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What's So Funny About Cruelty, Insensitivity, Vulgarity, Obscenity, Sleaze And Raunch?

March 16, 1986

Like Lewis, I am also turned off by a lot of today's "ugly humor." But I don't see how he can trace its origins to the TV sitcom.

Instead, I would point a finger at National Lampoon and "Saturday Night Live." After all, wasn't "Animal House" the grand-daddy of all the "sniggering . . . teen-sex films" that he mentions?

I am no expert on the ugly side of comedy because when I encounter it I turn it off or walk out. . . . So much of it seems to be aimed at an audience that sees itself as much more hip and sophisticated than those of us in "the lowest common denominator" who like to watch some of the sitcoms and are unwilling to listen to--much less laugh at--ridicule and hatred at "the local comedy club."

DAVID SCOTT

Venice

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