Amy Sedaris, Fred Armisen on the Art of Creating Short-Term Characters

  • Variety
Amy Sedaris, Fred Armisen on the Art of Creating Short-Term Characters
Few disciplines are as tough to shine in as sketch comedy. Often, being funny isn’t often enough. What makes a sketch resonate comes down to the characters. But while sitcoms build arcs over seasons, short skits require viewers to buy into new characters constantly. It’s a tricky art.

For decades, “Saturday Night Live” has blended one-offs with recurring characters that grow over time with takes on real-life pop culture and political figures — and has dominated the variety sketch series Emmy wins for the past two years. The ones that draw the biggest response, from Kate McKinnon’s Ms. Rafferty to Kenan Thompson’s version of Steve Harvey, elicit laughter but also a sense of history (even if short-term), as viewers relate their actions and dialogue in the most recent sketches to earlier ones.

Although the goal of truTV’s “At Home With Amy Sedaris,” a satire of a hospitality/homemaker show,
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