From television. Either a sitcom minus the sound of laughter, or a drama with a great sense of humor. The term can retroactively apply to much older examples, such as certain episodes of Bonanza or Burke's Law, or the entire run of The Wild, Wild West, but it was coined for a pair of short-lived ABC shows: Hooperman, starring John Ritter, and The Slap Maxwell Story, with Dabney Coleman. They were sitcoms that dispensed with both the canned-laughter laugh track and the live studio audience.

(There was probably an episode or two of M*A*S*H that dispensed with the laugh track as well, and there may have been an episode of The Odd Couple that did the same, during a time in which its two stars revolted against the use of canned laughter in the first or second season of the show - I believe an episode was broadcast one week minus the laugh track that had originally been dubbed onto it).

Audience reaction to Hooperman and Slap Maxwell was lukewarm, perhaps because they didn't have the crutch of being told when the actors were making with the funny stuff. Both shows were cancelled rather quickly. Perhaps the best example of a dramedy would be a longer-running series, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd.

"Dramedy" is also used to describe certain anime series, such as Irresponsible Captain Tylor or Tenchi Muyo, which mix elements of comedy and drama. The opposite of some (melo)dramatic anime series (mostly the ones involving angst-ridden young mecha pilots) with bits of comedy relief, these are often mostly comedy with bits of dramatic relief. Of course, before things get too serious, one of the characters will probably say or do something stupid, causing the other characters in the scene to either fall over on their faces or clobber the character in question.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.