggeration of everyday situations? Thanks, Lucy and Ethel and Laverne and Shirley. Contrasting opposite things for humorous effect? I see you, Oscar and Felix.
Join the thousands of happy, peppy people . . .
I guess you could say my research with classic sitcoms has been both intentional and unintentional. There are times when I search out a show or a specific episode for a focused purpose; other times, I am relieving stress by popping in a “Lucy” for a good laugh.
So, in the words of that great philosopher Jed Clampett, take off your shoes and sit a spell—enjoy an episode on me. Trust me—it counts as research!
WRITING PROMPT: Find an episode of an old sitcom, either on a streaming service or on YouTube. Watch with a critical eye, noticing the style of the humor and the jokes. Now, think of a humorous situation in your own life and write about it, incorporating ideas you learned from the episode.