Ch. 3: Roberts: Everybody Loves Raymond

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"The term stock character is often used to describe characters in these repeating situations...Such characters, with variations in names, ages, and sexes, have been constant in literature since the ancient Greeks.  Some regular stock or representative characters are the insensitive father, the interfering mother, the sassy younger sister or brother, the greedy politician, the harassed boss, the resourceful cowboy or detective, the overbearing or henpecked husband, the submissive or nagging wife, the absent-minded professor, the angry police captain, the lovable drunk, and the town do-gooder."

Yes, that was a long quote, but I challenge a single one of you to think of a box office hit or T.V. show that doesn't contain a single one of these stock characters.  Roberts gives the impression that the list continues, but even if it stopped there... I'm either drawing a complete  blank, or he has proven his point. My family loves to watch "Everybody Loves Raymond" after dinner.  Of course the show is predictable, but it always makes us laugh.  I never realized that the character combination of the show, the insensitive father-in-law, the interfering mother-in-law, a nagging wife, hen pecked husband, and sassy younger brother, have been making audiences laugh over the last several hundred years.  I imagine the writers of that show laugh chuckle at the audience and think, "what an easy job" every time they collect their paycheck.


You might like this site

It's a densely hyper-linked collection of cliches, far more precise than simply a list of characters.

Carissa Altizer said:

Thanks for the link, Dr. Jerz!

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