|Top Five Comedy Shows Taped in New York City
Categories: Comedy Shows
Posted: April 16, 2012
by Ted Greenberg
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New York City is a hotbed of comedy. On any given night, you can check out one of New York’s top comedy clubs, experience mind-blowing improv or just enjoy what happens on the mean streets. The chance to laugh is always just around the corner.
Hundreds of TV shows have been set in the Big Apple, but filmed in the City of Angels. Today, I give a big shout out to the top five comedy scripted comedy shows taped in my beloved city. Not only were they set in New York, but they also were taped here. Today, I’m focusing on fictional comedy shows as opposed to late night and variety comedy show. Check back next Monday to see how I rank those.
Here are my top five comedy shows filmed in the Big Apple:
5. America’s Next Top Model and Sex and the City. I had a hard time choosing between these two very different series. ANTM makes the list because the series first few cycles were filmed in New York City, and there are few things funnier than creator/model Tyra Banks’ advice to the fledgling models. “It’s all about the face” can still make me crack up. Sex and the City isn’t a through and through comedy. The series dealt with breast cancer, infertility and Manolo Blahniks. Serious issues indeed. But, the repartee — sometimes too on the nose, but charming nonetheless — among Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha set the series apart. And brought some chuckles too.
4. The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. On the back of the magnetic Blair Brown’s performance as lead character, this under-the-radar comedy makes my list. Besides who doesn’t love a sassy redhead? The show was off center and filmed using only a single camera, which gave a more intimate perspective. Watching Brown juggle Manhattan life was exhilarating as was seeing some stars before they were household names. Think Nathan Lane, Gina Gershon, Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Victor Garber. And the list goes on.
3. The Cosby Show. Rumor has it that Bill Cosby was discovered at the famed Gaslight Café in the West Village in the 1960s. Two decades later, his eponymous series rose to the top of the ratings and created lasting memories. Who did not want to be a member of the Huxtable family? Claire and Cliff were professional, devoted parents and proud Brooklynites with five great kids. Cosby mined family life for its humor and made all of us laugh at our own.
2. 30 Rock. It’s been said before: “Write what you know.” Tina Fey has turned that edict into comedy gold. The former head writer of Saturday Night Live, Fey set 30 Rock in the oh-so-familiar behind-the-scenes world of a late night comedy show. Her straight woman Liz Lemon is surrounded by zany characters: Tracy (Tracy Morgan), Jenna (Jane Krakowski) and Kenneth (Jack McBrayer) and impossible situations. And don’t forget about Jack Donaghy, Alec Baldwin’s pitch perfect boss. It’s no surprise the show’s won three Emmys for Outstanding Comedy Series.
1. The Honeymooners. There are only 39 episodes to this beloved series starring Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadow, Art Carney and Joyce Randolph as two couples living in Brooklyn. The series is heralded for its spontaneity, due primarily for Gleason’s dislike of rehearsal, and the chemistry among the four stars. A half century after its first incarnation, The Honeymooners remains one of the most influential comedy series. You cannot turn the dial without seeing a pretty, slim woman married to a large and larger-than-life husband.
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