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Why 30 Rock Is Not Funny (It's Metafunny)

From: Philosophy and Literature
Volume 35, Number 2, October 2011
pp. 320-337 | 10.1353/phl.2011.0029



The television show 30 Rock is entertaining and philosophically interesting because of the way in which it fails to be funny. Whereas some comedies, such as The Importance of Being Earnest and Legally Blonde 2 (to take examples from Noël Carrroll), create global incongruities by being wildly improbable or by forcing audience members to understand basic plot points in a variety of ways, 30 Rock often creates incongruities by cleverly not telling jokes. In this way, the show reveals some of the more paradoxical elements of our ordinary notion of TV humor.

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