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Michael V. Tueth


Michael Tueth


33 West 60th Street, Room 212


PhD, New York University

Biography and Research Interests

He has performed leading roles in numerous productions of comedies by Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Moliere, Thornton Wilder, and others. He also taught courses in Irish literature and culture.

From 1987 to 1994, Tueth served as executive director of a Jesuit radio and television production center in Saint Louis, the Sacred Heart Program, where he produced, directed, and hosted nationally syndicated radio and television programs, most notably the Sunday morning religious magazine program, The Jesuit Journal.

He currently contributes film and book reviews to America, the weekly journal of opinion published by the Jesuits ( His book, Laughter in the Living Room: Television Comedy and the American Home Audience (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2005), combines his interests in comedy, the mass media, and the American family experience. His latest publication, Reeling with Laughter, studies American film comedy, concentrating on specific sub-genres in the field from the anarchy of The Marx Brothers to examples of mockumentaries and animated comedies. Someday he hopes to complete and publish his account of the burial places of American authors, which so far has elicited minimal enthusiasm from publishers. Go figure!

Michael Tueth’s teaching and research have moved from a broad interest in American studies, particularly American literature and theater, towards a focus on comedy in film and television, along with special attention to the operation of the family ideal in American culture. His doctoral dissertation, entitled The Image of the Family in Popular American Theater: 1945-1960, documented and analyzed the function of popular theater as the only mass medium at that time to challenge the myth of the family through the popularity of the works of Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, William Inge and other successful playwrights of the immediate post-war period, presaging the youth revolt of 1960s America. Meanwhile, he developed an interest in comic theory, teaching courses in comic literature from Greek theater to contemporary American filmmakers and lecturing on the connection between religion and humor.

Recent Publications

“Reeling with Laughter: American Film Comedies from Anarchy to Mockumentary, ” Lanham, MD: The Scarecrow Press, 2012.

“Albee’s St. George and the Dragon,” Santa Clara Magazine, Summer, 1984.
“To Serve God Wittily—Humour in Discernment,” The Way, July, 1991.

“Fun City: TV’s Urban Situation Comedies of the 1990s,” Journal of Popular Film and Television, Volume 28 Number 3, Fall 2000.

“Back to the Drawing Board: The Family in Animated Television Comedy,” Carol A. Stabile and Mark Harrison (ed.)Prime Time Animation. London and New York: Routledge, 2003, pp. 133-146.

Laughter in the Living Room: Television Comedy and the American Home Audience. New York: Peter Lang Publishers, 2005.

“Breaking and Entering: Transgressive Comedy on Television,” Mary M. Dalton and Laura R. Linder (ed.) The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2005.

Courses Taught

  • Television and Society

  • History of Film: 1945-present

  • Ethical Issues in the Media

  • Introduction to Communication and Media Studies

  • Television Comedy and American Values

  • American Film Comedy

  • Films of Moral Struggle