British comedy

I’ve always had a soft spot for British comedy. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but there it is. My favorites are Benny Hill, Monty Python and Mr. Bean. I’ve recently discovered Harry Enfield’s work, and I love his black and white mockumentaries (but only those, not his color work).

Here’s Benny Hill, in “The life of Maurice Dribble, from womb to tomb”:

Or how about this classic hospital scene? There’s the classic Benny Hill twist at the end:

Here’s Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean), in a couple of clips from another famous show called “Blackadder”. In this first clip, a secret mission is planned.

In this second Blackadder clip, the origin of WWI is discussed:

John Cleese performs his own eulogy in this clip from the 2006 International Comedy Festival:

Harry Enfield’s comedic genius shines in this clip, entitled “Women keep your virtue”:

While British humor is still likeable nowadays, it has lost its lustre and subtletly. It’s now crude and lewd. Have a look at this clip from a show called “Extras”. This is definitely a few orders of quality below the vintage British comedy I like.


3 Comments

  1. Oh, I’m a huge fan of British comedy as well. Unfortunately, our PBS station has been stuck in a rut with endless reruns of “Are You Being Served” and “Keeping Up Appearances.” They’re good shows, but after the 475986th time they do start to wear a bit. I’ve been getting some of my comedy fix from BBC radio. BBC7 airs a lot of classic stuff like “The Goon Show” and “I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again.”

    And I suppose you recognized George in that Blackadder clip.

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