Top 15 The rise and triumph of cringe comedy

Heading 1

Heading 3

Bidding farewell to the likeable protagonist: For years, big networks required a likeable protagonist (think 'I Love Lucy.

Flipping moral tales: Many times in cringe comedy, the unlikeable protagonist does not suffer any consequences.

Actors aren't all picture perfect: Unlike sitcoms in the style of 'Friends,' cringe comedy introduced and celebrated.

No more laugh tracks: Instead of following jokes with canned or audience laughter, cringe comedy relies upon the characters.

Single-camera, reality TV style: Instead of the old sitcom standard of three cameras and a live audience, cringe comedy.

The Office' UK laid a lot of groundwork: Ricky Gervais and his co-creator Stephen Merchant are often credited.

They didn't know they were playing to a genre: On Brian Baumgartner's podcast 'An Oral History of The Office,' Gervais.

How it differed from the later US version: Ricky Gervais's character, David Brent, transformed the traditional idea.

Other British roots: The protagonist of 'I'm Alan Partridge' (which first aired in 1997), portrayed by Steve Coogan.

The jump to the US: For many viewers, the debut of the American version of 'The Office' (2005-2013) was their first exposure to cringe comedy.

The Office' was not an initial success with older viewers: The now world-famous show actually teetered on the brink of cancelation.

But they owe their success to other cringe comedies: Steve Carrell's role in cringe comedy film 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

The Larry Sanders Show' (1992-1998): Garry Shandling's HBO series is often considered the grandfather.

The Larry Sanders Show' influenced Brits too: Ricky Gervais has cited Sanders as a touchstone for two shows he create.

Freaks and Geeks' (1999): 'The Larry Sanders Show' also paved the way for writer/director Judd Apatow.

Click Here