View Full Version : British Comedy

02-10-2003, 11:06 AM
I never really liked Monty Python. Some sketches were clever, but mostly it seemed god awful and overly stupid.

Shows like Blackadder (Bar series 1) and Red Dwarf are shining examples of why British comedy rules, and the quality isn't dropping either, with The Office finishing off its run and Alan Partridge taking the role as the English George Bush.

Granted, there are the atrocities ('Orrible, A Pint of Lager...), but shows like Coupling, Spaced & Only Fools & Horses can quickly help us ignore them.

The UK never cracked the animation scene though, Stressed Eric & God, the Devil & Bob being good, but not good enough. Probably due to lack of budget.

The Americans got it right though, with the obvious choices - 'The Simpsons', 'South Park' & 'Futurama' with a few underappreciated shows like 'The Critic', 'Dr Katz', and my personal favourite, 'Family Guy'

I suck at starting threads.


02-10-2003, 11:16 AM
Dead Ringers (on radio and TV) is great. I also really like Have I Got News For You and Bremner, Bird and Fortune...

Ooh and I'm a big fan of Mr Bean!

C Shutt
02-10-2003, 11:56 AM
The Young Ones is the finest TV comedy ever made.

02-10-2003, 12:47 PM
I couldnt agree more, British comedy is the best.

All of those are gems (Bremner Bird and Fortune is indeed class Gabez) but nothing, NOTHING can come close to the underrated gem of British comedy - Father Ted. The Eurovision episode is one of the funniest things ive ever seen. Im also extremely fond of the League of Gentlemen (well up until the last series anyway) and almost any political satire (of which we have plenty recently).

American comedy is supremely good in animation like you said Scabb. Everyone knows how good The Simpsons and Futurama are. Dare I say it though, the rest of it seems..well...crap, if I see one more American sitcom someone will die and 'Friends' should be universally hated.

See how I turn a seemingly innocent post into a bitter outburst of hate and bile? That takes talent that does.

02-10-2003, 12:57 PM
Let us not forget the ever-classic Phoenix Nights which will hopefully be returning with a 3rd series soon.

02-10-2003, 02:17 PM
without a doubt in my mind i can quite possibly say that to me the funniest man alive is Chris morris.

for those who know him not he made the day today, brass eye, and Jam (also blue jam, on the hour blah blah blah blah)

anyways, model yourself on this human being and you may end up like me. that is all.

02-10-2003, 03:02 PM
Blackadder may be the finest comedy known to man...I'm particularly fond of "Blackadder the Third", for some reason.
Oh, and Father Ted isn't technically British, but I'm sure no-one cares. It's one of the most under-rated shows to grace the air.

02-10-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by Gabez
I also really like Have I Got News For You...

This is where british comedy shines. shows like 'Have I Got News For You', 'They Think It's All Over' and to a lesser extent but still hilariously funny, 'Never Mind The Buzzcocks' (or even the special 'Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over' :D). For those americans out there who dont know what were talking about, this is basically a game show with two to three celebrities to a side who don't win anything, they just compete in rounds and answer questions or trivia in the best comedic way possible. and it's clever comedy. i can't explain it to you, watch BBC america (i think that's what you call it) and see if you get any of them there. basically, the best unrehearsed comedy out there. :D

and american hunour, although sometimes good in the sitcom area (although we would have to say that sitcoms aren't generally funny when it comes to witty humour, but more on the laugh out loud and that's it sense) and such movies at spoofs and others, it can't even come close to the spontenaity and quick witted humour of such things as only fools and horses or goodness gracious me (how can you not like that, no really, those who didn't like goodness gracious me, explain why. (order, not question))

02-10-2003, 04:18 PM
Yeah, Chris Morris is great. The 'Brass Eye' DVD is planted firmly on my wish list.

I love 'Have I Got News For You' - although Deayton shouldn't really have been sacked. The episode with Anne Robinson hosting was great. 'Buzzcocks' is also brilliant, Bill Byrson has fit in well, but Lammar still shines outright. Jonathan Ross brought to life 'They Think it's all over', it's not as good as the other two, but when it shines it shines.

I never really appreciated Phoenix Nights, but I only watched the first series. I'm not sure if the second is any better. Peter Kay is a great stand-up though.

My favourite American sitcom is 'Spin City', but Heather Locklear ruined it. Scrubs was okay too, namely because it was by one of the same writers. But now they're introducing Heather Locklear into it... I also like 'Seinfeld'. And I guess 'Frasier' isn't that bad.

02-10-2003, 04:25 PM
For an excellent example of why Americans only have to come into contact with good comedy to turn it rank, download the US pilot of Red Dwarf.

Or, if you can find it, the US version of Dad's Army. I remember seeing clips of it... shudder.

02-10-2003, 04:54 PM
i also liked spin city before heather locklear (or before Mike couldn't do it anymore and had to be replaced my martin sheen, i will miss mike when he can't even do animation voices anymore, damn that parkinsons disease)

fraisier and seinfield, well, they're the old sitcoms before the new crappy ones took over. i always loved happy days and cheers, the old ones are the best ones. and no, Deayton shouldn't have been sacked, they got loads of ratings on his two shows after the scandal, people just wanted to see him having the p*** taken out of him and he presented the show very professionally at the time. but the anne robinson one was very good.

also, not on the point of comedy, but The Weakest link was better in england than in america. of course not a very good show anyway, but it was just worse in america, and at least we don't threaten to shoot her here.

02-10-2003, 05:26 PM
There are many good British comedy shows now, and from the past, but most of the recent stuff has been nothing less than Dire. Coupling tried far too hard to mould itself into Friends, and Steve's whole character makes me want to do something very bad to myself, something that would result in my funeral. Alan Partridge was very dissappointing, though the previous series's have been nothing less than exceptional. The Office is hilarious, as is Phoenix Nights. Father Ted is my favourite comedy along with Blackadder. But BBC seem to churn out terrible sitcom set in doctors after terrible sitcom set in a dentists. TLC, if anyone saw it, was terrible compared to Scrubs, coincidentally one of only two non-cartoon American comedies I can watch, along with Frasier.

I can't see how anyone can say that British comedy is second to American, because I have never found a hilarious non-cartoon American comedy.

02-10-2003, 05:39 PM
To call American 'comedy' , comedy, is laughable....
There is nothing wrong with the first series of Blackadder but Back and Forth is terrible.

02-10-2003, 05:47 PM
Originally posted by Huz
For an excellent example of why Americans only have to come into contact with good comedy to turn it rank, download the US pilot of Red Dwarf.

Ugh. I know, it's abysmal. I've seen reviews proclaiming it to be better than the UK version(!) It has no wise-cracking senile navigational computer, just Daphne from Frasier. Rimmer is fat, and not Chris Barrie. And the whole voice over part by Holly was as effective as attempting to beat Rum Rogers at a drinking contest without cleverly substituting your own grog for half-grog. "I'm sure the crew will have lots of fun in their new adventures". It was a half hour advert, not a pilot.

And Fest, I only truly enjoyed the Scrubs pilot, and although TLC did seem like a complete and utter rip-off, it was still very enjoyable. I like Coupling as it's cleverer than most sitcoms, - It's may have a similar 'setup' to friends, but the comedy is different - and yes, Steve's character is far too stereotypical, and he spews out far too many "Righteous Male" monologues. Still, suicide is never an answer.

Partridge series 1 was infinitely better than 2 - 2 had its moments, but was too "in your face", so to speak. Then again, all shows deteriorate, Gervais was right to end "The Office"

Another show worth mentioning is Room 101. Paul Merton isn't as good on it as he is on 'News for you', and it's usually hit and miss depending on the guests, but when it's good it's good. Johnny Vegas (former chat-room enthusiast) was great, as was Mr. Gervais, and Anne Robinson insulted the Welsh. The Sun had a field day.

02-10-2003, 05:47 PM
I didn't think Back and Forth was that bad. But I did the Blackadder I was. It was written by Rowan Atkinson, not Ben Elton, and although he's a great comedy actor, he's just not a funny man.

02-10-2003, 05:54 PM
No, Back and Forth was bad - Christmas Carol was okay though. The first incarnation of Blackadder was a completely different character to the others. Plus, lisping is just plain unfunny. 3 & 4 were the best.

02-10-2003, 06:07 PM
I'd agree with the rest of that.

I've been watching the new episode of Frasier. The comedy in this series is somewhat immature, and in this particular episode, Niles thinks he's dying from a rare illness. For some reason, although he was always childlike, he has been turned, for one episode only, into a character with the naiveity of a Rugrats baby. It's getting unwatchable.

Lemon Head
02-11-2003, 05:04 AM
I have to agree that Blackadder the first was just not funny, i seem to remember that out of the entire series (they were on telly back to back a while ago) I may have laughed, oooh, twice if not three times! I didn't know it was written by rowan atkinson though, I thought it was written by the guy who then proceed to co-write it with ben elton for 2, 3, and 4.

I think that the show got a massive comedy hit in 3 with the inclusion of Hugh Laurie (who is superb quite frankly), and the addition of Stephen Fry made 4 the best one for me.

I think one of the most surprising things about the blackadder series was the ending, they could have made it riotously funny but instead chose to have a bigger impact by making it more moving. I think this was a good move personally, how do you lot feel?

On a different note, no one's mentioned Jeeves and Wooster, did none of you like that? I thought it was superb, but then again I like the books too.

02-11-2003, 11:15 AM
I thought it was funny even if Blackadder was a bit too much like Mr Bean. I just can't decide which series was the best though, perhaps the 2nd or 3rd.

02-11-2003, 01:08 PM
and the fact that Mr Bean was nothing like blackadder in any way apart fromt he same actor is of course of no consequece to you. Mr Bean (i found funny at the age of six to about eight, but then grew out of it) was physical and comical when blackadder was more of the kind of comedy Rowan Atkinson is used to (i.e, the thin blue line and others).

And why has no one mentioned Baldrick. he is one of the funniest charachters in blackadder and no one could ahve done him better than the multi talented Tony Robinson, successful writer, actor and documentery maker, star of radio, tv and theatre. well known for the popular tv series time team and his role in blackadder. oh yes, a very funny man indeed

02-11-2003, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by PTDC
I thought it was funny even if Blackadder was a bit too much like Mr Bean.

How can you possibly say that having watched both series? For those of you who don't know, the same actor plays the same character, but apart from that the two series' are completely on the opposite ends of the comedy spectrum.

02-11-2003, 02:56 PM
was there really any reason to repeat what i said?

02-11-2003, 03:02 PM
For some reason it didn't show up the first time i read the page... sorry about that.

02-11-2003, 04:46 PM
Fry was in Blackadder II as well, if you'll recall, as Lord Melchett.
Oh, and yes, Christmas Carol was hilarious.

02-11-2003, 05:12 PM
What I meant was that Blackadder in series one was a lot more like Mr Bean - the facial expressions for example. The comedy was more visual aswell and he was a complete idiot. The other Blackadders haven't even got a hint of bean in them.

02-11-2003, 05:17 PM
Heh I just remembered that I saw Blackadder's Christmas Carol on Christmas eve. Definitely the best of the specials.

02-12-2003, 05:46 AM
the little edit button down there means you don't have to double post. :D and yes, christmas carol was hiliarios considering it wen't completely backwards. :D

Lemon Head
02-12-2003, 08:27 AM
i'm so irked! I never saw this christmas carol one! i only saw back and forth, which was...well, quite. Dunno what i'm gonna do now, need to see!

02-12-2003, 10:02 AM
I received my Red Dwarf series 2 DVD today, and will be watching it shortly. It looks like there shall be more releases, as when placed together, the spines appear to be showing a of logo of some kind.

02-12-2003, 04:26 PM
Yeah, when all 8 series are eventually out the combined spines (heh) will have the Red Dwarf logo. The series 2 dvd is good, it has another one of those excellent cast commentaries and better extras than series 1. Japanese episode 1? Please.

As for sitcoms, well. Seinfeld is one of the very best, and that's american. The older UK ones are very funny as well - Porridge, and Rising Damp spring to mind. Partly cos they weren't very politically correct I suppose, especially Rising Damp - Rigsby is so racist, but in a funny funny way.

I've got the Young Ones as well, that's another favourite. Blackadder? Well, its funny because Rowan can play the sarcasm so well. I especially like the one in BA2 where they go off in that ship around the world, and end up in Australia. And the best quote:

PERCY: "A nugget of the purest green!!"

02-12-2003, 06:17 PM
*GASP* You have a woman's legs my lord!....

Lemon Head
02-12-2003, 06:22 PM
yer nothing but lapdogs to a slip of a girl!

better a lapdog to a slip of a girl than a...git.

02-12-2003, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by PTDC
*GASP* You have a woman's legs my lord!....

ahahaha thats the best series by far!!

*GASP* you have a womans bottom !!!

Tall Guy
02-13-2003, 02:11 PM
Agreed. British comedy is the best :D

My personal fave is 'Only Fools & Horses'. The 'Batman' sketch is without doubt one of the greatest comedy scenes of all time :D:D:D

02-14-2003, 09:35 AM
Councellor Murray: i'd never been so frightened in my life.
Del: It was only a costume.

02-14-2003, 10:58 AM
There's also the very famous bit where Del-boy and Trigger are in that posh bar trying to pull some birds and Del falls through the bar after saying to Trig "We've gotta play it cool my son. Nice and cool, y'know whadda mean?"

02-15-2003, 06:56 AM
David Jason was on Parkinson talking about that. He said that it's very hard to fall over like that as whenever someone fall over like that, they have a trigger in there body telling them to put something out to stop them. Del just fell like a statue which I think was extremly good acting. but he's always been a good actor.

also, yesterday i decided to go and buy Red Dwarf one on DVD (i'll buy 2 later) when the guy who served me at the shop turned out to be a Red dwarf fan. he told me of a Red dwarf Movie that's coming out later this year. so tell me, am i the last one to know about this movie or was he just pulling my leg.

02-15-2003, 08:11 AM
Yeah, the Red Dwarf movie has been "in the making" for quite a while now. In fact, it was expected last year, supposed to be released Christmas 2002. However, I think that they're getting nowhere. The latest on the movie can be found here (http://www.llew.co.uk/reddwarf/).

02-18-2003, 02:58 PM
The official site says that it will be released by this christmas. Here's hoping. Its already listed on IMDB though.

02-19-2003, 10:55 AM
Has anyone mentioned The Goode Life? Great show, I've been trying to collect the series.

02-22-2003, 05:08 AM
The Office ownz j00 all bastards!:cool:

02-25-2003, 08:11 PM
Bo Selecta was on again on friday. Although mostly repeats from the first series, there was some new Michael Jackson stuff.

"At Neverland we have a cupboard, and its just full of teapots. Yoo Hoo! Yoo Hoo! Urn baby urn, disco inferno! Check them out!"