TV Breeds Comedy


If I want to laugh at something on a screen, I tend to turn to television more than cinema. When I do find a film particularly funny, it usually features either writers, directors or actors who have a background in TV.

Case in point: writers/directors Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, who co-created “Freaks and Geeks” in 1999 but didn’t find success in film until 2005 and 2011, respectively. Their big breaks, “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and “Bridesmaids,” were full of TV actors: Steve Carell and Seth Rogen in the former, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Melissa McCarthy in the latter.

“Pitch Perfect,” the new film about competitive a cappella groups, only has a few TV stars in it (such as: “Workaholics’” Adam DeVine, left, and “The Mindy Project’s” Anna Camp). But the movie comes from the mind of a TV writer: “30 Rock” and “New Girl” scribe Kay Cannon.

Not surprisingly, “Pitch Perfect” has the surreal nature and sharp writing of a “30 Rock” episode, just at a feature length. As I was watching, I tried to think of another movie this year I had laughed harder at. All that came to mind? “21 Jump Street” — which was based on a TV series.

Rudi Greenberg is Express' Weekend Pass editor and comedy columnist.
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