The Instigator
Dwight_Schrute
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Wylted
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Office (US) is funnier than _______

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/13/2016 Category: TV
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 728 times Debate No: 92699
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Dwight_Schrute

Pro

First round is simply acceptance. Provide the tv show that you believe that the office is not funnier than and we will debate. (Note: you cannot chose the UK version of the office, as they are too similar.)
Wylted

Con

I decided to restrict myself to sitcoms when choosing a show to make the debate fair. I was originally going to go with All in the Family, but assumed it was before my opponent's time, so I picked......,

The greatest comedy show of all time is Seinfeld.
Debate Round No. 1
Dwight_Schrute

Pro

Ah yes; the great Seinfeld. First I'd like to thank my opponent for his acceptance. Often hailed as one of the best of all time, Seinfeld usually receives the top pick in the television comedy universe (http://www.cbsnews.com...). I personally think that Seinfeld had some of the greater comed stunts in television, but it is highly overrated. Seinfeld may be the most popular comedy show ever, but not the best. The show relies heavily on its longevity and character development along with its sickening laugh track to garner cheap laughs. I will start by explaining each of the ways the office matches up against Seinfeld (In humor).

Stand alone jokes/one liners
Winner: The Office
The office, if you ever watched it has its fair share of funny jokes outside of context. If I just listed them all out it would not sound as funny, but Michael and Dwight's Quotes are downright HILARIOUS. Example: Michaels stupidity is just laughable in this sequence in which he talks about how cursed spirits crashed his car into Merideth (while he happened to be driving.) "I'm not superstitious. But I am a little stitious." The ignorance of Michael as he innocently buffoons his way into trouble is one of the funniest factor in the show. Often times he thinks he is doing the right think, but is really just displaying his woeful ignorance.
"Abraham Lincoln once said that "If you're a racist, I will attack you with the North," and these are the principles I carry with me in the workplace."- Michael Scott.
Seinfeild has it's share of funny stuff but the laugh track makes it bland and the jokes are sometimes outdated.

Situational Humor
Winner: The Office
The office has the most awesome situations ever. The hilarity of these situations stems from the mannerisms of the characters. Who could forget Dwight's banner at Kelly's birthday reading solely "It Is Your Birthday."? Or Michael claiming he doesn't need to be liked, he just enjoys, likes, and has to be liked? How about the hateful relationship between Michael and Toby? "This is a place of Welcoming. And I think you should just get the hell out of here."
In a different episode, Michael gives this imaginary scenario:
"Right? And if I had a gun, with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Bin Laden and Toby, I would shoot Toby twice."
[disapproval from everyone]
And The Office accomplishes this all without a laugh track. There is really no need to tell people when to laugh if you're really funny. That's like telling a joke, and before the audience can react, starting to laugh stupidly.

Relatability of Characters
Winner: Seinfeld
Can't beat the "show about nothing" in that department.

Supporting Cast:
Winner: the Office
No One is funnier than Creed during a random moment; he is simply the embodiment of weirdness. Go look up the best creed moments. Stanley is hilarious in spurts, like when he creates the fictitious "Florida Stanley" to get chosen for a trip to Florida or when he yells at Ryan for chasing a younger girl. Angela has some of the funniest moments in the show with her obvious sass and lack of regard for others, especially Phyllis and Kevin. Speaking of Phyllis, she also has her moments where she throws some serious shade. Lets face it; Seinfeld is a classic with spurts of comedy in the protagonist's girlfriends and Kramer's antics, but take away the main characters and it is left at an above average sitcom at best.
The Office is a more funny show than Seinfeld, especially (or maybe exclusively) in it's first 7 seasons.
Wylted

Con

1. The office is funny, and I wonder why. Hold on, I know the answer to this. Oh that's right because they steal jokes from Seinfeld

Check out that first clip. We can clearly see that Seinfeld does the joke better as well and there is no cut scene to explain it to the audience. Unlike the office, Seinfeld does not assume it's fans are stupid.

2. Seinfeld is a show about nothing, it can literally make anything funny while the office relies on putting their characters in many different odd situations. It is a completely character drivenshow with complex plots, while the office is one liners and situational humor.

3. One thing that puts Seinfeld out of reach of the Office is the obscure humor that somehow everybody can relate to. The jokes are very specific and at first glance, they are way out there, and yet there is something very familiar about them. For example the episode where George leaves a series of embarrassing messages on a new girlfriend's answering machine. Or when Jerry and Elaine get stuck at a stranger's party on Long Island. These are instances that may not have happened to you, but I think we can imagine ourselves in those situations. It is a different and unique type of humor than the usual banter between spouses or siblings that most sitcoms use.

4. Funny is a very subjective thing. In order to find out what show is funnier we can't look at our own preferances but the overall general preferances of society. A 60 minutes poll found that Seinfeld was the funniest show of all time. Just based on preferances alone and guaging the average level of funny people find it, we can know that Seinfeld is the funniest show of all time, even over the office.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

5. We all know that comedy much of the time is highly reliant on timing. Many kids now days have never seen Seinfeld in it's original form. They had jokes that would keep you laughing for days, but now days they have sped it up by 9 seconds to fit in more commercials. Even with most people watching it sped up 22% of people called it the fnniest sitcom of all time, had it been in it's original for it would be 40% of the population. Watch the second video to see what this speed thing is all about.

6. Even the fans that loved The Office now hate it, while Seinfeld never had a bad season. They hate the show because the funny stuff has been taken out. The things they used to love about the show. Here is one list I found explaining why the office sucks now.

1. Jim and Pam are Together now



People loved it best when Jim and Pam were dancing around each other nervously, hoping for a chance at romance. Now, they’re a happy couple with a perfect life that nobody can relate to. They have hardly fought and simply make us feel bad about our own relationships

2. Nobody hates Michael anymore


Back in the earlier seasons, people in the office were not friends with Michael. In fact, they couldn’t stand him. Inviting him out for happy hour would have been the last thing they would do. Nobody would have wanted to give him relationship advice. Since Dunder Mifflin was bought by Sabre, Michael and his employees have gotten closer, which actually ruins the previously hilarious hatred between the two

3. It’s no longer realistic


When Michael spanked Luke in the season premiere, it wasn’t that funny. It wasn’t funny because it wasn’t anything that would ever really happen. Michael’s comedy is based around realistic awkwardness, not slapstick humor. Over-the-top events like that are not funny and just stupid

4. Erin is too upbeat



The new receptionist is always in a good mood, which destroys the previously morbid and pessimistic vibe of The Office. She is unrealistically silly, and her happiness makes the show less funny

5. Jim seems to enjoy his job


Now that Jim has a family, he is no longer apathetic and lazy about his job, which was part of what made his character funny. However, if he were to act that way, you wouldn’t like him because he would be immature and careless about his child. Hence why having the baby was a bad idea

6. Not enough Stanley or Phyllis


Stanley and Phyllis’s characters haven’t changed, which means they’re still funny. But unfortunately they’re hardly ever used. Instead, Dwight and Andy are overused and in a way their characters “sold out

7. Ryan is no longer “the temp”



When Ryan was the careless and perpetually grumpy temp, he was funny. Now, he’s upbeat and hipstery. It’s a total 180 for his character and frankly it’s a bit disturbing, even though it makes sense within the plot of the show

8. The episodes no longer revolve around mundane things



Some of the best episodes of The Office had the most boring subjects– healthcare, diversity day, conflict resolution–boring office topics. Now, Michael’s extramarital affair, printers catching on fire–it’s just too much. Keep it simple.

9. Michael is no longer offensive


Debate Round No. 2
Dwight_Schrute

Pro

Before I start my rebuttal, I would also like to state that a major difference between the two shows is that The Office can utilize its humor across several different platforms and subjects, while the mundane style of Seinfeld lacks this touch. The Office's themes of love, political correctness, relationships, and others are given in a witty and irreverent style that Seinfeld simply can't match.

First of All, this debate is about which one is funniest; whomever did the joke first is of little consequence. I would argue that the office delivered the bit much more hilariously due to several different reasons. Firstly, the Office uses contrasts between Michael's reaction and the rest of the crew to highlight his stupidity. Also, his lack of understanding is further developed in the cutscene where he can explain it. Seinfeld does assume it's fans are stupid, as I said in my first argument, by putting in a laugh track telling the audience when to laugh.
2. I already acknowledged that the day-to-day operations of Seinfeld are pretty funny, but the lack of progression makes it pretty boring after a few episodes. The small scale situations of Seinfeld doesn't make it any better than the office, as the office has both those types of situations (ex. Not wanting to do work during office time) and large scale, odd situations (like Dwight's strange obsession with beet farms and knowledge of bears).
3. "One thing that puts Seinfeld out of reach of the Office is the obscure humor that somehow everybody can relate to...
These are instances that may not have happened to you, but I think we can imagine ourselves in those situations."
Some things in Seinfeld have the sort of relatability, but others do not. Neither of the examples are anything that I feel "is relatable". This argument is not valid because any person could imagine themselves in a situation, that doesn't make it relatable.
4. Mass opinion certainly does not determine humour. I could find a vast amount of people that think its funny when people are beaten to death, that doesn't make it funny. Besides, the poll that you are referring to is inaccurate because it simply takes the opinion of those people who chose to vote on it, which means they are most likely fans of the show.
5. The timing of a joke is important, but using timing as an argument in a "who's funnier?" competition is pretty weak. The timing didn't make much of a difference and the amount of time elapsed in the video that you showed certainly wasn't nine seconds.
6. I'll be the first to admit, the Office season nine was weak and the laughs were too few. But the eighth season was cool and the 1-7 seasons were downright hilarious. The lack in production for the final season didn't take away from the show's overall funniness. It is also important to note that the Seinfeld series had its fair share of boring seasons and moments as well, though they seemed to come earlier in the show rather than later (http://collider.com...). Many critics and fans of the show ranked seasons 1 and 2 as the worst (http://www.ranker.com...).

Regarding the "funny stuff taken out", I will attempt to prove that these changes make the show just as funny as before.
(Note: don't think that I didn't notice that you copied and pasted this entire argument from a buzzfeed article without citing it in your sources.)
1. Jim and Pam's relationship opens up a whole new area for comedy as we get more opportunities to see humor. Michael constantly asks with surprise "you guys are still dating?" even after Jim and Pam are engaged. The whole office seems to regard the couple without any seriousness. It's also very clear that you did not watch the final two seasons because they clearly had several big arguments and stated how they did not have a "fairy tale romance." In fact, they were very close to separating and grew very far from each other.
2. Nobody was really supposed to hate Michael, they just disapproved of him. They have grown closer to Michael, just as we are supposed to have, but that doesn't reduce the humor quality.
3. The season premiere was one of the less funny moments because of it's unrealistic nature. It was probably made just to have the hilarious sequence of counseling between Michael and Toby. However, this sequence should not downplay the entire humour of the show.
4. Erin's upbeat, almost stupid mood increases the vibe of the office because she constantly is in a contrast with the negatives such as Stanley and Angela.
5. Jim's apathy and disregard and laziness for the job didn't really affect the overall hilarity of the show, except when he is being disciplined by Charles or Ryan.
6. Stanley and Phyllis get more screen time, not less.
7. Ryan's ridiculous change is more funny because the new role he serves gives more opportunities for the Ryan-Michael relationship to grow.
8. Already addressed.
9. I ran out of characters.
Wylted

Con

I am at a bit of a disadvantage. I have never seen an episode of the office. This means I am just going to drop every argument with the exception of humor being subjective argument. If that argument loses, I probably lost the debate anyway. If the argument won, than the rest of the arguments don't matter, whether I won them or not, because the rest of the arguments focus on logic as opposed to subjectiveness.

I want the judges to know I did not plagiarize, before I copied and pasted that list, I clearly stated I was copying it from my source, unfortunately my source got cut off at the bottom, but I clearly stated it was a copy pasta. Here is a summary of the relevant arguments so far.

Con:

P1-Humor is subjective.
A plainly obvious truism, people laugh at different things.

P2- More people find Seinfeld funny
A 60 minute poll determined more people find Seinfeld funny. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...

C1- Seinfeld is more funny.
The conclusion naturally comes from the premises I have provided.


So now we can merely look at the counter arguments by pro, or to see if my premises are knocked down. If his counter arguments work I lose the debate. If he undermines my premises, than he wins.

Attacks on P1, humor is subjective

Pro says: "Mass opinion certainly does not determine humour. I could find a vast amount of people that think its funny when people are beaten to death, that doesn't make it funny."

The statement that humor is subjective is plainly obvious by the fact that we laugh at different jokes. My opponent has made the assertion that because a joke is inappropriate, or finding a situation inappropriate is wrong, that it means it is not funny. However if a person laughs at somebody getting beaten to death they subjectively find it funny. I find it rather odd that my opponent would challenge whether humor is subjective or not.

The reason we don't find Charlie Chaplin as funny as our grandparent's did is because we live in a different time, a different culture that finds different things funny. I thought Happy Gilmore was funny as a kid, it is likely because society has changed so much, my child will find Happy Gilmore to suck.

SInce the defacto belief is that funny is subjective, the burden is on my opponent to show me it is not. Perhaps he can show me the pefect formula for funny, and show me how it crosses cultural lines and periods. Maybe he can show me a scientific study that proves humor is objective, but until then my assertion that it is subjective is proven every time You laugh at something the person next to you doesn't, or every time the person next to you laughs but you don't get how the joke was funny.

Attacks on P2, More people find Seinfeld funny

Pro says:"Besides, the poll that you are referring to is inaccurate because it simply takes the opinion of those people who chose to vote on it, which means they are most likely fans of the show."

The polls accuracy is not tainted because not everybody voted on it. Polls by their very nature cannot be given to every person on the planet, unless my opponent can give good reason to suspect that fans of "The Office" are less likely to vote on the poll, than we have to assume that the poll is an accurate representation of the general public. Here was how the poll was conducted according to Vanity Fair.

"This poll was conducted at the CBS News interviewing facility among a random sample of 1,132 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones." http://www.cbsnews.com...

I see no reason to think that the poll was biased towards Seinfeld fans or against fans of "The Office". It was a good mix of land line and cell phones, so the age demographic was likely represented well. It had a large sampling size, and seeing as how the numbers were randomly selected, it probably had no racial bias or gender based bias.

Conclusion

I understand the burden of proof is shifted onto me, now that I have dropped every argument but the main one, but if the main one stands I have won the debate, if it falls I have lost. My opponent has challenged the premise that humor is subjective, but we all instinctively know this is untrue, because we often do not laugh atthings we wee other people laughing at, or we laugh at things nobody else finds funny. If my opponent wants to say that humor is objective, the burden of proof is on him to prove it, as is any assertion people make that defies a widely accepted belief or something that is plainly obvious.

His 2nd rebuttal that the poll is biased is unfounded. It's a bare assertion, and he even states he only finds it biased because he disagrees with the conclusion. However disagreeing with the conclusion of a poll is not enough to prove it is biased. It only proves that you don't share the opinion of the respondants.

Easy vote. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
Dwight_Schrute

Pro

Humor is subjective to a certain point, as different people find different things funny. For example if I laugh at something that someone else doesn't than I may have a different taste. However there are certain guidelines to determine what is funny. How else would we determine what is comedy and what isn't. SAW clearly isn't funny but that doesn't mean that someone won't laugh. Some guidelines for comedy may be found here:
"The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept." https://en.m.wikipedia.org...
The incongruity theory says that funniness is caused by the realization that what you thought is true for a situation is actually different from what is true in the situation. The office best exemplifies this because of the ridiculous nature of it's characters and the seemingly normal situations where you'd expect combined with wacky occurrences and dialogue. Seinfeld has some moments like these, but their lessened with outdated laugh tacks and stale situations. As I have proved the office is funnier in almost every respect.

My opponent claimed that since more people thought that Seinfeld was funny, it is therefore more humorous. This is not true. First of all my opponent uses only one poll to prove his point ( and he can't introduce new polls late in the round because I can no longer debate them. The poll that he uses is actually not reliable because of a couple of reasons: The percentage that Seinfeld won with is within the margin of error (only one by 1%) and because THE OFFICE wasn't in the poll. How were fans of the office supposed to win if their choices were limited to old white people shows. I would have voted for the office had those been my only choices too (cheers, friends, etc.) So just to recap, we can't be sure if Seinfeld won and the office wasn't even on the poll. So that poll is now irrelevant and P2 of their argument collapses, bringing down p3. So to lay it out to the voters:
Humor is subjective to a point, but Seinfeld falls to The office in the non subjective parts as well as the subjective parts
Since my opponent's poll does not cover the data that we are discussing, it is deemed irrelevant
No record exists in this debate that proves a majority consensus thinks one show is funnier than another.
I have proved that the office is funnier, my opponent has relinquished my arguments.
Vote for pro, I clearly and decisively won this debate as I proved the resolution better than my opponent could nullify;
The office is funnier than Seinfeld.
Wylted

Con

Okey dokey. Well my opponent has brought up some new arguments in the final round, stuff that should have been brought up ealier to give me a fair chance. This should be a conduct point in my favor. Even if you think I lost, I still earned that conduct point.

It is common practice to disregard new arguments in the final round. I should win for the reasons stated in the last round, because only new arguments came about. My opponent even realizes new arguments in the final round are unacceptable because he states the following: "he can't introduce new polls late in the round because I can no longer debate them"

Don't let him get away with new arguments because he made it clear he would not let me get away with them.
Here are the new arguments that should be ignored.

1. The incongruity theory

2. The percentage that Seinfeld won with is within the margin of error (only one by 1%)

3. THE OFFICE wasn't in the poll

These 3 arguments are new and should be completely ignored.

Let's rehash my argument to see if Pro ever comes close to disproving it.

P1-Humor is subjective.
A plainly obvious truism, people laugh at different things.

P2- More people find Seinfeld funny
A 60 minute poll determined more people find Seinfeld funny.

C1- Seinfeld is more funny.
The conclusion naturally comes from the premises I have provided.

My opponent never challenges that the conclusion follows from the premises. Most of his arguments should also not be counted, though I may touch on them. He is relying completely on toppling over my premises. Something he fails to do. My opponent also drops my argument that proving this argument true means I have affirmed the resolution in my favor. Since he accepts that, me winning this argument, should give me the win. The only question is, do I do it. I'll spoil this for you. I do. Let's examine thesepremises and his responses in a clear way.

P1-Humor is subjective.

Pro says: "The incongruity theory states that humor is perceived at the moment of realization of incongruity between a concept involved in a certain situation and the real objects thought to be in some relation to the concept."

We have already discussed how this is a new argument and should be ignored, but what does his statement mean? Well incongruity simply means expecting something different than you see. This is not an argument for humor being objective. Both Seinfeld and The Office has incongruity. So how do we decide which incongruity is superior? Pro does not tell us how. The theory is just nonsense anyway. We see incongruity in the Saw films and nobody laughs, we see it in M. Night Shamalon films, and yet they are not funny. Pro also just simply states the theory and gives us no reason to believe it. he linked to an article with 20 disagreeing humor theories and just picked one out of a hat.

P2- More people find Seinfeld funny

Pro says: "The percentage that Seinfeld won with is within the margin of error (only one by 1%) and because THE OFFICE wasn't in the poll."

My opponent is wrong on a few points here. Let's take his word that the margin of error in the poll is just 1%. Seinfeld still got 22% of the vote. The Honeymooners got 20% of the vote. The difference is greater than 1%. Even if it wasn't The office ranks so low it was not even mentioned. http://www.cbsnews.com...;

The question asked was "what is the greatest sitcom of all time"?. It was an open ended question. People could pick any comedy they wanted, they just didn't think the office was funny, so they left it out.

C1- Seinfeld is more funny.

My arguments were not that good, which is why I dropped most of them, but the only argument needed to win (A point pro did not contest) was proven. Even without the voters disregarding the new arguments (And they should). P1 is proven, it is the default belief system and I gave reasons to believe it besides that. My opponent, just offerred a theory on humor from the 1700s, without saying why we should accept it. We have as much reason to accept it as the numerous others on the article he cied, which is none. Hell even if his theory is accepted, both shows have a lot of instances of incongruity, and the only way to tell the difference in quality would be subjective, and he atleast admits that humor is somewhat subjective when he said:"Humor is subjective to a certain point, as different people find different things funny. For example if I laugh at something that someone else doesn't than I may have a different taste."

He even goes on to mention the movie Saw is not funny, though it became so popular because of the incongruities. Nobody knew what to expect next. He shows his theory to be garbage in the same paragraph he offers it.

He says that The Office is not offered on he poll, but it was an open poll, nor was Seinfeld. He says that 1% is the margin of error on the poll, but Seinfeld is ahead by more than 1%.

Anyway, read my last 2 rounds. I should not have won, but I obviously did.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Dwight_Schrute 1 year ago
Dwight_Schrute
Yeah, I know the types of comedy are different, but in the end, it's the one that makes you laugh the most. I agree with you, I think the US one is WAY funnier, but I still don't want to do a debate against it because that would be boring.
Posted by TheWorldIsComplicated 1 year ago
TheWorldIsComplicated
It's two different types of comedy. I honestly find the U.S. version way funnier than the British version. Steve Carell is incredibly funny alone with Jim and Dwight. Michael (Steve) acts like a big baby, in a very funny way.
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