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Mike Schilling

Best way ever to tell someone he's taking himself way too seriously: "You were a tomato!"


Comedy is the juxtaposition of incongruities.

It just seems like Gelbart could make those incongruities more realistic than any other writer I've ever seen or read.


I love Gelbart's work and the politics behind it. What made his strong comedy seem realistic is that he was always working from character.

The wild-eyed tomato line Lance references seems like a topper but is really a set-up for the closing reveal of the scene: just how far Michael must go to prove his point. Add in the paradoxical pleasure in the fact that Michael takes himself "too" seriously and is not exactly wrong to do so. Gelbart structured in complexities but did it with a deceptive elegance. Bravo!

Am still trying to figure out how this would work in Mad Men without making it a whole different thing. How does one make funny come out of character? Roger can be funny. Cooper can be funny. Because of character. Pete can be amusing - sadly - because of his character. But a lot of the characters, as established, don't lend themselves to funny.

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