TV Shows that Literally Speak to the Audience

“Kool Aid Man” – Family Guy in Breaking the (fourth) Wall, Oh Yeah!

This new form of comedy was originally seen in Annie Hall (1977). It can be described as a meta-reference technique used in a piece of fiction where the character(s) are highly aware of their surrounds. Thus, direct eye contact into the camera followed by witty remarks are the norm. Since then, the sense of humor that once stemmed from the laugh track has been replaced by what we know now as “breaking the fourth wall.” This alt-genre includes moments of silence (to intensify the humor), sassy remarks, and overall a different kind of humor that appeals to a certain population.

A few examples include:

Annie Hall (1977)

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The film starring Woody Allen which started it all.

The Office (2005)

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One of the older TV shows taking on this mockumentary (aka mock documentary) style of humor.

Parks and Recreation (2009)

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This show was created as a spin-off from The Office (and one of my all time favorites actually).

House of Cards (2013)

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Contrar to the rest of the examples above, there is only one character in this series which breaks the fourth wall. This portrays his sense of power and control.

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