The endless-loop Irony Lite of today’s sitcoms wears me out. It’s mostly nothing more than fast talking heavily sauced with needless-to-say-we-all-agree-about-everything attitude. And it’s not funny. Attitude is not humor. References are not humor. Sniggering is not humor. Above all, clubbishness is not humor. True humor doesn’t exclude—it includes. It reminds us, ever and always, that we, too, partake in the common dilemma. Even in farce, which hinges on the public humiliation of an unsympathetic person, we’re always thinking, “Oh, God, that might be me up there.” And cringing.
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John Cleese in a scene from an episode of Fawlty Towers: