“I don’t judge comedies by contemporary standards (i.e., you can do or say any finger-up-your-arse, simian-impulse thing that comes to mind and if it sticks to the wall, no matter how coarse or fuck-all flatulent or phlegmy, it’s funny) but by classic Billy Wilder standards, which is that it has to be carefully and honestly and realistically written according to the laws of commonly-perceived human behavior, and it has to hold water in terms of plot and motivation and character in the same way that any dead-straight drama (Death of a Salesman, A Lie of the Mind, A Moon for the Misbegotten) has to hold water.
“You can’t throw out the rule book because you’re making a ‘comedy.’ Comedies aren’t about escapes and time-outs — they’re about looking inward. Comedies aren’t that different from dramas — they’re just pitched differently and sprinkled with a kind of dust — and are much, much tougher to write and perform. Comedies need to be just as much about what people are facing in life — how they’re coping with loneliness and ambition and financial pressure and growing-up issues — as stage plays or dramas. They have to be real. They’re not excuses to light farts and flamboyantly goof off and just…whatever, go anywhere or try anything. — from a two-year-old HE review of Horrible Bosses.