british empire.

what if there was no american revolution? do you think our comedy would be better? i think it would. a lot of people often criticize the brits for their lack of humo[u]r, perhaps because they are too dry; but i think the people that subscribe to this belief are the same people that glorify shows like according to jim, everybody loves raymond, or even the facts of lifesaturday night live was only marginally funny for about six full seasons collectively — that’s if you add up every funny episode that spanned its 30+ years on the air. a lot of mainstream american comedy relies solely on zaniness to get a laugh. take a look at the family guy. a ton of intellectual substance is lost on zaniness for the sake of a cheap laugh.  one thing i’ve considered is maybe british comedy is only funny because of their accents. would ricky gervais seem as zany when talking about feeding starving africans if he had an american accent? is russell brand’s diction the only redeeming quality of his schtick? was geoffrey really meant to be the fresh prince’s comic relief? judge for yourself after the jump….

this first clip is from not the nine o’clock news, broadcast on bbc2  from 1979-1982. prof. timothy fielding, played by mel smith (the albino in the princess bride) and gerald the gorilla, played by rowan atkinson (black adder, mr. bean), discuss the complexities of teaching a non-human primate how to speak. atkinson’s gerald may have led to other modern comedic gorillas such as bollo from the mighty boosh and the cadbury’s famous phil collins gorilla, but that’s merely speculation.

thank you suzanna for showing me this clip.
suzanna thanks naresh for sending it her way.

(more on the next page)

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