Ten classic TV comedies that would never get made today


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Television history is full of classic, groundbreaking comedies that have stood the test of time while also being a product of their time. It is also full of a lot of steaming clunkers that never went anywhere and rightly so. These days, with eight billion channels and eight billion remakes, it might be inconceivable that there are any concepts that worked well in the past which wouldn’t get made today. However, when you consider that most of those eight billion channels are just shows where they shove a camera in the face of somebody doing their job and force them to compete against some other guy somewhere else doing the same job, it starts to make a little more sense. So here’s a list of ten famous comedies of yore that likely wouldn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of being made in today’s cynical pop culture climate.

1. “All In the Family”

One of the greatest shows of all time, and it likely wouldn’t get made today. Why? In part because its central protagonist is an unabashed racist constantly throwing out slurs and honest bigotry. You may argue that you see that kind of thing all the time, but these days it has to be done by either making that character cartoonishly stupid and annoying like Peter Griffin or constantly defused by the ironic quips of his likable supporting cast, like Pierce Hawthorne. Carroll O’Connor’s Archie Bunker, however, remained the most popular guy on the show. There’s also the fact that Edith Bunker (Jean Stapleton), Archie’s completely steamrollable “dingbat” wife, could not remain so consistently and meekly deferent to her husband in any modern show of the politically correct era. And there’s more – see #2.

2. “Maude”

This 1972 spin-off of All In The Family shares a sensibility with it, and that sensibility is the reason neither of these shows would be made today – the notion of earnest, heartfelt political debate on a sitcom is anathema these days. Maude was Edith Bunker’s cousin, and the show centered around her strident liberal leanings as a mighty feminist, and she was a beloved hero of her show just as Archie was on his. Even though our culture today is too P.C. to allow a true-to-form Archie, it’s equally too anti-P.C. to allow an honestly strident activist like Maude without dousing her with ironic detachment as well – see Britta Perry. Perhaps television is just ahead of the curve, and we’re supposed to be living in an enlightened society that doesn’t have to butt heads about racism and sexism so much anymore – but the 24-hour news cycle would seem to indicate otherwise.

3. “Hogan’s Heroes”

No matter how successful this 1965-1971 series was, no matter how likable these war heroes are, and no matter how harmless the antagonists are made to seem, there is absolutely no way on Earth that any network would set a situation comedy in a Nazi prison camp. Certainly not in the post-Schindler’s List world. Hell, maybe not even in a post-Auto Focus world.

4. “My Mother the Car”

You see, Jerry Van Dyke played a lawyer whose dead mother’s ghost inhabited a crappy old 1928 car, and spoke only to him through the radio, while a nasty car collector named Captain Manzini always tried to take it from him. Even if you take this idea and load it up with absurd irony, as Dan Harmon did with the talking-motorcycle show Heat Vision and Jack, networks won’t touch it – especially not now, when they can just hire a bunch of post-celebrities and make them dance for fame instead. To be fair, though, My Mother The Car wasn’t even a hit back then. It’s just legendary in its ridiculousness.

5. “F-Troop”

Odds are we’re not going to get a sitcom set in the Old West anytime soon, but compounding the matter is the fact that F-Troop sported some of particularly awful depictions of Native Americans, as played by Yiddish comedians using broken English and using tribal names that are bad puns. Even in today’s South Park era where racist Asian accents are mainstream comedy again, we tend to leave American Indians alone. As well we should.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.


IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines


The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.


Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.


A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.


Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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