Com­edy fans catch the phrase

The funny shows are laugh­ing off old lan­guage, writes the

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY / FREE TV -

Jerry Se­in­feld and the cast of the sit­com cou­ple of years, and they had a very spe­cific lan­guage for the way Bar­ney talked – that kind of bro-talk (‘‘Suit up’’). That show was on the lead­ing edge of that.’’

Much of the new TV-speak is a re­flec­tion of mod­ern col­lo­quial short­hand in a gen­er­a­tion that is en­cour­aged to com­mu­ni­cate in 140 characters or less.

The ten­dency to com­bine words – think Brangelina – ‘‘is a zeit­geisty thing that ev­ery­one seems to do,’’ says Groff.

‘‘Sud­denly, quicksand be­comes chick­sand,’’ he says.

Com­mu­nity de­rives many of its laughs from a rhyming gag.

‘‘We will say some­thing like ‘What do you know, Henry David Thoreau?’ or ‘Nice try, Steven Fry’,’’ Ganz says. ‘‘It in­vites fans to make up their own lit­tle ver­sions of that.’’

Drop­ping terms like ‘‘streets ahead’’ and ‘‘pop pop’’ is also a way for Com­mu­nity fans to iden­tify them­selves on so­cial net­works like Twit­ter and Red­dit.

‘‘It is a way of let­ting other peo­ple know ‘I watch this show and I, too, know ev­ery­thing about it’,’’ Ganz says.

‘‘I think our fans are so hun­gry for catch phrases, that even if we didn’t put any in our show they would find them. Just so they could iden­tify with each other.’’

The use of show-spe­cific lan­guage goes as far back as Happy Days, but Groff cred­its Se­in­feld (‘‘yada yada’’) with start­ing the trend among mod­ern-day writ­ers.

One of the sit­com’s most pop­u­lar gags was to turn nouns into verbs: ‘‘Throw me a towel, let’s bagel’’ and ‘‘The woman she’s les­bian­ing with? Su­san told me she’s never been with a guy.’’

‘‘If you look at shows about close-knit groups of peo­ple, those characters de­velop their own back and forth,’’ Groff says.

‘‘On sin­gle cam­era shows you try to de­pict real char­ac­ter in­ter­ac­tions a lit­tle bit. So for us it is less an at­tempt to coin a catch phrase and more of an at­tempt to coin lan­guage they would use with each other.’’

Mon­days to Satur­days, TV1.

Joe McHale and Chevy Chase in a scene from

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