Similar to many other lively pleasures, humor can only be experienced if it resonates with a person. Without some kind of comprehension, there cannot be any type of reaction. Only once an outlandish statement, inappropriate remark, or unexpected situation, is remotely understood will a person be able to label it comical or sober. Since there are billions of people worldwide with their own languages including it’s respective idioms, euphemisms, the age old saying of “there is truth in every joke” applies to each culture individually.
Emma Jameson, a new and popular author, describes the relationship between humor and culture by noting that, “A nation’s wit is linked to the historical development of the country . . . Therefore humor is something which is not always transferrable in another country.” While many agree with Jameson, an argument arises depicting the differences between the British culture and American melting-pot. Given that American forefathers carried the English language from their homeland, Great Britain, many critics believe that there cannot be too many differences within the language.
In fact, English speakers in America clearly differ from those in Britain by tone, delivery, and expression. Since the language differs in these ways based on its local use, it is understandable why the two countries’s humor differ as well. America’s obvious slap-stick and Britain’s blunt irony, differ between their own individual standards, just like their versions of the English language, and continue to change with time. In comparison to the humor used by Hollywood’s original actors in the early fifties, the comedies we are currently exposed to on television today has changed drastically.
The Transformation of Sitcoms
Inspired by the earliest shows aired in the 1950’s, the Golden Era of Sitcoms in the 1970’s, included more relevant and humorous dialogues. Short for “situational comedy”, most American sitcoms were remakes of British ones, and vice versa, all including the same moral boundaries. Seventies sitcoms had superseded the extreme modesty and precociousness noticed in earlier television shows. Even with this major change, actors continued to be modest, dialogues included appropriate vocabulary, and scenes were rarely violent, passionate, or dodgy. Golden Era sitcoms are exemplary because unlike today, turning on the television always assured a good laugh.
When NBC debuted Bonanza in 1959, the familiar comedic and familial chaos was nothing like today’s Modern Family. Television shows in the UK were originally seriously funny too beginning with comedy skits Show of Fred and Son of Fred in 1956 and now exceeding many respectful boundaries with 2013’s sitcom Father Figure. Fifties television comedies were funnier and much simpler, they peaked due to their reconcilable scripts and collapsed when lifelike scenarios were missing.
Bonanza was a show geared for all ages, including a Cartwright’s adventures on their ranch....