Now What's So Funny?


Changing Face of American comedyHear the story. Television comedy has come a long way since the 50s. Back then, what Americans could laugh at was limited, sitcoms showed us families that looked nothing like the people we lived with, and whose air-brushed TV lives made some of us wish we could live inside the little black and white screen with them.

Judy Carter
Comedian and writer Judy Carter

Read her biography

In her story for All Things Considered, comic Judy Carter explores how American stand-up and situation comedy has changed in the last few years. Carter, author of the upcoming The Comedy Bible (Simon & Schuster), runs comedy workshops in Los Angeles.

She says audiences don't want "joke-book" comedy anymore. And neither do the producers of TV sitcoms. We hear from TV writers, producers and stars about how TV has been transformed, and some who think it has only changed in attitude, not substance.

The Changing Face of America is an 18-month long NPR project that tells the stories of regular, everyday Americans and the issues they face at a time of rapid and dramatic change in the U.S. This special series can be heard on NPR's Talk of the Nation, All Things Considered and Morning Edition.

The Changing Face of America series is sponsored by
The Pew Charitable Trusts.