It’s a fair assumption that wherever we direct our thoughts will have an impact on our mindset, our imagination and ultimately, on our performance as voice actors.
The same can be said of writers as it is for actors, regardless the genre. And just as writers need to read a lot to improve their literary prowess, actors need to study the varieties of recorded media and storytelling styles that shape our culture and the work we intend to perform and create in most.
Considering even emotional heavy weights are struggling to confront this excessively difficult period we’re all muddling through together, it can’t hurt to offer a few good TV-binging suggestions to help lighten the mood.
So, with that, I give you a list of hilarious programming comfort food to consume, while attempting to improve your mental health, and feed your performance read. Comedy can sooth our collective soul.
Besides, most audition specs are crammed with a wide variety of pop culture references from TV shows, both past and present. Yes, even shows that have long been cancelled from a long past era may prove simultaneously comforting and educational.
So, without further ado, may I suggest any (or all) of the following:
1. I Love Lucy If it’s been a while since you’ve seen this show, or you’ve never had the pleasure, then get busy. You’ll be glad you did.
2. The Office Whether it’s starring Steve Carell or Ricky Gervais (the original UK version), this show is hilariously comforting. Dig in!
3. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Tasty through and through.
4. Parks and Recreation The chemistry amongst this remarkable ensemble will make you feel you’re in good company, and unconditionally loved. (Phew. Needed that.)
5. Modern Family A cast full of leads. How’d that happen?!
6. 30 Rock Did you miss half the wise-crackin’ the first time through? This series was made for binge watching!
7. The Larry Sanders Show I almost forgot how much I LOVE this show. Hard to believe it’s more than 20 years old. Could have shot any of these episodes last week… if it weren’t for the pandemic, of course. And cell phones are a lot smaller. (Okay, fine. The boxy suits and pleated pants kinda give it away too.)
8. Silicon Valley Wanna feel cool? EVERYONE is hip, agile, and incredibly progressive compared to just about any character on this show.
9. The Andy Griffiths Show Personally, I prefer the early black and white episodes best, but honestly, they’re all great!
10. Mary Tyler Moore Show Who can turn the world on with her smile? Take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile… Well, it’s this show, and you should know it…
11. Seinfeld Modern classic.
12. Key and Peele Another modern classic.
13. Atlanta This show’s got legs. (i.e. It goes the distance.)
14. Broad City My people!
15. In Living Color This game-changing ‘90’s throwback offers a little perspective into a few current mega stars. This is how J-Lo, Rosie Perez, Jim Carrey, and every Wayan brother broke through to mainstream.
16. Getting On It’s likely you missed this hilarious series that graced HBO’s roster for only a couple seasons, but trust me—this series, like the very best candy, deserves to be enjoyed immediately and completely!
17. Arrested Development I think I have the first season memorized. (Yep. It’s THAT good.)
18. The Bernie Mac Show I MISS this man! This show totally holds up against time! Grab some mac n’ cheese. Make yourself at home and settle in.
19. Freaks and Geeks This show will probably make you feel old. (Okay, it makes me feel old. There I’ve said it.) It’s still funny.
20. Dead to Me Two seasons of surprises around every corner! And it’s relatively new! Imagine that.
21. Fawlty Towers Monty Python’s John Cleese & former wife and collaborator, Connie Booth created this classic 1980’s British comedy that still delivers on a massive scale.
22. (Dave) Chappelle’s Show Welcome to Comedy Master Class.
23. Malcolm In The Middle Without Malcolm, it’s doubtful we’d appreciate Bryon Cranston in Breaking Bad as much as we did. (And for the record, the rest of the cast are no slouches either.)
24. Flight of the Conchords Quirky, musical hilarity.
25. Barry This show proves breaking out of one tough business for another is never easy. It may even kill you.
26. Reno 9-1-1 When it’s Groundlings Vs. Uprights Citizens Brigade (UCB) it’s anyone’s game.
27. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Oddball, quick-witted debauchery at it’s finest. Why drink alone when you can make a fool of yourself in public?
28. The Honeymooners This is the Old School sitcom that burned down the old school (radio) only to build the new Old School, which has nothing to do with the New School, or how new or old said school happens to be. Just saying.
29. Curb Your Enthusiasm Hail, King Larry the David… no list could be complete without granting at least a small nod or homage to the King.
30. Adam Ruins Everything PREACH! (I fricken LOVE this show! Besides you might learn something.)
Hope this improves your spirits, sparks your imagination, and feeds your performance in the best way possible. Be good to yourself. Be safe. Be sound. But most of all, be YOU!
Copyright © 2020 by Kate McClanaghan. All rights reserved.