Admittedly, my ignorant young self knows nothing about Carol Burnett. But, a comedian friend shared a quote of hers from this Hollywood Reporter interview that I thought was interesting:
“Today the suits say, “It’s got to be fast.” So I think some of the writing isn’t good anymore. Now sitcoms sound like they’ve been written by teenage boys in a locker room.”
I agree. TV writing today is just punchlines in a lot of shows, which to me gets old. That’s not how life works. Some of the best sketch writing builds up to a climax. A lot of great sketches or TV shows are more “thinkers” than laugh out loud funny and the pressure for have every second be funny to compete with people’s short attention span I see as detrimental.
Stand up writing is actually very similar in New York. Here, you gotta have punchline, punchline, punchline or else no one will listen to you. I think there’s a lot of great comedy that isn’t like that, so it’s nice to see someone else saying, “Slow down!”
I actually don’t think anything else in the interview is that interesting, but please do read it if that tickles your fancy. And then you’ll know just about as much about Carol Burnett as I do.