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Boston Chapter Event: It's 5:00 Somewhere Cocktail Hour: A History of TV Comedy

Friday, October 2, 2020, 5‑6pm EDT
Location: Online

A HISTORY OF TV COMEDY: From Milton Berle to David Letterman

Presented by BRIAN ROSE

From the earliest days of television, making people laugh was one of the central goals of TV programmers. 

This presentation will survey the extraordinary landscape of American TV comedy, examining how comedy changed from the vaudeville shtick of Milton Berle and the slapstick artistry of Lucille Ball to the social satire of Saturday Night Live and the self-reflexive absurdities of David Letterman and The Simpsons.

BRIAN ROSE, former professor at Fordham University's College and author of several books on television history, has interviewed over 100 directors, actors and writers in the motion picture and television industry. 

Please register by Thursday evening, October 1.  Zoom link sent Friday morn by noon.

Successful radio formats like the sitcom and the comedy/variety show moved to television in the late 1940s, joined a few years later by the medium’s own innovation, the late night comedy talk show. For the next seven decades, these three formats dominated the airwaves, led by brilliant comedians such as Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Gilda Radner, and Jerry Seinfeld.

Brain Rose was a Professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, from 1982 until his retirement in 2020. He’s written several books on television history and cultural programming, and conducted more than a hundred Q&A’s with leading directors, actors, and writers for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and the Directors Guild of America.