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Category: Comedy Thinking
Hits: 2017

This is a list of archetypes that I identified after watching too many sitcoms (especially US ones), over the years. It isn't a definitive list, the definitions are self-invented, arbitrary and generalised and the examples below may not be an precise match for a given archetype. In practice any self-centred character (or any character) in a sitcom may display aspects of one or more of these archetypes. Also it is always best to write real, true-to-life characters and not two-dimensional archetypes or stereotypes.

 

IDIOT SAVANT

Examples
Kramer (Michael Richards) - Seinfeld
Nick (Kris Marshall) - My Family
Phoebe & Joey - Friends


THICK-SKINNED OAF

Examples
George (Jason Alexander) - Seinfeld
Cartman - South Park
Louise (Kathryn Drysdale) - Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
Ross (David Schwimmer) - Friends

 

WISECRACKER

Examples
Chandler (Matthew Perry) - Friends
Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin) - Frasier
Any redheaded secretary in an office based sitcom

 

WACKY BOSS

Examples
CJ (John Barron) - The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin
Holly (Norman Lovett / Hattie Hayridge) - Red Dwarf
Jack Gallo (George Segal) - Just Shoot Me

 

STILL CENTRE

Examples
Susan Walker (Sarah Alexander) in Coupling
Mel Steele (Sarah Alexander) in Worst Week of My Life