Dramatic vs. comedic actors

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Posted ByLL on July 30, 2003 at 19:26:43:

In Reply to: Re: Jack's personal vs.professional friendships posted byjerry4opry on July 30, 2003 at 19:10:42:

: : As a side note, Red Skelton often commented on how he didn't like to socialize with other comedians..."They're always trying to top each other" he said. Instead, Red preferred to socialize with actors who were not famous as comedians....Vincent Price, John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, etc.

: : now i have an idea as to why Red Skelton usually used movie actors instead of his peers in radio and early TV...i've always wondered why when watching an old Skelton show he mostly used movie stars and dramatic actors! I'm a huge fan of Vincent Price too and his appearance on Skelton's shows were always hilarious!

Also remember that Jack used Ronald and Benita Colman on his show, and their "classy" dramatic background made them all the more amusing. There is a story about Jack advising them to read the comedy lines completely straight, as if they were doing a dramatic line. This is not unlike Gracie Allen's illogical logic, talking about the things her family did as if they were completely reasonable, sane things.

It's something that I've found lacking in today's sitcoms; the actors seem completely aware of the intended humor in what they're saying, and punch it (punching a gag means emphasizing--or overplaying--to milk laughs). It operates sort of in the vein of the baggy-pants comedian who says, "THAT was no LADY...that was my WIFE!!! Wacka-wacka-wacka!!!" Then couple that with a laugh track and the audience is being programmed on "what's funny" by having it thrown in their face harder than the proverbial pie.

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