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Sitcoms are an American institution. And, since they're so popular, writers try to duplicate past successes. That means certain types of characters are seen and seen again. They become tropes. The straight man, the best friend, the sarcastic wife, the idiot, the fall guy...they all have their place. But the over-the-top characters may be the most beloved. They're the scene-stealers that make us laugh most.