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<   No. 1011   2005-11-02   >

Comic #1011

1 Someone who doesn't even slightly resemble Me: Ah... time to escape the grind of making comics and watch some TV.
2 Someone who doesn't even slightly resemble Me: {turning on TV} Ah, Bewitched. Man, these are classics.
3 Someone who doesn't even slightly resemble Me: What the...?!
4 Someone who doesn't even slightly resemble Me: They changed Darrin!!!

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"Ah," indeed. Bewitched is a classic American sitcom about advertising executive Darrin (not "Darren") Stephens and his wife Samantha, who happens to be a witch. Darrin was played by Dick York, up until 1969 when he left the cast due to illness. He was replaced by Dick Sargent, with no explanation or reference to his changed appearance.

The same trick has been used in several other TV shows since, notably in Roseanne when the character of Becky switched from being played by Alicia Goranson to Sarah Chalke. In the episode in which the switch occurred, there were a few semi-fourth-wall-breaking comments to Becky having changed her appearance. But the best bit was during the closing credits, when the family is watching TV. It turns out they are watching Bewitched. Roseanne comments that she doesn't like they way they changed the actor who played Darrin. When everyone else agrees, Becky says that she likes the new Darrin.

But you won't see anything that contrived in Irregular Webcomic!

2015-01-21 Rerun commentary: Keen-eyed readers will notice the actual Bewitched title card on the TV screen in panel 2.

Bewitched was one of the classic sitcoms of my childhood - though I didn't realise at the time that the show was already heavily into reruns. It was the same with all the comedy shows that I remember as being iconic ones of my time growing up: I Dream of Jeannie, Get Smart, Hogan's Heroes, The Brady Bunch, F-Troop, Mr. Ed, Gilligan's Island, The Beverly Hillbillies.

I think that this was because these shows, being syndicated for reruns, could be aired daily in the afternoon, in the kiddie timeslot between 4 and 6pm, whereas new first-run sitcoms were aired in the evening, on a weekly schedule, so as a kid you'd never get anywhere near as familiar with those. So the sitcoms that were actually being made during my childhood, are ones I am somewhat less familiar with, and don't generate the same level of childhood nostalgia as these older ones.

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My comics: Irregular Webcomic! | Darths & Droids | Eavesdropper | Planet of Hats | The Dinosaur Whiteboard | mezzacotta
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Last Modified: Wednesday, 21 January 2015; 02:17:01 PST.
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