Sometimes called scumbag comedy, a dirtbag comedy is a name given by TV critics to sitcoms that feature a disadvantaged or morally bankrupt cast of characters trying to solve its problems with limited coping skills and an indifference, sometimes depraved, to socially acceptable norms. To qualify, a dirtbag comedy must transcend a "mere" dysfunctional family comedy like EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND or THE SIMPSONS and show human behavior at its worst or close to worst, a kind of naturalism played for comedic effect. Many critics consider MY NAME IS EARL to be the forerunner of true dirtbag comedies like IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA or CALL ME FITZ. Because dirtbag comedies traditionally push the envelope of acceptable language or sexuality, most of them are made for cable-TV networks rather than the legacy broadcast networks.
"So is CALL ME FITZ a dirtbag comedy?"

"Sure it is! They may not be all that poor, but their behavior is outrageous and the kids were treated badly growing up."

"I'm afraid America may be losing its lead in the dirtbag comedy genre to Canada, of all places."
by al-in-chgo January 17, 2014

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