A nineties sitcom that completely fell under my radar was Frasier, the Cheers spinoff about a radio psychologist who moves back to Seattle to live closer to his private practice psychologist brother, Niles, and aging father, Marty.
The season one pilot reeled me in after a couple of jokes about an Eames lounge chair, the opera, and eclectic design style. The main character had a sense of humor and culture that I really enjoyed. The father’s character, Marty, was a former cop who liked sitting on his favorite couch. His character was put in place to appeal to the larger fanbase because he was a relatable everyman.
The jokes between Frasier and his brother Niles are so funny because like Frazier and Niles, I was more interested in academics than sports when I was growing up and I understand most of their jokes. Of course there are times when I have to look up an object he was referencing while I am watching the show before I can laugh at it.
I do believe that one of the reasons I could not follow Frasier when I was very young was because many of the jokes went over my head because I did not have context for them. The concern with highbrow humor is that it excludes a population of the audience so there has to be less elite personality type characters in order for broader jokes to work.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, Dec. 10, 2018
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