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  • British Comedy

    So I was watching Monty Python's 'The Meaning of Life' the other day and I'm still rolling from when the grim reaper says the following...

    "Shut up, you American. You Americans, all you do is talk, and talk, and say 'Let me tell you something' and 'I just wanna say.' Well, you're dead now, so shut up."

    LOL

    After watching the Python's, Fawlty Towers, The Young Ones, etc...it makes me wonder, what's wrong with American comedy? It just doesn't come close.

    I've tried watching 'The Holy Grail' with friends once and they all just sit there like a bunch of corpses. Why can't people understand it? Is it because Americans just have no taste or are stupid? I'm American and in my opinion, nothing in America comes close to British comedy, nothing.

    What do you guys think?




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  • #2
    Re: British Comedy

    I have to agree entirly. Dry humor is just fun though.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: British Comedy

      I've always been a british comedy fan.

      Funny you brought this up, we were just tossing around lines from the Holy Grail at work. "Bring forth the holy hand grenade", is always a good laugh.

      That and the Book of Armaments.

      Growing up, Monty Python was a constant. My brother and I watched all the movies, all the episodes, and read the scripts.

      Fawlty Towers was no less funny, although the screeching did wear a bit towards the end.

      Watched the Young Ones on MTV, and that was WAY over the top. And damned funny as well.

      Black Adder, particularly the first two seasons, was also fave.

      I'm out of the loop now, as to what is good, but it always seemed to me that one some level, even in slapstick, British comedy is somehow more erudite. It's not just the situation that is funny, its also an opportunity to be clever. I don't think, for example, that the rapid fire double entendres of Ab Fab, or Hugh and Laurie would ever have come out the US.

      We specialize in Kevin James wandering around and gaping at things, or Ray Romano whining his way to riches. It's merely observation, without the cleverness. I wonder what Basil Fawlty would do to Marie (Ray's Mother in Law)....

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      • #4
        Re: British Comedy

        Inadvertantly burn the house down, Mateo.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: British Comedy

          Originally posted by AzzMan
          Inadvertantly burn the house down, Mateo.
          While insulting her in some way.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: British Comedy

            Likewise inadvertantly :P

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: British Comedy

              I think UK and US comedy definitely appeals to different senses of humour. I think you are right in saying that US comedy usually tries to display the humour in a situation, whereas UK comedy takes advantage of a funny situation to make more humour.

              The three real strong points of UK comedy is I feel slapstick, satire, and surreality. Usually a series would just concentrate on two of the three, but occasionally they do hit all three. Monty Python for example is high on slapstick and surreality, but Fawlty Towers also has satire in abundance.

              I also think a large success of British comedy is that it is very honest. Anyone who has seen the scene from Fawlty towers where the car breaks down, will sympathise with his actions. You get involved with the actions the characters take and you can empathise with them. Contrast this to a large number of American comedies (Ray Romano, Ellen, Seinfeld), where the main characters have this life where they mainly sit at home/in a shop doing largely nothing, passively commentating on humourous situations in the world around them.


              Unfortunately comedy over here in the UK has taken a muchly downward turn of late (in my opinion), and there's not much around that is really that funny at the moment. The only thing on that I watch at the moment is The Mighty Boosh (definitely sureal and slapstick). From the US side of things the series I enjoyed most recently was Joey.

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              • #8
                Re: British Comedy

                I think some american comedies, namely Scrubs, that arent just a bunch of mindless observational comedy jokes. I think this is why NBC is still treating scrubs like its whipping boy even though the show has been nominated for 4 Emmy's this fall.

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                • #9
                  Re: British Comedy

                  I think most people know about The Office, which is a really good Britcom that's more recent that some of those mentioned above. I know NBC did an American adaptation of this short-lived series and it seemed promising but I never see it on.

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                  • #10
                    Re: British Comedy

                    You want good dry humor, watch the movies Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore, and Napoleon Dynamite.

                    But yeah, the Holy Grail is great

                    "Tis but a mere flesh wound"
                    |CS:S Development Team|

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                    • #11
                      Re: British Comedy

                      American comedy applies to american society only. Some of it is very funny at given times, but very little of it is classic like Monty Python. The comedy in the US has mostly become imitation and insult.

                      We have our lot of good comedy though.


                      - -

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                      • #12
                        Re: British Comedy

                        Originally posted by RandomGuy
                        I think most people know about The Office, which is a really good Britcom that's more recent that some of those mentioned above. I know NBC did an American adaptation of this short-lived series and it seemed promising but I never see it on.
                        Its slotted in before some new show about some hick guy on NBC. They stuck the hick guy show in Scrubs' slot until it flops, as most new sitcoms do.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: British Comedy

                          Personally, I love British humor. I think it is some of the best the world has to offer... Well at least with the Monty Python going on :D.

                          American comedy is funny but standup for me gets kinda old. Some are funny but some of those comedians make me want to just keel over and die.


                          - "Children in the back seat cause accidents, accidents in the back seat cause children."
                          - "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

                          ~ SephVal <--> TG-303rd Master Sergeant (MSG) <--> Distinguished Sniper - Class I


                          ~ COD4 Sniper <--> Owner of the Golden Dragunov

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                          • #14
                            Re: British Comedy

                            Overall, I think that the general American style of humor tends to lean toward taking things that are completely rediculous or that don't make sense and then blowing them out of proportion. Like Seinfeld with the "No soup for you!" episode. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that someone would be refused soup, but when you make a huge deal out of it the situation takes on a funny slant.

                            While I do find that kind of humor entertaining, I much prefer American shows along the lines of Scrubs and News Radio, where some of the most funny moments are subtly tossed in amidst the normal activity.
                            [squadl]
                            "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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                            • #15
                              Re: British Comedy

                              I cant get enough of scrubs, and I used to watch News Radio all the time. News Radio fits the sitcom label moreso than scrubs. Scrubs has had many episodes that touch on very serious issues while still maintaining the ingenious sense of humour that makes the show so damn funny. Its a mark of a good show when they can cover topics like the death of a family memeber (twice), cancer, and depression in such a way that they dont necessarily make lite of the subject, but show that there can be light even in the darkest of places.

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