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10 Times Actors Broke Character On Old Sitcoms | ScreenRant

Comedy is difficult for numerous reasons, and sitcoms are no exception. Actors are frequently required to stay in character, all while holding back a natural reaction to something humorous. That urge to laugh is a major challenge for an actor, and it can sometimes prove to be too much to resist.

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Character breaks almost always end up on a series' DVD blooper reel. Sometimes, however, that natural reaction ends up being screened on televisions across the country. The magic of editing can make sitcom gaffes less noticeable than the character breaks that occur on sketch comedy shows like Saturday Night Live. Even still, spotting an actor's break is both humanizing and a treat for the audience.

10 The Carol Burnett Show (Harvey Korman)

The long-running sketch comedy pioneer The Carol Burnett Show was notorious for one actor in particular breaking on camera. Harvey Korman (who also starred in Blazing Saddles) would keel over laughing on camera, typically at the antics of Tim Conway.

The examples of Korman breaking are numerous throughout his time on the show. Conway told Conan O'Brien that, one time, he even made Korman pee his pants laughing on camera.

9 The Drew Carey Show (Drew Carey)

Drew Carey occasionally broke out laughing during his eponymous sitcom. Generally, this happened when one of his costars would improvise while delivering a line. This primarily came courtesy of Ryan Stiles, who Drew Carey Show trivia buffs know went on to work with Carey again in Whose Line is it Anyway?

Carey's breaking occurred far less frequently in his sitcom than in the aforementioned panel show (where his breaking was essentially part of the point). However, it's easy to see why he continued his work with Stiles.

8 That '70s Show (Mila Kunis & Laura Prepon)

That '70s Show was one of those sitcoms that created a family out of coworkers. Just about every episode features a cast member standing in the background stifling laughter. Two of the cast members are especially guilty: Mila Kunis and Laura Prepon.

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While most television series wouldn't be able to get away with such rampant character breaking, That '70s Show actually benefits from it. These characters feel like genuine friends, and the organic laughter only serves to strengthen the illusion.

7 Seinfeld (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)

Behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Seinfeld reveals that of all the actors, usually to the annoyance of Michael Richards, Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke character the most. Louis-Dreyfus didn't just break sometimes, she broke constantly, and occasionally it slipped into the show. For instance, in the episode "The Little Kicks," she can be seen cracking a genuine smile while performing her bizarre dance.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus wasn't alone in breaking on Seinfeld, but she took the lion's share. Jason Alexander and Jerry Seinfeld would break intermittently while Michael Richards actively stayed in character and became angry with others when they failed to do the same. Overall, though, it appears Louis-Dreyfus' laughter was a running gag on Seinfeld in and of itself.

6 30 Rock (The Live Shows)

Both season five and season six of 30 Rock both changed the format by shooting in front of a live studio audience. This was done much in the vein of the show 30 Rock is parodying: Saturday Night Live. However, they still kept 30 Rock's penchant for running gags and off-the-wall humor.

There are various line flubs throughout the two episodes, but they're mostly par for the course when it comes to live television and not too noticeable. However, at one point in the season five episode "Live Show," Alec Baldwin noticeably loses his place mid-sentence.

5 3rd Rock From The Sun (Jane Curtin)

John Lithgow's tight pants brought SNL-alum Jane Curtin to tears on camera in this 90s sitcom. Curtin plays Dr. Mary Albright, essentially playing the foil to the surrounding characters' irregular behavior.

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When her character's love interest, alien Dick Solomon, puts on particularly tight pants, he has a hard time getting up from his desk. Curtin doesn't break until he's out of the room, doing a dramatic and awkward spin.

4 Friends (Jennifer Aniston)

On Friends, when David Schwimmer's Ross plays the keyboard for the remainder of the group, Aniston's Rachel begins cracking up almost immediately. As the song proceeds, Aniston covers her face but her break just becomes increasingly obvious. She struggles to deliver her next line without an infectious chuckle and the scene is arguably better for it.

The cast of Friends was notoriously close throughout production, so them tickling one another's funny bones isn't of great surprise. There were many slips that made it through to the final cut throughout this series' long run, but Aniston's break is the most memorable. This results in one of Friends' funniest scenes.

3 Arrested Development (Everyone At David Cross)

David Cross' character on Arrested Development is a Nevernude. In one episode, he breaks his mostly made-up condition and parades himself in front of the cast, bearing all. Arrested Development was another show where the cast felt like more of a family than anything else, and that's never more apparent than in this scene.

Everyone present (save for Cross) seems to be stifling laughter to a certain extent. It's Portia De Rossi, though, who just about breaks. She holds her attention on a bowl of cereal, obviously concentrating on the prop in an effort to avoid laughing on camera.

2 Parks And Recreation (Adam Scott)

During the season five episode "Pawnee Commons," some Eagleton Government employees visit the Parks Department to show a model for a new Pawnee park. It ends up being extremely insulting, and the shot mostly stays on Leslie (Amy Poehler) and Ben (Adam Scott) for reaction.

Scott is wavering when the model is unveiled. Then, when Poehler begins delivering her line in a growl, he begins to break. The shot is even then zoomed in a bit, capturing his grin. Scott is then saved when the camera adjusts to the left, focusing on Poehler.

1 The Office (Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling & BJ Novak)

During The Office season six's holiday episode, Michael is in steep competition with Phyllis for the title of Santa. Phyllis rejects officemate Kevin because he'd be too heavy. When Michael offers his lap, Kevin flops himself down, resulting in blatant, genuine struggle from Steve Carell.

With Carell's grunts, Ed Helms walks off-camera while Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak can be seen chuckling. The focus is very much geared towards Kevin and Michael, so it's blink-and-you-miss-it, but the authenticity of these actors' reactions is hysterical.

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