In point of fact, I'm not sure there are too many comedies with laugh tracks anymore. Most of what you hear is live studio audience laughing as a show is filmed. If this prompts you to wonder who those actual human beings are who are laughing at some of this stuff, that is a mystification I share.
A sign that negotiations were handled well on both sides is that everybody probably feels a little bit like they didn't get what they wanted.
A picador is the guy in a bullfight who helps make sure the matador doesn't get killed by distracting the bull. That's what TV writing is. You're just distracting the bull long enough to stick around for the next set of commercials.
I tend to avoid things like award shows and panels and interviews, not remotely because I feel I'm above them or wish to cultivate the image of the intriguing recluse. I'm just not very good at them.
I sense from people that they get frustrated with me for not being out and about. But I guess I'm a shy boy.
There is certainly a higher percentage of wit in British comedy than in American comedy. What always tickles me is the way in which people try to use their intellect to get themselves out of tricky situations but never quite manage to do so - much to their enormous embarrassment.
I get asked a lot what the key is to creating a hit show, and I have a standard answer: Do everything right, and then get lucky 10 ways.
A lot of things you just stumble into: relationships or ways of putting characters opposite one another that really worked. So then it's not always so much about imitating other people, but imitating yourself, at least in your thinking.
We live in an era now where every episode is reviewed 80 different times on the Internet by periodicals you've never even heard of.
On 'Frasier,' a network executive once suggested that one week we have John Lithgow play Frasier and Kelsey Grammar play Lithgow's role on '3rd Rock From the Sun;' I've been deeply afraid of the idea of a crossover ever since.
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