Describing the ideal characters in character driven comedy


I’m going to summarize Gigguk‘s video, Konosuba: Why is it Funny? because it had a lot of points that resonated with me. I’m going to do a ‘powerpoint’ first, and then explain why I decided to take notes. This is what Gigguk said in regards to why Konosuba’s comedy worked:

  • A balanced cast: these characters feel like were made for each other, and this is the dynamic to strive for.
  • A group of friends in a love-hate relationship, giving off the same kind of banter that you only see in a tight-knit group. Their interaction is what makes the show entertaining.
  • The recipe for entertainment is just having these characters be together. You don’t write jokes, you write characters. And the key is to put them in interesting scenarios where their dynamics will be highlighted for the greatest comedic effect. This is a character driven comedy.
  • The jokes themselves don’t even have to be that funny because watching the characters gives you the same feel-good emotions as hanging out with close friends.
  • This is why you get attached to them; the more we watch the closer we feel inclusive to their relationship. We become another person in their group.

This, as Gigguk mentions, is the structure of a sitcom: you follow a group of characters as they go about their lives dealing with different situations as they arrive (aka situational comedy). The kind of American shows that I like are Community, Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rick and Morty, Archer, and Bojack Horsman. I always found myself becoming closely attached to these characters, and the feeling I got was the inclusiveness that Gigguk was talking about.

Gigguk also had some ideas as to why Big Bang Theory is hated, which is because, unlike Konosuba, it merely makes references the culture it is trying to parody. For shows like Konosuba, we are watching a very entertaining group of individuals as they encounter the troupes the show is trying to parody. I liked Saekano for this same reason.


Image is from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


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