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Source: (consider it) Thread: No fun please we're British
Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
As Time Goes By is considered quite weak by most fellow UK folks I know; I can think of US comedies that are funnier - Big Bang Theory springs to mind.

Mr Bean is more appreciated abroad than at home, I think; Rowan Atkinson was far stronger in Black Adder IMV.

But then I may have a strange sense of humour [Biased]

As Tme Goes By is beautifully acted but stuck in that awful 1980's school of 'gentle comedy'.

Karl, if your SOH is strange, mine must be too, and I'm as English as James May.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Piglet:


Seriously though, D. and I were watching a 20-year-old episode of As Time Goes By last night, laughing our heads off, and he said, "why can't the Americans make anything as funny as that?"

Big Bang Theory, I Love Lucy, etc. they can and do.
quote:

I agree with Evensong that we're good at laughing at ourselves (and our politicians and leaders), and with Schroedinger's Cat that there's a subtlety to British humour that doesn't always export well.

Subtlety is a bit thinner on the ground in American comedy, overall. IMO. I think part of the issue might be expense. An American programme typically costs more, in both production and salary. More is at stake so fewer risks are taken. And whilst the UK is no more homogeneous than the U.S., there is more familiarity to the differences. The American approach is to paint broadly for fear the details will be unrecognised. And the British approach generally expects more understanding across sub-culture.
Not that either of these is entirely accurate.
ISRM, anyway.

[ 10. November 2014, 15:51: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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Schroedinger's cat

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I think the Mr Bean phenomenon is part of our humour - we can produce material that exports well, but that is not our best. It is definitively British, but not the best of ours.

Getting On, as mentioned above, only really works if you know the NHS, know how hard working most of the staff are, how cash-strapped it is, and how some of the consultants actually treat people. It is funny because it is true and recognisable.

Mr Bean, as a whole, is less recognisable. Nobody knows anyone like him. We know people with some of his traits, and that is where the humour comes - that part is international.

Blackadder worked best against an understanding of our history and how close to the truth the basic setting probably was. The insanity and incompetence of some of our past royalty is accurate. The unscupulousness of some of the staff is also, undoubtedly, accurate. It could have happened - not in detail, but in essence. In these, we are laughing at ourselves, because these are our ancestors.

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seekingsister
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
I sometimes think I was English in a previous life*, partly because I find English television, movies, books, etc., much funnier than anything in the U.S. Many of my friends also prefer English comedy.

I used to think the same, until I moved here. There is a lot of crap television, movies, etc. that doesn't get exported. The good stuff goes abroad and therefore skews the ratio.

I do think the British do comedy well in a global sense - no question about that - but there's lots of terrible stuff too. "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps," "Mrs Brown's Boys," "Miranda" (just to name a few recent ones) are NOT FUNNY.

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quetzalcoatl
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Well, they are to me and the missus.

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Laurelin
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I think 'Miranda' is funny. [Big Grin] Yes, it's obvious, cheesy humour, but there's nowt wrong with that once in a while [Biased] and I do like the way Hart sends up her own persona. [Smile] And it's often very funny: the episode where Miranda and her mum visit a psychiatrist was hilarious.

Funniest British comedy of all time: has to be 'Fawlty Towers'. A masterpiece.

Best of the classic old-time humour: Morecambe & Wise, hands down.

I used to turn my nose up at 'Keeping Up Appearances' but I have revised my opinion. Hyacinth Bucket is a comic work of genius: she's benignly monstrous. And I adore Patricia Routledge.

Who used to appear a lot on the Victoria Wood show. Victoria Wood is incredibly clever and very funny.

'Getting On' - savagely funny, so horribly funny and close to the truth it burned.

Anyone remember 'Nighty Night', with the brilliant Julia Davis? Man, that was dark, but brilliant.

I hated 'Little Britain'. Not funny. Meh.

Catherine Tate, OTOH, is freakin' hilarious.


My favourite US comedy, bar none, is the incomparable 'Frasier'. [Overused] A fabulous mixture of farce and ... well, complete and utter fabulousness. And I love the characters so much.

I have to confess that 'Friends' would make me laugh a lot, despite most of the characters being pretty annoying. [Biased] Chandler and Joey were the best, and Rachel could be very funny too.

I chuckle a lot at 'The Big Bang Theory', but most of all Sheldon. And Penny is great as the 'straight' one to everybody else's stupidity. [Razz]

'The Simpsons' - makes me laugh every time.

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Laurelin
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American writer Bill Bryson, in his very funny book about Britain - 'Notes from a Small Island', so funny it makes me cry laughing, and it's ALL TRUE! - says that the British are the happiest race on earth.


No, nobody believed him either. [Big Grin]


So he says: observe two Brits who are strangers who meet on a train, or at a bus-stop. Within a minute they will be smiling and laughing with each other. [Biased]

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Enoch
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I sometimes think people from elsewhere going on about our sense of humour is a bit like this ghastly little number from 1965. It's rather similar to the way my generation thought that if we smoked Gitanes and played François Hardy records, we'd be cool - and might pull more successfully.

Having got that off my chest, I feel there's a lot to be said for a bit of reserve. It must be better than this horror which has visited the Ship before. Particularly bizarre is the way it starts off with a spiel about 'honouring the Lord'.

Unfortunately, one of the things we suffer over here, is that being reserved, the wrong sort of preachers tell us that our inhibitions are a sin and that it's particularly good and honouring to God that we should do something silly, particularly if it will embarrass us and those round about us.

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Enoch
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Did anyone following this thread ever see a series broadcast about 10 years ago called The Book Group? It was about a young American woman who comes to live in Glasgow. It was written by a woman who had done something similar. Although some of the plot-lines were a bit bizarre, I thought it was excellent.

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deano
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I think that today the Americans are much better at sit-coms than us British. The Big Bang Theory is the best of them and I live it.

We seem to be better - again only my opinion - at the seemingly unscripted, edgier comedy of stand up, sketch or panel shows.

I wonder if it's because the US writers have to aim for a broader target audience that is not that tolerant of nastiness or "naughtiness", whereas in Britain we do tolerate those things, and even demand them.

Not that there is anything wrong with either approach. The only mortal sin in comedy is to not be funny.

I like both styles, but the last British sitcom that made me laugh was Benidorm, and even that should have finished after two or three series as it got very samey after then.

It didn't used to be that way of course and Britain's sitcoms used to be brilliant but that was in a golden age from the seventies to the nineties. Since then they have lost the plot, at least to me.

But that's okay as we have 8 out of 10 cats, Mock the Week etc, and stand up shows such as Live at the Apollo to take their place.

I'm not sure comedy, or what makes people laugh, is so easy to analyse. The pitch-black humour of a British soldier telling dits, or Frankie Boyle when he was on Mock the Week is light years away from The Big Bang Theory but both manage to make me laugh, whereas Mr Bean makes me want to carve interesting patterns into my genitalia with a blunt Swiss Army Knife, just to avoid watching him.

Other people will vary of course, and prefer physical, slapstick comedy. I detest it unless done very well, such as The Plank.

But in response to the OP, we British do "do" humour, and we do it very well. In fact Rolyn, the next time someone tells you that you don't know how to enjoy yourself, tell them you would laugh like a drain if they fell into a big pile of cow-shit!

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by deano:
seemingly unscripted

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

Yeah, right they're not.

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Paul.
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Not sure I buy in to the idea that there are national senses of humour. There are trends I suppose. But when I hear people lump Benny Hill together with Monty Python I can't help thinking that there's something more going on - a liking of accents? a mild exoticism of the very slightly foreign? Because any common thread those two have must be shared by a fair proportion of non-British humour too.
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deano
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by deano:
seemingly unscripted

[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

Yeah, right they're not.

Not too sure what your point is. Stand up and panel shows are quite tightly scripted, but the best ones hide the fact very well, thus making them appear unscripted.

Hence "seemingly" unscripted.

Can you expand on what you thought I was saying?

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L'organist
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I awoke this morning all ready for spontaneous fun (notwithstanding being kept awake by a thunderstorm for 4 hours) - until I looked out of the window.

Spontaneous fun can be quite hard to achieve/ get when you need to plan on the weather changing from bright, warm sunshine to freezing downpour in the space of 10 minutes.

Its not that we Brits don't want fun, just that we have to be prepared for whatever the sky hurls at us...

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Curiosity killed ...

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Most of the panel games I've seen recorded are very loosely scripted, if at all. And that includes Mock the Week, HIGNFY and Never Mind the Buzzcocks on TV, none of which had scripts on show, but could have been using the autocue, but I doubt it - the sheer horror on the competitor's face as they panic without an answer is usually edited out, as is quite a bit of the extra stuff being flannelled as answers are sought, and the uneven answering patterns of the panellists are edited into something that looks more evenly balanced.

The similar, and often original, radio panel games have no script other than for the panel chair, and no autocue either. (Dilemma, News Quiz, Quote Unquote, The Museum of Curiosity, The Write Stuff, the Manuscript). The one that is almost certainly heavily scripted is ISIHAC, but I've never seen that one recorded.

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Stetson
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Paul wrote:

quote:
But when I hear people lump Benny Hill together with Monty Python I can't help thinking that there's something more going on - a liking of accents? a mild exoticism of the very slightly foreign? Because any common thread those two have must be shared by a fair proportion of non-British humour too.


Yes, I've long been suspicious of people who go on about how much they love British comedy, and then talk about vatious shows as if they were interchangable.

Benny Hill(funny as it is) was basically just vaudevillian slapstick, with a bit of postcard TNA thrown in for the dirty old men. It's very "World War II Generation", imho, and would have gone down well with people who liked The Dean Martin Comedy Hour in the early 70s.

Python was clearly aimed at a boomer(or whatever you call them in the UK) audience, more openly anti-establishment and iconoclastic. And even then, it couldn't escape the tendency of youth-culture products to devolve into tacky pandering to shock-driven vulgarity.

I've mentioned this before, but Meaning Of Life was some pretty blatant pandering to the North American "Animal House" demographic. Even the purported social satire was mostly just flogging a few dead horses. Mad Magazine(very "World War II" in its general outlook) had been doing "Those Catholics have a lot of kids" jokes years before Python exhumed the theme.

[ 10. November 2014, 22:57: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Pomona
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Panel shows are definitely loosely scripted - if you go to a recording (tickets for HIGNFY are free by the way, but they understandably sell out quickly!) you'll see that the actual show goes on for much longer and is quite heavily edited down for TV, just due to all the tangents the panel go down. Seeing it live is really interesting btw, I would highly recommend it. When I went, when the host was filming the idents for BBC1 etc Paul Merton was telling knock-knock jokes [Big Grin]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Laurelin:
My favourite US comedy, bar none, is the incomparable 'Frasier'. [Overused] A fabulous mixture of farce and ... well, complete and utter fabulousness. And I love the characters so much.

I have to confess that 'Friends' would make me laugh a lot, despite most of the characters being pretty annoying. [Biased] Chandler and Joey were the best, and Rachel could be very funny too.

EM's first law of comedy: the more characters wave their arms and/or look sideways for laughs, the less funny it is. Sadly for me (EM), Frasier and Friends come into that definition - as does almost 100% of American produced comedy. Blurghhhh.

Blackadder on the other hand (not the first series) and Father Ted - that's another matter entirely. Father Jack is my role model and I love my breeze block (an original thinker me).

I should mention that I hated Rev - for me it reinforced all the stereotypical outsiders views of the church. (Perhaps that's how it is and I should get out more). It did nothing for me other than make me mad apart from Olivia Coleman as "Vivian" in the grocery shop - that's disturbing in other ways!

[ 11. November 2014, 06:08: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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betjemaniac
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quote:
The one that is almost certainly heavily scripted is ISIHAC, but I've never seen that one recorded.
Interestingly, I have seen it recorded, and it isn't really. However, that is almost certainly because virtually everyone on it has been going for so long that they're pulling out of the back of their mind flights of fancy that they *did* script in 1957.... So,yes, it is scripted, but they don't have scripts. Barry Cryer et al can do it in their sleep.

I would urge anyone with even a passing interest in ISIHAC to go and see it while they're still alive. It was an absolute riot. They started at 1900 and were still going near midnight, but with no retakes, do it agains or anything. They just had a go at pretty well every round you ever hear on the radio, then chose the best bits for broadcast - so you get what you'd never get together in any one episode, eg Swanny Kazoo *and* One song to the tune of another.

The evening ended with Barry Cryer conducting the audience (we were all given a kazoo on the way in) in a rousing chorus of We'll Meet Again....

Now *that's* British humour.

What was more surprising was that, in my early thirties, I was about the average age of the very full theatre - I had been a bit worried I'd be the youngest by a margin...

[code]

[ 11. November 2014, 08:17: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Eirenist
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What about Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister - the 'Winner' as Loser?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Paul wrote:

quote:
But when I hear people lump Benny Hill together with Monty Python I can't help thinking that there's something more going on - a liking of accents? a mild exoticism of the very slightly foreign? Because any common thread those two have must be shared by a fair proportion of non-British humour too.


Yes, I've long been suspicious of people who go on about how much they love British comedy, and then talk about vatious shows as if they were interchangable.

Benny Hill(funny as it is) was basically just vaudevillian slapstick, with a bit of postcard TNA thrown in for the dirty old men. It's very "World War II Generation", imho, and would have gone down well with people who liked The Dean Martin Comedy Hour in the early 70s.

Python was clearly aimed at a boomer(or whatever you call them in the UK) audience, more openly anti-establishment and iconoclastic. And even then, it couldn't escape the tendency of youth-culture products to devolve into tacky pandering to shock-driven vulgarity.

I've mentioned this before, but Meaning Of Life was some pretty blatant pandering to the North American "Animal House" demographic. Even the purported social satire was mostly just flogging a few dead horses. Mad Magazine(very "World War II" in its general outlook) had been doing "Those Catholics have a lot of kids" jokes years before Python exhumed the theme.

I don't think that was quite the joke. I think the joke was the brilliant song: "There are Jews in the world; there are Buddhists..." and the wonderful superior commentary by the Protestant eating his breakfast.

"In fact, today I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant!"

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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
EM's first law of comedy: the more characters wave their arms and/or look sideways for laughs, the less funny it is. Sadly for me (EM), Frasier and Friends come into that definition - as does almost 100% of American produced comedy. Blurghhhh.

'Frasier' was much better than 'Friends'. [Smile] Very clever, very witty, great characters, and HILARIOUS.

I also really like Blackadder and Father Ted.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Friends was meant to be a comedy? Well roger me with a prize winning marrow! I was never sure what it was meant to be, but seeing as it was about as funny as a particularly poor episode of Terry and June after a pre-frontal lobotomy, I assumed it couldn't be intended to be a comedy.

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Stetson
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Karl wrote:

quote:
I don't think that was quite the joke. I think the joke was the brilliant song: "There are Jews in the world; there are Buddhists..." and the wonderful superior commentary by the Protestant eating his breakfast.

"In fact, today I think I'll have a French Tickler, for I am a Protestant!"


Do you mean the song Every Sperm Is Sacred? Because that song IS about Catholics having a lot of kids. Though I suppose they weren't so much portraying Catholics in general, as Catholics at that particular time and place(Yorkshire, late Victorian era, I think).

And I do agree that the send-up of the proudly pro-contraception but otherwise sexually repressed protestant was pretty good. Though very few people seem to recall that scene, probably because overly fecund Catholics are the more recognizable comic trope.

[ 11. November 2014, 13:07: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Clint Boggis
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
The one that is almost certainly heavily scripted is ISIHAC, but I've never seen that one recorded.
Interestingly, I have seen it recorded, and it isn't really. However, that is almost certainly because virtually everyone on it has been going for so long that they're pulling out of the back of their mind flights of fancy that they *did* script in 1957.... So,yes, it is scripted, but they don't have scripts. Barry Cryer et al can do it in their sleep.


So have I though about 15 years ago.

I'm sure it's [mostly] not scripted. I heard a recent-ish programme about the show and I believe it was created to be cheap by avoiding having to pay writers. They thought that picking people who are quick-thinking and naturally funny and "give them silly things to do" something good will result. It certainly worked!

The chairman's words and intro are of course written in advance and I'm sure the team get advance notice of the rounds so they can jot down some ideas but they certainly don't need a writing team.

[ 11. November 2014, 13:18: Message edited by: Clint Boggis ]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
What about Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister - the 'Winner' as Loser?

Oh no. Awful - smug, self satisfied, poncy.
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L'organist
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... co-written by Peter Jay so what do you expect?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by goperryrevs:
When you and I were kids there was just children's BBC / ITV. So the appeal of a lot of TV was family-oriented programming, rather than narrowing down to specific demographics. So comedy-wise it'd be universal viewing. Nowadays there are a lot more channels (inculding children's channels), and most programming targets specific demographics. Which means a lot of comedy is 15+ rating.

I think the gender thing is a bigger deal than the class thing (see Misfits and Skins above). It seems a lot harder for women to succeed in comedy than men. I find that frustrating, and tire of the panel show format where you have five men trying to out-vulgar each other, with one token woman who's usually just there as some eye-candy to laugh at the 'funny' men.

The other underrepresented element is race. Despite the huge growth in immigration over the past couple of decades, this hasn't really been reflected in TV entertainment shows. I was pleased when Citizen Kahn came on a while back (despite its faults) because there's certainly less racial and cultural diversity in comedy than when I was younger.

In general, it seems harder and harder now to talk about British humour as a unified thing when there are so many niches.

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
In general, it seems harder and harder now to talk about British humour as a unified thing when there are so many niches.

Actually, I totally disagree with this. I think there is a style of humour that is identifiable as "British". What is impressive is that shows like Goodness Gracious Me can take British humour, add a cultural aspect that reflects the more diverse population that we have, but retain the essential humour.

I do think one aspect of British humour is a question of racial tolerance/intolerance. From Monty Python (on Watch this last week) "Did you see them who moved in next door? Black as the ace of spades. There goes the neighbourhood" - which would be completely unacceptable today, but was actually taking the mickey out of this. To auf wiedersehen pet, which would make UKIP fume, I am sure (going over there, taking those poor Germans jobs).

You also see this on some of the panel shows. When they have a comic from the US, very often they are completely out of their depth, having no idea what is going on. This is semi-deliberate - not racist as such, but marking "insiders" as those who know what is going on, and the tropes that are being referred to. This can cover anyone residing in the UK - skin colour and race is not relevant. It is funny, because you can see the "outsider" trying hard to understand something that they have no hope of doing ("So your big news story is a video of a man chasing his dog? Why?").

So I think British humour has retained its distinctiveness, while embracing the huge diversity of our country today - and that is a great thing.

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SvitlanaV2
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Ah, well I see 'Goodness Gracious Me', Monty Python and 'Blackadder' as old shows, rather than as representatives of British humour as it is today.
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Anglican't
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
... co-written by Peter Jay so what do you expect?

I also thought this, but it's actually co-written by Antony Jay.
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Stand a Brit next to a German and you'll soon see who has the sense of humour.

Rather, you'll see who has the better sense of queuing. [Razz]

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Do you mean the song Every Sperm Is Sacred? Because that song IS about Catholics having a lot of kids. Though I suppose they weren't so much portraying Catholics in general, as Catholics at that particular time and place(Yorkshire, late Victorian era, I think).


Yorkshire isn't particularly Catholic though - much less than Lancashire, and especially Liverpool.

I think part of the absurdist humour of the Pythons was their ability to splice together parodies of totally unrelated situations. In this case, fecund Catholics are combined with gritty 'grim oop north' dramas.

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Stetson
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quote:
Yorkshire isn't particularly Catholic though - much less than Lancashire, and especially Liverpool.

I think part of the absurdist humour of the Pythons was their ability to splice together parodies of totally unrelated situations. In this case, fecund Catholics are combined with gritty 'grim oop north' dramas.


Hmm. You may be right, but from the perspective of someone who doesn't know much about English religious geography, that didn't really come off as an obvious pythonesque incongruity. In contrast, to say, the Gumbys performing Chekhov.

I think most people who don't know much about Yorkshire would just assume that it was chosen because it's known as a place with a lot of Catholics.

As I recall, the opening credits of that scene announced that it was taking place in "The Third World", followed by the subheading "Yorkshire", so I guess Yorkshire might have been chosen as a place known to have lots of poor people.

Incidentally, refering disdainfully to a First World place as being Third World is another example of the trite and ham-fisted humour that blights much of that particular film. They really were going for the low-hanging fruit in that one.

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Gwai
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Incidentally, refering disdainfully to a First World place as being Third World is another example of the trite and ham-fisted humour that blights much of that particular film. They really were going for the low-hanging fruit in that one.

While I had assumed that was as much making fun of the habit of calling anything "third world."

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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It was, I think, pointing at attitudes towards the North held by some Southerners, especially those who appear to be unaware of civilisation outside the M25.. It's a little, as far as I can gather, like the way in which some folk from Northern states of the US might regard some of the more - rustic - areas of the Deep South. Well, a bit. More black pudding and less fried chicken, obviously.

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I'm afraid Karl is right on this and both Stetson and Gwai have in different ways, missed the point, which is a demonstration of how, like wine, comedy doesn't always travel. I sometimes wonder whether there is likewise American comedy that I don't get, or if I do laugh, I'm doing so for the wrong reason. What might just appear a bit laboured, is actually satirising something I can't see.

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Gwai
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I must have spoken badly then because I was in no way disagreeing with Karl later said. It is obviously true. Indeed I may overestimate Python, but rather I was hoping there was another subtler layer of humor also.

[ 12. November 2014, 16:33: Message edited by: Gwai ]

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I must have spoken badly then because I was in no way disagreeing with Karl later said. It is obviously true. Indeed I may overestimate Python, but rather I was hoping there was another subtler layer of humor also.

Many overestimate Python because while a lot of it was funny and some utterly brilliant, about a quarter of the scenes, especially in the earlier series, went nowhere.

As for modern British humour it's still there. On TV recently Outnumbered has only ended because the children have grown up and that's going to be remembered as an all-time classic, Gavin & Stacey has some wonderful characters and dialogue and The Thick of It isn't bad either. There's more on radio, the One True Home of British wit and Humour.

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Stetson
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quote:
I'm afraid Karl is right on this and both Stetson and Gwai have in different ways, missed the point, which is a demonstration of how, like wine, comedy doesn't always travel. I sometimes wonder whether there is likewise American comedy that I don't get, or if I do laugh, I'm doing so for the wrong reason. What might just appear a bit laboured, is actually satirising something I can't see.


Interesting comparison with the US south. I guess I sort of took the Yorkshire reference to be the equivalent of someone yelling "Squeal like a pig!" and mimicing dueling banjoes when someone else mentions a southern state. The understood butt of the joke would normally be southerners, not people who have misperceptions of southerners.

But FWIW, I didn't think that the Pythons were really ridiculing notherners(the way Deliverance jokes ridicule southerners), just sorta having a go at its supposedly economic and technolgical lag, at least in the times portrayed. I'm not ENTIRELY buying the idea that the point was "Isn't the rest of Britian silly for thinking that the north is so different?"

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Stetson
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For clarity, my sentence in the second paragraph should have been written as...

quote:
But FWIW, I didn't think that the Pythons were really ridiculing notherners(the way Deliverance jokes ridicule US southerners)


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lilBuddha
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To compare the US comedic attitude directed towards the South, I think you'd need to combine the North and Wales.
But even then, ISTM, there is more awareness of regional differences.
In the US, the humour seems to, broadly, be divided thusly: the Midwest, the South, California and New York City. ETA: and Florida as a combination New York retirement home and Cuban refugee centre.
The average American, and American comedian, seem to be less aware of the difference between a Texan and a Georgian than the average Brit that between a Brummie and a Geordie.
This is IME and not a statement of "better and worse".

[ 12. November 2014, 20:14: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

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Jengie jon

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To give you an idea of the joke about the North then you could do worse than listen to Uncle Mort's North Country. It also stereotypes the fun-in-adversity attitude that I think is behind some of this thread.

Jengie

[ 12. November 2014, 20:32: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
To compare the US comedic attitude directed towards the South, I think you'd need to combine the North and Wales.
But even then, ISTM, there is more awareness of regional differences.
In the US, the humour seems to, broadly, be divided thusly: the Midwest, the South, California and New York City. ETA: and Florida as a combination New York retirement home and Cuban refugee centre.
The average American, and American comedian, seem to be less aware of the difference between a Texan and a Georgian than the average Brit that between a Brummie and a Geordie.
This is IME and not a statement of "better and worse".

That's a good observation, though I think my comparison would still stand, but I might have to fine-tune it to calling the Python target in MOL "Yorkshire", in comparison to "the south" in Deliverance-style jokes.

But I'll also fine-tune your American comedic taxonomy a little...

quote:
The average American, and American comedian, seem to be less aware of the difference between a Texan and a Georgian than the average Brit that between a Brummie and a Geordie.

I think Texas does have its own niche, separate from the rest of the south, in the US comedic imagination. If you flipped on a show and saw a cigar-chomping guy in a ten-gallon hat drawling on about how big his car is and how big his house is and how big everything down here is, and you tried to guess his purported region, you would not assume Georgia.

For California...

I think LA(as a theme, not a setting) is basically ignored, at least in movie comedy, with the exception of ostentatiously self-mocking portrayals of fast-talking Hollywood types("Call me!!), and maybe the airheaded, sexy beach scene(eg. Three's Company). Cheech and Chong did LA skid-row material for a bit, but that wasn't widely copied as a trope.

Other than that, I think California is mostly identified with flaky hippies(vaguely left-wing) and New Age people, such portrayals focused largely on San Francisco and its surrounding areas. I suppose a bit of that drifts into portrayals of the Hollywood life as well.

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GordonThePenguin
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Stand a Brit next to a German and you'll soon see who has the sense of humour.

So have you tried that, or is it just a stereotype?

In my experience, North Germans (especially from Hamburg) have a dry/dark humour that many would say is very British.

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Eirenist
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Yes Minister - 'smug, self-satisfied, poncy': yes, but I thought that was what we were expected to laugh at.

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Schroedinger's cat

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quote:
Originally posted by Eirenist:
Yes Minister - 'smug, self-satisfied, poncy': yes, but I thought that was what we were expected to laugh at.

Precisely. I think the current government have heard that Thatcher enjoyed it and assumed that it was a documentary of perfect government.

The whole point of it was that these people made claims of "Moral stances" and "making a difference", whereas they were actually doing what they were told was the most politically expedient course. We laughed AT them, in a very cruel and judgmental way. Then we elected them.

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betjemaniac
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Stetson, as has been said though, they're not satirising Yorkshire *at all.* They *are* satirising the southern view of Yorkshire/the North. The Yorkshiremen sketch from the series - *that* satirises Yorkshiremen's apparent need to advertise their masculinity and humble origins,* the one in the Meaning of Life, not so much

Quite apart from anything else, both Eric Idle and Michael Palin are northerners - Palin hailing from, er, Yorkshire.

Perhaps you have to live here to appreciate that, for many people, the world ends north of the Severn/Trent line.

*"Yorkshire born, and Yorkshire bred - thick in the arm and thick in the head"

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Doc Tor
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Oh, so it's North vs South satire you want, eh?

*ponces off to Barnsley*

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Angloid
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quote:


Perhaps you have to live here to appreciate that, for many people, the world ends north of the Severn/Trent line.

North of the M25 for many.

[code]

[ 14. November 2014, 11:47: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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