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the horror

American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy claims to 'create' comedy-horror, a genre that has existed for almost 100 years

American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy is doubling down on the horror genre with his next TV series: Scream Queens, which will premiere on Fox next fall.

According to a press release, Scream Queens will take place on a college campus beset by a string of murders. "I knew I wanted to work with [Brad Falchuck] and [Ian Brennan] again on something comedic, and we are having a blast writing Scream Queens," said Murphy. "We hope to create a whole new genre — comedy-horror."

Scream Queens might turn out to be great — but the idea that Murphy and his team are inventing a whole new genre is ludicrous. The comedy-horror's cinematic history extends all the way back to the early 1920s, and has since spanned hundreds of movies: early classics like Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and its sequels; 80s splatterfests like Evil Dead II and Re-Animator; and recent cult hits like Drag Me to Hell and The Cabin in The Woods. You could even argue that Ryan Murphy has made other horror-comedies; how else do you explain the campy excesses of American Horror Story: Coven?

In short, Murphy's claim to "creating" the comedy-horror is like Columbus' claim to "discovering" America; he's welcome to stick a flag in it, but plenty of people were there before he was.