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?Comedy, the way it should be?

This essay will be broken up into three parts, 1. The analysis of the program, 2. Whom does it amuse and 3. What techniques does it use to amuse its audience?

The television program that I?m going to be talking about is one that I often find myself watching. The program ?Frasier,? is one of those programs that once you start watching it really keeps you entertained throughout the entire show. It is a comedy and one of the better ones shown on television. Why is it a comedy, or what makes it such a good comedy? These are often questions asked by people. My family has watched Frasier for a number of years and we are still as fond of it as when we first started watching it. As the quote ??a comedy of rueful recognition, brilliantly played by Emmy-winner Grammar and the rest of the cast??, Washington Post, says, it is really a brilliant comedy.

1.To start off with, a little background to the program will be given for those of us that aren?t too familiar with it. Kelsey Grammer stars as Dr. Frasier Crane, a successful Boston psychiatrist who moved to Seattle to get a fresh start on life. He is the host off a Seattle advice talk show. The twice divorced Doctor?s peaceful home got turned upside down when his father, an ex-cop, was injured in the line of duty, which forced him to move in with his son, Frasier. Marten, his father, played by John Makoney, brought with him a semi-psychic live-in home-care provider. Daphne Moon, played by Jane Leaves, his pesky Jack-Russell terrier, Eddie, and a duct-taped recliner that clashed with Frasier?s more aesthetically pleasing Earnes and Wassily chairs. Frasier?s snobbish and competitive brother, Niles, played by David Hyde Pierce, a recently divorced fellow psychiatrist, often visits them. At work, his slightly jaded producer, single parent, Roz Doyle, played by Pere Gilpin, supports Frasier. For his talk show he uses his wit and wisdom to give advice to others. At times, he struggles with his own neurosis from his family and friends, though he often does not take his own advice. It is a half-hour of laughs at the way Frasier deals with life and how his family and friends follow suit. ?Like a fine wine, Frasier seems to get better with age.? TV GUIDE.

Last year the series, which started in 1992, broke the record as the first-ever comedy series to win four consecutive Emmy Awards for outstanding comedy series since its premiere season. Recognized for its many achievements, Frasier was the most Emmy-nominated comedy series of the 1997-1998 season with two nominations. It was named number one comedy series in Electronic Media?s Critics Poll. Unique to Frasier, the series will continue to utilize the hottest names in motion pictures and television. This stunt casting has become one of Hollywood?s most sought after roles, and an impressive list of celebrities has already lent their voices. When I looked at the list of celebrities, I was glad to see John McEnroe?s name there, being a tennis player myself, who must have been one of the greatest of all times. Some of the other names included: Cindy Crawford, who gets a 10/10 for her looks, without saying a word, from me, John Cassock, Eric Roberts, Reba McEntire, Kevin Bacon, Katerina Wit and Henry Mancine. I know, coming originally from South Africa, that Frasier is extremely popular. Even there the people love it and it is well understandable.

2.The audience that Frasier would attract would mostly be anyone over the age of about 13 or 14 years of age in order for them to understand and appreciate all the jokes and quick wit used by the actors. Anyone that has a brother, or even a sister, and a parent living under the same roof as them will really appreciate the humor used. Everyone knows that if you stay around the same people too long, you eventually become irritated with each other, which gives rise to petty little fights and arguments with the rest of the occupants of the house. The way that Frasier handles these fights and what is said is extremely humorous and witty. This appeals to all audiences and people watching can really relate to what is being said between the actors because they make it seem very realistic. Just about every single person I have met really likes the program a lot, and if not, they definitely appreciate the humor and wit used

3.The techniques this program use to amuse us, the viewers, is obvious. Frasier blends brilliant characters sophisticated and witty word play as well as hilarious, physical comedy and is recognized as one of the most honored series of all time in television history. In an interview that was held with Kelsey Grammer when one of the question put to him was, ?What makes these characters so believable and endearing?? He then replied with the following answer, ?We are a group of people thrown together, who despite our differences, possess the same innate genuine qualities; we are vulnerable, moral, honest and ready to forgive.?

The relationship between Frasier and his brother Niles is a typical love/hate relationship with a lot of sarcasm thrown in. They compete in most things, which sets the tone for really witty arguments. As mentioned earlier the physical expressions only add to the already existing humor. Here are some quotes from the program as just a few examples of the wit and humor used:

Frasier: (looks at his watch)

Morten: ?I saw that?

Frasier: ?I?m not bored, I was simply wondering how long we?ve been sitting here

enjoying ourselves.?

Frasier: ?Oh, dad, she?s not a weirdo, she?s just a woman who finds me utterly fascinating.?

Niles: ?And the distinction would be???

These are just a couple of examples to show the wit used as techniques to amuse. Edward R. Murrow?s quote, ?Television in the general is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us,? is definitely true about amusing us because Frasier does a real good job of that. It is realistic, their hair is not always perfect, it is definitely witty and does a really good job in amusing its audiences. It is like a real life household. Frasier really helps me have a good laugh and after all, laughter is the best medicine.


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