America’s Funniest Home Videos: Family Unity through Laughter and Bliss

Proceedings of The 2nd World Conference on Media and Communication

Year: 2022



America’s Funniest Home Videos: Family Unity through Laughter and Bliss

Yixuan Ma



Since its debut in 1989, the television shows America’s Funniest Home Videos (AFHV), featuring humorous home video footage of domestic activities submitted by viewers, has demonstrated enormous popularity across the United States and continues to enjoy widespread popularity today. It turned out to be a phenomenal TV program that fostered Americans’ passion for watching and producing home videos. However, what is known about the cultural influence of the AFHV on family relationships is still in its early stages of investigation. By examining the form and content of the AFHV series from 1989 to 1990 through the qualitative lens, this study identifies that the family scenes in the show generate physical togetherness and emotional resonance amongst the viewers’ family members. The study also reveals that the show encourages the materialization of authentic familial memory amongst its viewer-producers through the home videomaking process. In addition, according to the findings of the study, it demonstrates that the AFHV builds intergenerational familial cohesion and satisfaction through collaborative pre-arranged production. As a result, the television show contributes to strengthening relationships among family members and promotes a culture of family unity through laughter and bliss.

keywords: familial relationship, home videomaking, media culture, television show, television studies.