View Single Post
Old 12-18-2018, 03:36 PM   #4
Forum Regular
Join Date: Oct 26, 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 849

Originally Posted by bellczar View Post
I can enjoy all of these series. The ratings decline of Here's Lucy after the third season was in part due to its having to compete against Monday Night Football beginning in 1970.

Two things changed that worked against Here's Lucy in its later seasons:

1) In the 1960s, TV was full of the kind of physical comedy practiced by Lucy: The Dick Van Dyke Show, Get Smart, Gilligan's Island, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and the like. 10 years later, there was not much physical comedy left, and the popular comedy series of the day were dialog comedies: All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Maude, MASH, etc.

2) As Lucy got older, viewers were less likely to accept her doing the physical comedy she had done decades earlier. And Gale Gordon was even older. A woman in her 60s doing physical comedy makes viewers nervous that something was going to happen.

The decline of physical comedy didn't affect only Lucy; about 1983, Madeline Kahn did a a series, Oh Madeline! that tried to bring back Lucy-style physical comedy. Critics liked it, but viewers didn't.
Interesting perspective.
About physical comedy, The Three Stooges almost completely relied on it and I think that no matter how "classic" and "iconic" The Three Stooges are said to be , the physical comedy was overdone and actually The Three Stooges ( of course they mostly were in movies than sit-coms) were these older men who must have been in their 40s at the youngest were slapping each other, poking each others eyes out and pulling each other's hair (actually Mo did most of it to the others). To look at it in retrospect according to today's social climate, it is on one hand scary that people are doing such harm to each other and on the other hand it is so predictable that someone is going to get slapped or poked before the next 3 minutes are up and therefore boring and un-original.
When i was a kid, I once saw a scene on a Three Stooges movie or TV show in which Shemp was stuck in a hole on the floor and his feet were dangling through the ceiling on the lower apartment while his head was sticking out from the floor on the upper apartment and then someone came and pulled him by the head to pull him through the floor and his neck stretched out from his shoulders. Of course it must have really been a dummy in that scene but I was horrified even though I was used to the antics of the Three Stooges.

In Gilligan's Island there was some slapstick comedy. The Skipper seemed to be a man in his 40s at the youngest. Gilligan seemed to be in his mid 30s.
um is offline   Reply With Quote