A well-known saying you may have heard about writing is “write what you know.” Well, a lot of writers, producers, and comedians have used this phrase and brought exactly what they know and what they have experienced to the small screen.
There are numerous sitcoms out there that you probably thought were based on pure fiction and imagination. But many award-winning shows have story lines based on people’s very real experiences. So which shows are actually autobiographical? These six shows are about very funny people who aren’t afraid to take their real life stories and show them to the world.
1. 30 Rock
This hilarious show follows Tina Fey playing Liz Lemon, the head writer of a live show called The Girly Show. She is also being mentored by a higher up named Jack Donaghy, who is played by Alec Baldwin. Tina Fey is actually the creator of the show, which is based off her time at Saturday Night Live (SNL). The Jack Donaghy character is based on Lorne Michaels, who is the producer of SNL and the executive producer on 30 Rock. Besides the characters, some of the outrageous stories also come from things Tina Fey witnessed during her time at SNL.
In one episode, Liz Lemon discovered that one of the writers was peeing in bottles in his office and letting them sit in the sun. Fey actually talked about this being a thing at SNL. “There is an actual difference between men and women comedy writers, and I’m going to reveal it now. The men urinate in cups. And sometimes jars,” she said according to The Wrap.
2. The Goldbergs
This sitcom is about a family during the ’80s and is narrated by little Adam, who loves recording everything with his huge video camera. That character is based on the show’s creator, Adam F. Goldberg. The show is inspired by his actual family, except Goldberg had two older brothers in real life. Other than that, Goldberg did an excellent job with casting — just look at the online comparisons of his real family to the TV one. A lot of the show’s moments and story lines are based off of real things that happened to the family, and sometimes the real recorded moments are even shown at the end of the episodes!
The comedian plays himself on this TV show in which he sometimes does stand up — just like Seinfeld once did. The show also shows him divorced, living in New York raising two young girls, very much like his real life. In an interview with The New York Post, he called the show “autobiographical fiction” then went on to say “I am definitely a more dumb version of myself [on the show]. Dumber and funnier.” Of course, many of the story lines are exaggerated.
4. Everybody Hates Chris
Chris Rock shows audiences what it was like for him growing up during 1978 to 1984 in Brooklyn with this sitcom. The comedian narrated the show while being played by Tyler James Williams. His father played by Terry Crews is comically cheap and his mother played by Tichina Arnold is very short tempered.
The comedian didn’t continue the show for the sake of making money. In fact he ended it after four seasons despite it being picked up for a fifth because of his life story. “Chris Rock didn’t graduate high school and started comedy when he was, like, 17 years old,” explained Terry Crews, according to Bossip. “Our Chris (Tyler James Williams) is now a sophomore in high school, so the timing is lining up pretty well. Once he becomes a comedian, the show’s over.”
This iconic show had Jerry Seinfeld playing himself. Sometimes he would be doing some of his stand up, but most of the time it showed him getting into funny situations with his friends Elaine, Kramer, and George. Most of these situations had to do with dating in New York. The plot lines was not only based on his own life, but writer, Larry David’s life as well. Hilarious episodes such as “The Revenge” is taken from the writer’s life from the time he worked at Saturday Night Live.
6. All-American Girl
The short-lived show had comedian, Margaret Cho playing a version of herself interacting with her family. Her character often clashed against her traditional Korean parents, and a lot of the comedy was based on things she had previously talked about in her stand up.
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