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#3954230 - 05/15/14 11:00 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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I like our "science" humour ~ "The Ape that got lucky", "Civilisation", "It is rocket science!", with their sideways glance at serious subjects mostly 'good science' in the breach if not the observance.

'A serious attempt to trivialise an important subject'.

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#3954253 - 05/16/14 12:05 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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A question for the Brits (and I guess old Brits).

My favorite comedy is Fawlty Towers. Hands down, makes me laugh. Was it funny to you folks? Very short lived series so I guess not, but anyone I know that has seen it over here (US) thinks it was a very funny show.

#3954254 - 05/16/14 12:09 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: Clydewinder]  
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Originally Posted By: Clydewinder
I think on the whole British humor is far more clever and memorable, while American humor is always about familiarity and is trite by design "... and what's the deal with TV dinners..." Comedians in the USA are always trying to "connect" to the audience with familiarity, always catering to the lowest common denominator ( with some exceptions of course )

British humor, on the other hand, almost dares the audience to keep up and is far more nimble and unpredictable.



That is really well said.

#3954258 - 05/16/14 12:25 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: piper]  
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Originally Posted By: piper
A question for the Brits (and I guess old Brits).

My favorite comedy is Fawlty Towers. Hands down, makes me laugh. Was it funny to you folks? Very short lived series so I guess not, but anyone I know that has seen it over here (US) thinks it was a very funny show.


Fawlty Towers has to be considered a classic - I suspect partly because it was short lived. Sadly, far too many comedy series go on well beyond the point where they become well-worn and repetitive.

#3954259 - 05/16/14 12:26 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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!!USA!!
I guess for me it depends one what we are comparing. In general, I dislike most modern so called comedy be it American or British. Too much vulgarity and dirty/potty humor. Just isn't funny to me. I'm often concerned and outright angry when I see people enjoying stuff that to me is trash. For example, Some of Ron White's skits can be just flat out goofy and funny but most of the stuff I see him do is utter garbage therefore I shake my head and turn the channel.

Personal taste I suppose is going to override any nationality barrier. I think its unfair to compare them if the attempt is to demean or praise one over another. Both have contributed in great ways the comedy entertainment industry.

England gave us Bob Hope and he in turn gave decades of entertainment to the world. Jonathan Winters is another example of a guy who can be over the top but he didn't have to cop out to perversity and being cruel to someone to get a laugh. Some of his stuff has me rolling on the floor.

Probably my favorite kind of humor comes from guys like Andy Griffith. His stand up comedy routines and story telling in my opinion is second to none and so full of life and laughs.

#3954263 - 05/16/14 12:45 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Thanks for the reply TychosElk!

And Coot - feel the same as you. BTW, don't forget about Bill Cosby.

#3954270 - 05/16/14 12:51 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: piper]  
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Originally Posted By: piper


My favorite comedy is Fawlty Towers.


Fawlty Titties?

Are you the Orally guys?

Yep was awesome, got in my Netflix streaming que...one of these nights.



"There's a sucker born every minute."
Phineas Taylor Barnum

#3954286 - 05/16/14 01:18 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Whatever you do, don't mention the war.

#3954288 - 05/16/14 01:27 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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I did once, but I think I got away with it.


Sit coms are often funny but what cracks me up most are game type shows.
8 Out of 10 Cats
Have I got News For You
Would I Lie to You
QI

They can be topical and you need to know the UK political and social system, but they are extremely funny and very British.

Last edited by December; 05/16/14 01:28 AM.
#3954318 - 05/16/14 02:42 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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QI is brilliant.

So was Are You Being Served? and Keeping up Appearances.


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#3954329 - 05/16/14 03:10 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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!!USA!!
Thanks piper, Cosby is another one. His mannerisms and brand of humor is so subtle yet it hits me big sometimes and I feel like I'm the only one who just got what he did.

#3954354 - 05/16/14 05:09 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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IMO, the problem with a lot of American comedy and sit-coms is that most people who watch things like that aren't smart enough to understand them. This is evident by things like incredibly good shows getting canceled far too early (e.g., Bakersfield PD) or modified to the point where they aren't that funny (the first season of Scrubs was MUCH better than all of the later seasons).

It's been a long while, but Bill Hicks comes to mind when I think of smart comedians. Cosby is also good

I'm liking Louis C.K. lately (he's not at a really high level like the foregoing but he's above average).

Sarah Silverman is seems to be pretty smart but she's quite vulgar which is a bit off-putting and she doesn't make me laugh out loud - I just find her mildly amusing and frequently boring.

I'm sure there are others but I rarely find one that's stellar.

Holy crap there are a lot of comedians!

#3954368 - 05/16/14 07:08 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: Chucky]  
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Originally Posted By: Chucky
Not a good pick then,at least with you guys?

The trouble is,I've watched all my favourite UK sit-coms to death.What home-grown stuff do you guys watch,or consider 'watchable'?


Just before I cast off from TV for the last time,
by not bothering to respond when NTSC was terminated,
I saw a few episodes of "My Name is Earl" on the
telly, and I thought it was diabolically clever,
all about karma and idiocy in the most brilliant
fashion. No idea if it kept up the quality, but
I found the unspoken philosophical concepts behind
the "sit com" situations to be screamingly funny.

#3954374 - 05/16/14 07:40 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Any of you US guys checked out 'Spaced'? Simon Pegg,Nick Frost? Very enjoyable but doesn't seem too well known over here.Might be worth checking out.


“You know I don’t like having to use the sit-down gun, but we’ve got no time for mucking about.” - Colonel Chestbridge
#3954404 - 05/16/14 11:23 AM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Great discussion. Nobody mentioned Red Dwarf. Am I the only one weird enough to have loved that show ? smile

Another old one that I used to love was "Up Pompei"


Archie Smythe

carpe diem
#3954411 - 05/16/14 12:11 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: December]  
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Originally Posted By: December

They can be topical and you need to know the UK political and social system,


Yeah, there are no US game shows that I can think of which have this requirement. About the only game show around that requires the contestants to have any sort of academic knowledge is "Jeopardy".


“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
#3954416 - 05/16/14 12:33 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Red Dwarf? I must know every episode verbatim,watched it so many times. And the thing is I still laugh no matter how many times I watch it. To me it is the best comedy ever produced.


“You know I don’t like having to use the sit-down gun, but we’ve got no time for mucking about.” - Colonel Chestbridge
#3954427 - 05/16/14 01:11 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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Red Dwarf is a boy's programme. Not for girls at all.

Cat: Fish. Fish. Fish. etc.

Only slightly spoiled for me by Craig Charles being, well, Craig Charles IRL.

#3954431 - 05/16/14 01:14 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: TychosElk]  
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Originally Posted By: TychosElk
Fawlty Towers has to be considered a classic - I suspect partly because it was short lived. Sadly, far too many comedy series go on well beyond the point where they become well-worn and repetitive.


I don't know why Fawlty Towers was stopped after two series, but it was brilliant. John Cleese is fantastic. My wife did some interior design work for his home last year and said he's an extremely intelligent and very nice guy.

Father Ted is another favourite of mine, and that stopped after just three series because Dermot Morgan passed away.

Porridge went to what, three series? Ronnie Barker at his best, you know the script has to be good comedy when at least half of each episode takes place in a prison cell but it's still laugh out loud funny.

Only Fools and Horses was stretched out too far. They should have just left it after the Trotters became millionaires and never made the comeback with the last three episodes. They just weren't up to scratch and left such a great sitcom to exit on a low note.

Dad's Army went out to what, six or seven series and remained fantastic right up to the end. Red Dwarf went to eight series... whilst I wasn't a huge fan of it, Red Dwarf certainly wasn't bad.


When you think about it, there are plenty of fogettable sitcoms as well... The Brittas Empire, Two Point Four Children (Robert Lindsay carried that, along with whoever played the oldest son), Goodnight Sweetheart (Nicholas Lyndhurst just couldn't get away from being Rodney Trotter), The Thin Blue Line...


Perhaps not a sitcom as such, but one of my all time favourite TV characters who never fails to get a laugh out of me is Arthur Daley:


#3954437 - 05/16/14 01:27 PM Re: American vs British comedy [Re: No105_Archie]  
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What I also find interesting is there was a 4 year hiatus between the airing of the first and second series of "Fawlty Towers". I think there were 12 episodes made in total?

Last edited by PanzerMeyer; 05/16/14 01:28 PM.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
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