It’s fashionable these days to rag on Studio 60. It’s still on our TiVo list, we still watch it every week. But every week, more and more about this show annoys me. Many others have ripped it apart better than me (take a stroll over here). They missed one big thing.
Studio 60 takes place at a comedy show. Of the seven major characters, four are comedians (Harriet, Simon, the other supposedly important cast member [John?], and Matt the writer). Have you ever been around comedians? Ever seen them in their natural habitat? Rent Comedian, and watch Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Colin Quinn hang out together. If you don’t know any comedians, think about the funniest people you know. Maybe that weird guy at the office who’s always cracking people up (what’s his name again?). The one thing they all have in common is that they don’t stop being a comedian for very long. Funny people are not only funny, they are always looking at the world in a funny way, and always looking for new funny things. That’s why they’re funny. It doesn’t mean they’re always on, but they are frequently on. They are at least sometimes on, even if the camera isn’t.
No one at Studio 60 laughs. All these supposed-comedians are depressing. They never crack jokes. They never rip on each other, play pranks, have contests with each other, laugh at something at dinner or on TV, or anything. They may write a promising script, which Matt will declare “Funny” or “Not Funny”, but no one ever actually laughs. These people are comedians? No way.