Pioneers of Television: Acting Funny (Pt. 1)

Drop all of your plans for this evening and settle in to watch Pioneers of Television at 7PM on Panhandle PBS. I say this with full confidence because tonight they are featuring some of the most hilarious television shows in history including The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mork & Mindy, and The Dick Van Dyke Show. For those of us not born in the 1950s (and, SADLY, not into classic television… like you should be), they’ve spiced things up with one of my favourite shows of all time, 30 Rock.

How do I love thee, 30 Rock? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height of Rockefeller Plaza.

My soul can reach, when life is sad and unfair.

For the ideas of Donaghy and the wit of Lemon,

I love thee for the accurate representations of women.

Okay, okay… enough Elizabeth Browning, you get the picture (plus my mind grapes are shriveled.) I adore Tina Fey’s hilarious creation. From Liz to Jenna to Jack and Tracy, each and every character offers a different type of humour. Some of it is off-colour, sexual, and crude, but Liz Lemon is around to roll her eyes for the moments when you feel discomfort. And occasionally, she can make you feel equally as uncomfortable (but in awkward and hilarious manner…) For instance, the “dickie” fiasco of 2012:


I’ve felt a hole in my heart close to a year since 30 Rock aired its final episode in 2013. Luckily, it’s a show where the humour doesn’t lose its luster and continues to keep me on my toes. Pioneers of Television will be discussing the style of the show and how it revolutionized comedic delivery in sitcoms and Fey’s transition from her nine-year stint at Saturday Night Live.


The discussion of 30 Rock barely tips the scale for the hour-long episode airing tonight. Learn who Dick Van Dyke drew inspiration from during his childhood; how Mary Tyler Moore shifted the portrayal of women as a progressive, independent career woman; and why Robin Williams became a popular comedic actor. As always, check back for a double take…


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