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Comic Visions, Second Edition is an update of the most influential critical history written on the evolution of American television comedy. In his witty, lucid, and insightful style, David Marc skilfully combines historical research with cultural analysis to provide an immensely readable study of television comedy as a reflection of the diversity and richness in American society. Marc examines the roots of television comedy beginning with the influence of Vaudeville, cinema and radio on the variety shows and sitcoms of the 1940's and 1950's. He then moves into television's response to the turbulent 1960's and the great expansion of situational comedy popular in the 1970's. A completely new chapter looks at recent developments such as Comedy Central and the proliferation of stand-up comedy and also includes an engaging analysis of why shows like Seinfeld and The Simpsons are such major hits in the 1990s. This work's Foreword is by Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly .
David Marc teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California and at the Department of Film and Television, UCLA. He is a frequent contributor to The Village Voice and is the author of Demographic Vistas, Revised Edition (1996), and Bonfire of the Humanities (1995).