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Television Sitcoms And Their Influence On Animated Sitcoms

1371 words - 5 pages

Television Sitcoms and their Influence on Animated SitcomsDuring the early days of television, the situation comedy became a popular form ofprogramming and the most successful example of this genre would have to be "TheHoneymooners". CBS aired the 39 classic episodes between 1955 and 1956 and thecharacters created within this sitcom were so popular and enduring that they can still beseen in syndication today. The popularity of the domestic situation comedy "TheHoneymooners" caught the attention of Bill Hanna, and Joe Barbera. "The Flintstones"was the first animated sitcom shown in prime-time television, premiering on ABC onSeptember 30 1960. Hanna-Barbera was the first animation studio to produce prime timecartoons, prior to "The Flintstones" cartoons were only a few minutes long and containedseveral story lines. The similarities in "The Honeymooners" and "The Flintstones" areundeniable and the success of these programs produced the structure for today's mostpopular live action and animated sitcoms like the landmark show, "All in the Family"and the longest running animated sitcom in history, "The Simpsons".Gleason laid the framework for the typical head of the household character in asitcom. Ralph Kramden was an overweight, loud, and obnoxious lower middle classworking man that constantly fought with his wife, Alice and belittled his best friend andneighbor, Ed Norton. Even though Ralph could be overbearing, audiences havecontinued to embrace the loud-mouthed bus driver, as an American Everyman, a dreamerwhose visions of getting ahead were constantly thwarted.Ralph Kramden had his eternal sidekick Ed Norton, and Fred Flintstone had his bestbuddy and partner in crime, Barney Rubble. Ralph was constantly trying to hatch ascheme to make money quickly, which inevitably failed. Fred Flintstone foolishlyfollowed in Ralph's footsteps as can seen in many episodes of "The Flintstones".Ralph and Ed also went to great lengths to sneak out to get to the "Raccoon Lodge" or togo bowling and were always caught by their wives. This theme was repeated constantlyon "The Flintstones" with Fred and Barney always lying and getting caught trying toattend their social club "the Water Buffalo Lodge". Ralph Kramden abhorred his mother-in-law and Fred of course followed suit and did everything in his power to keep hismother-in-law out of the house. Many episodes of "The Honeymooners" revolvedaround Ralph trying to get a raise at work and not to be outdone, Fred would alwaysscheme to get a raise as well. Both Ralphie-boy and Fred had weight issues and wereconstantly teased by their wives and best friends. When Ralph lost money and needed toreplace it he would bet on the horses, and his cartoon counterpart would bet onprehistoric creatures.In an early episode of "The Honeymooners" entitled "Norton Moves In", theNorton's apartment is being painted and they stay the night with the Kramden's,inevitably, Norton drives Ralph crazy. Ralph insults Norton without mercy and...

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