Author Topic: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...  (Read 28711 times)

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #60 on: January 11, 2021, 10:04:47 PM »
my diaphragm

St_Eddie

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #61 on: January 11, 2021, 10:06:43 PM »
Asians being bad drivers. And great at maths.

I once knew an Asian who was appalling at maths but an absolutely incredible driver.  Just goes to show...

Mr Banlon

  • If you're gonna go nog, you gotta go Mingus
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #62 on: January 11, 2021, 10:21:59 PM »
Saran Wrap (clingfilm)
Asian shopkeepers being curt and impatient with customers.
Little old people driving massive cars very slowly.
Preppy douchebags.
Shovelling snow on driveways.
Retiree relatives in Florida in loud/golf clothing.
Curry being disgusting.
Dental dams.
Douching.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #63 on: January 11, 2021, 10:25:01 PM »
Any mention (frequently euphemistically) of Twinkies. Think they're some kind of cream cake but don't really know and I'm not looking it up.
They're gopping

I must have looked up what age is in what grade a hundred times to get a better understanding of something I'm watching but I always forget shortly afterwards.

Edit: Just looked it up again and realised adding 5 to the grade gives you the child's age. So first graders are 6, second graders are 7, fifth graders are 10 etc. Still never getting my head round all that Freshman/Sophomore/Senior year crap though.
Freshman/rookie is your first year, Sophomore is the second year/Senior depending on what you're doing but usually your last year.

Mr Banlon

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #64 on: January 11, 2021, 10:30:35 PM »
Members Only jackets.
Someone being like Goober or Gomer Pyle.
Wingtip shoes (brogues)
Summer Camp/Jewish Summer Camp.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2021, 10:31:22 PM »
More a plot than a punchline - parents enforcing elaborate and deeply traumatic punishments when their child gets a C or their grade average falls

beanheadmcginty

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2021, 10:35:12 PM »
A man called Gallagher smashing watermelons

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2021, 10:37:07 PM »
Curry being disgusting.
Yes, people getting explosive shits from eating “Indian food”

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2021, 10:46:57 PM »
...Also: the Love Boat, Laverne & Shirley, Three's Company, the Jeffersons, etc. Crappy sitcoms seem to be very influential for a certain generation of US comedy writers.

Mmm, would say that Laverne & Shirley was a pretty good show (although tailed off at the end) that had some great talent involved and helped the development of Spinal Tap.

Through the success of the show, showcasing the musical aspirations of Lenny and Squiggy, they toured and a live album recorded - Lenny & Squiggy Present Lenny and the Squigtones (great name, great album). The band featured a young and rather clean-cut Nigel Tufnel on guitar. Songs have have the same kind of pastiche style reminiscent of Tap and IIRC, one of the Tap’s songs was originally written for Lenny and the Squigtones.


I wouldn't say Laverne & Shirley was crappy, although there were a few duff moments in 178 episodes! Michael McKean was in most of them, playing a character he himself created in his college comedy days, and I think he wrote a handful of episodes too (including this one he co-wrote with Harry Shearer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJikUNQHkKs)…

Yeah, McKean and David Lander (who recently passed away and have been meaning to start a thread about his work with McKean) were hired as writers for series  but with a view with them also appearing as Lenny and Squiggy. I can’t remember which one said it but being hired that way meant that they got paid less. The characters really caught on, hence why they were in so many episodes.

As you say, they had created the characters in college after bonding together - amongst other things, they shared mutual love of Robert Morse (as all good people do).

When in The Credibility Gap with Shearer, the two used to do Lenny and Squiggy (the latter may have had another name at the time) a lot. Garry Marshall watching them suggested using them to Penny for the show (IIRC, they were trying to flesh out the show’s concept with more characters - she loved them and wanted the three to write for the show. The rest, as they say, is history….

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2021, 10:48:59 PM »
Father Ted and One Foot in the Grave
That late Only Fools where Boycie compares Trigger to Mr. Bean, seemingly ignorant of the fact Roger Lloyd Pack appeared in that series.

Oh yes, of course. And Spaced presumably referenced other sitcoms too, but I haven't watched that in years.

icehaven

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2021, 10:56:00 PM »
Freshman/rookie is your first year, Sophomore is the second year/Senior depending on what you're doing but usually your last year.

The thing I read said Freshman was 9th grade, so I think you might mean college but I meant high school.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2021, 11:01:31 PM »
Another great post, Ignatius. I've liked what I've seen of Laverne & Shirley, it struck me as something a bit sharper and slightly more oddball than Happy Days.

Strange, though, that it never gained much traction in the UK. Happy Days was a big hit over here, as was Mork & Mindy, so you'd think the ITV regions would gobble up the other spin-offs.

I remember watching the short-lived Joanie Loves Chachi on Grampian when I was a kid, but it was always scheduled in a throwaway afternoon slot (they presumably didn't expect it to be cancelled after one season). Happy Days and Mork & Mindy were always shown around 7pm. But I don't recall ever seeing Laverne & Shirley at all, I only caught up with some episodes years later on YouTube.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #72 on: January 11, 2021, 11:08:11 PM »
I honestly don't know what Thanksgiving actually is. A month before Christmas, American families gather together to quaff turkey and eggnog. Getting home in time for it was of paramount importance to Steve Martin in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. That's all I know.

I could easily look it up, but I quite like not knowing. It's just a mysterious thing that happens in American sitcoms and comedy films.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #73 on: January 11, 2021, 11:11:40 PM »
As soon as I posted that, I thought to myself, "This is exactly the sort of thing that annoys me whenever Americans express befuddlement at our quaint British customs." Consider it some sort of payback, America.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #74 on: January 11, 2021, 11:17:53 PM »
Seinfeld's "that's a pretty big matzah ball hanging out there" as a response to George's  girlfriend not replying to his "I love you" baffled me for decades. Even once learning they're like dumplings I'm still no better off understanding it.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #75 on: January 11, 2021, 11:18:29 PM »
Another great post, Ignatius. I've liked what I've seen of Laverne & Shirley, it struck me as something a bit sharper and slightly more oddball than Happy Days.

Strange, though, that it never gained much traction in the UK. Happy Days was a big hit over here, as was Mork & Mindy, so you'd think the ITV regions would gobble up the other spin-offs.

I remember watching the short-lived Joanie Loves Chachi on Grampian when I was a kid, but it was always scheduled in a throwaway afternoon slot (they presumably didn't expect it to be cancelled after one season). Happy Days and Mork & Mindy were always shown around 7pm. But I don't recall ever seeing Laverne & Shirley at all, I only caught up with some episodes years later on YouTube.

Laverne & Shirley was definitely repeated sometime in the 80s because I used to watch it.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #76 on: January 11, 2021, 11:20:28 PM »
Just checked the BBC Genome site and BBC1 played Laverne & Shirley in 1988 in a 8.30 am slot. That's where I would have watched it.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #77 on: January 11, 2021, 11:30:43 PM »
Just checked the BBC Genome site and BBC1 played Laverne & Shirley in 1988 in a 8.30 am slot. That's where I would have watched it.

I think, as mentioned earlier, we were all at the mercy of regional variations. I'm a Scottish person. The Love Boat, for example, was an STV afternoon staple for many years, but possibly not that familiar to '80s kids living elsewhere. It's a Byzantine maze.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2021, 11:43:29 PM »
Thinking about it, I might even have been watching it on a satellite channel rather than the BBC. I remember watching loads of these American comedy shows in the late 80s/early 90s that seem fairly obscure over here, and it can only have been on cable or satellite.

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #79 on: January 12, 2021, 12:06:42 AM »
Yes, people getting explosive shits from eating “Indian food”

Maybe not so much now, but there's been plenty of that in British comedy over the years.

Another TV reference that's often used in American comedy - comparing people to Archie Bunker. Are there any equivalent references to Alf Garnett in British comedy?

Jumblegraws

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #80 on: January 12, 2021, 12:13:24 AM »
Does pig latin occur in British shows? I’m pretty sure I’ve only heard it in American media. “Ix-nay on the omething-say” felt ubiquitous as a stock phrase in US comedy films and shows when I was a kid and it was years before I understood what the hell they were talking about.

Chriddof

  • Sad mammal.
Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #81 on: January 12, 2021, 12:17:40 AM »
Thinking about it, I might even have been watching it on a satellite channel rather than the BBC. I remember watching loads of these American comedy shows in the late 80s/early 90s that seem fairly obscure over here, and it can only have been on cable or satellite.

Yeah, that's where I saw a lot of US sitcoms and other shows unfamiliar to most UK audiences. Laverne & Shirley was shown on a loop on the Paramount Comedy Channel (now Comedy Central UK) through the late 90s to early 2000s. Night Court was also on a perpetual loop on Sky One throughout the mid-90s, at about 1AM every weekday.

Full House is another US sitcom in the same position, though it came off way worse than the previous examples. A while back I looked it up to see if it had been shown anywhere at all here, and it had been broadcast on Sky at some brief point between 1989 - 1990 (I forget exactly when). Whenever the actual date was, it was only on for a few weeks and then dropped. This was also so early on in Sky's history that Sky One was still just called "Sky Channel".

Re: the indian food gags - one of the most oblivious ones was made in Family Guy. It was during a cut-away (where else?) and Chinny Fucker (genuinely forgotten the main character's name now) asked Wife Character if they were going to go anywhere tomorrow, because he would be doing explosive shits all day. Wife Character replies in the negative, and then Chinny Fucker pulls out a takeaway menu and says "Alright - time for some Chicken Tikka Masala!" It's a punchline that ends up having a very different effect in the UK, as here that's known as a dish firmly in the mild-to-medium level of spice, so it's like the joke is Chinny Fucker can't handle any sort of heat.

Come to think of it, there seem to be numerous jokes in US comedies about all fast food basically being poison, a bit like that one song in Tim & Eric.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2021, 12:40:21 AM by Chriddof »

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #82 on: January 12, 2021, 12:36:23 AM »
... clipping coupons.

We have coupons in the UK, but there's nothing funny about people using them.

It's not really the same thing over here - there are coupons all over the place and of you're willing to make basically reading newspaper leaflets a part time job, you can save a lot of money. Not necessarily on things you actually want, but still.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #83 on: January 12, 2021, 01:05:01 AM »
Any gag that requires knowledge of where different states/cities are in relation to each other, like the following made up example:

“I’m gonna drive down to Joe’s tonight”
“Where does he live?”
“Seattle”

Big audience laugh as the sitcom is set in Miami, with a younger me wondering what the problem is.

Twonty Gostelow

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Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #84 on: January 12, 2021, 01:28:55 AM »
ANNOYING BUT PRETTY: You said you'd take me to Bed Bath & Beyond.

BASEBALL CAP DICKHEAD: But honey, it's the bottom of the ninth and bases are loaded.

ANNOYING BUT PRETTY: Awww. So can we go to Pottery Barn instead?

[phone rings]

BASEBALL CAP DICKHEAD: If that's your mother, tell her the Macy's Parade already got a Bullwinkle balloon!

AUDIENCE: Aaoowww!


Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #85 on: January 12, 2021, 03:07:53 AM »
Saying "Hayoo!" after a joke punchline.
Glee club
Band practice
Any joke that makes reference to disgraced politician "Who am I? Senator Reinhardt?" to explosive laughter.
Zamboni machines and Jumbotrons

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #86 on: January 12, 2021, 03:22:29 AM »
Any gag that requires knowledge of where different states/cities are in relation to each other, like the following made up example:

“I’m gonna drive down to Joe’s tonight”
“Where does he live?”
“Seattle”

Big audience laugh as the sitcom is set in Miami, with a younger me wondering what the problem is.

Big Bang Theory makes lots of jokes about Nebraska. Must be their equivalent to Manchester or something. I don't know,  fuggedaboutit.

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #87 on: January 12, 2021, 03:25:40 AM »
I think Ocelot might have been referring to the other joke about Canadians, that they often end sentences with "eh".

Get me being a "jerk off"

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #88 on: January 12, 2021, 04:11:42 AM »
Allergies
Garbage disposal
Fire hydrant

Re: Things that seem to be punchlines in US comedy...
« Reply #89 on: January 12, 2021, 06:17:23 AM »
Not so much recently, but Indian characters saying things in a 'patak' manner.  RE Apu from the Simpsons or Ben from Short Circuit (yes I know).

It's kinda similar here to the Welsh accent, in that anything they say seems to be amusing.

A recent twatter favourite, as a reply to a lengthy passionate opinion or screed: "Sir, this is a Wendy's drive-thru"

Doesn't work as well in countries unsaturated by drive-through restaurants.

We have drive through off licenses here, it's bizarre but makes sense.

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