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The Eight Characters of Comedy: Guide to Sitcom Acting and Writing
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The Eight Characters of Comedy: Guide to Sitcom Acting and Writing

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  247 ratings  ·  14 reviews
At the core of this Hollywood howto guide is the concept of The Eight Characters of Comedy, the eight specific character archetypes used in sitcoms dating back to the advent of TV. Every actor can find a sitcom niche by identifying with one of these eight characters. Using past and current actors and sitcom personalities, Sedita describes in detail where these characters c ...more
Paperback, 243 pages
Published November 30th 2005 by Atides Publishing
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Mario the lone bookwolf
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
How does humor work? One can try it out by dissecting favorite comedy TV shows. It will bring to light a few stereotypes that work perfectly since ancient times. Well, why is this so? It seems as if, like with flavor, certain kinds of characters simply fit perfectly together, automatically produce suspense and laughter at the same time and can be used again and again for the same stereotypical jokes without annoying the viewers or readers, because there are so many possibilities to create new mi ...more
shelly orlandi
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun and insightful!

While I was familiar with many of the great characters that Sedita details, seeing them fit into archetypes shone a whole new light on my understanding of them. This book has changed the way I watch comedies -- for the better! As an aspiring actor, I look forward to seeing projects through this terrific lens.
Carolyn Stein
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
A very entertaining read on how to create the central characters comprising sitcoms. I read it to understand how to set up humor as a writer, but the book is primarily written for actors. Nonetheless, Sedita's insights are on the money and useful for both actors and writers.
Angelina Conte
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
its a nice introduction to sitcom writing, quite simple and easy to read. not a definitive guide in any sense, but helped me get started.
Leon Acord
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book! This was very inspiring when I was first creating "Old Dogs & New Tricks." Why does the geek always get the hot girl in comedies? Read this book and find out why! ...more
Ariella
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
Bit reductive and quite repetitive, but it's good for seeing the bones of how sitcoms are structured. It's also a helpful guide if you need a starting point for figuring out your characters. But the book is like 300+ pages and could achieve the same goal at 30 pages.
Jacob Reed
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I wish someone could take this book, cut out all the racist, sexist and sycophantic drivel and leave the 20-30 pages of actually helpful information behind. So so cringeworthy.
David
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Facile and arbitrary - anyone who wishes to make use of this book must first buy a bag of salt to take with it.

Filled with mediocre to horrible original writing, and a series of dated and grasping examples to prove the author's points, this book is more an example of promotion trumping talent then it is a useful textbook to aid in creating engaging and enjoyable sit-com characters. I conceive it might be possible that he is a much better teacher in person, working with actors on specific scripts
...more
Brett Bavar
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Nice introduction to the characteristics that make many of our favorite comedic characters so funny. Also, some interesting insights about the way each of the character types interacts with other character types.

I'd like to explore this more in my improv scene work. There is probably a good improv exercise here: Introduce the eight character types to each play, then try scenes with randomly chosen combinations of those character types and see what emerges from the interaction.
Nick Coleman
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. As a lifelong lover of sitcoms this was entertaining and as a comedy writer this was super helpful. I've made finalist in a couple spec script contests, but whenever I set out to write an original pilot I have trouble creating the perfect storm of characters. This book opened things up for me in terms of differentiating my characters and drawing from a long heritage of different ways these archetypes have been used. The acting device was also pretty solid.
Yhill Kurosaki
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
no lo encontré entretenido pero sí, muy práctico. esta orientado para los actores pero para escritores da las pautas básicas de la creación de personajes de comedia... junto con The Comedy Toolbox me ayudaron a escribir un par de escenas de humor que hicieron reír bastante.
Joe
Aug 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Very insightful for actors looking to get into the world of tv comedy.
Krystelle
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
I think this guide can be confusing for actors. I read this book and it took me over a year of solid sitcom training to get out f my head about these characters and just do the work.
Nizar
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
As a comedy writer I found this book to be VERY informative. Full of current shows examples and trade info.
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