The Museum of Television

Exhibit: Comedy

Television comedy had a presence from the earliest days of broadcasting. Among the earliest BBC television programmes in the 1930s was Starlight, which offered a series of guests from the music hall era — singers and comedians amongst them. Similarly, many early United States television programs were variety shows including the Texaco Star Theater featuring Milton Berle; comedy acts often taken from vaudeville were staples of such shows.

The range of television comedy is extremely broad to the extent that anything under the heading comedy can be put before an audience through the medium of television. However, it is true to say that certain genres of comedy transfer to the small screen more successfully than others. Some of the most successful sitcoms include Seinfeld and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Many cartoon television comedies have been produced and aired. These include the likes of The Simpsons, South Park, Futurama and Family Guy.

Seinfeld The Mary Tyler Moore Show Family Guy