Sun 20 Jul, 2003 02:57 pm
This paper traces the evolution of the sitcom from radio through television.
I think Father of the Bride was the inspiration for all other sitcoms.
The two earliest ones that I can remember were "Mama", and "The Goldbergs", which both debuted in 1949. They were both about family life...Mama was about a Scandinavian family, while the Goldbergs were Jewish.
Mama was based on a play, which had been based on a book. It was on the air for 8 years. The Goldbergs had originally been a popular radio show.
This paper traces this stuff from the 30s and, slightly, the 20s.
This thread was not ceated to explore nostalgia. The paper in my link discusses the reasons why family programming was created at all. In discussing ways to reach families with their consumer products, owners of entertainment media (radio and television) hit on the notion of creating two types of family oriented shows: the sitcom (Life of Riley) and shows about a family in which episodes have continuity (Ozzie and Harriet). It is an in depth look at all the factors that went into the creation and evolution of this type programming, from early radio through the late 90s.