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ERIC Number: ED408995
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Thinking Person's Comedy: A Study of Intertextuality in "Cheers."
Hlynka, Anthony; Knupfer, Nancy Nelson
This paper addresses the television program "Cheers" and demonstrates one way of interpreting the complexity of messages within the program. The interplay of visual messages within the "Cheers" programming is referred to as intertextuality, or the relation of one text to another to express an idea. Two basic types of intertextuality--horizontal and vertical--serve as a framework for this analysis of "Cheers." Horizontal textuality refers to relations between primary texts "along the axis of genre and content." In "Cheers," genre intertextuality means examining how the show works as a situation comedy, and in particular how it differs from other situation comedies. Content intertextuality refers to the use of specific allusions to other texts. The second type of intertextuality is vertical, defined as the relation between a primary text and those texts which refer to and discuss the primary texts. In the case of "Cheers," this includes analyses in the popular press. These secondary texts work to promote the circulation of selected meanings of the primary text. The carefully crafted comedic statements in "Cheers" carry social and cultural overtones, presenting an intellectual challenge to the viewer who actively attends to the interplay. After a description of the characters, this paper includes a general and an episode analysis. It then shows how the titles of the shows have been gleaned from classic literature and places "Cheers" in the comedic perspective with other television comedies. (Contains 18 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A