Quotation by David Marc

Aesthetically at odds, these two genres of mass humor form a Janus face of American culture. Stand-up is a surviving bastion of individual expression. The comedian confronts the audience with his or her personality and wins celebration—the highest form of acceptance—or is scorned and rebuffed as a pitiable outsider. The heckler, the mood of the audience, or the temperature of the room cannot always be handled through quality control. Even when presented electronically, the jokes of a stand-up monologue cannot be underlined by canned laughter without the manipulation thoroughly exposing itself.... The sitcom, by contrast, is the technology of the assembly-line brought to art. Even when live audiences are used, their reactions are "sweetened" with carefully calculated titters, chortles, and guffaws. Large sums of investment capital must be assembled to produce a sitcom; all factors must be controlled by recognized experts.
David Marc, U.S. educator, media critic. Comic Visions: Television Comedy and American Culture, ch. 1, Unwin Hyman (1989).
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