View Full Version : Different strokes....

10-22-2002, 04:16 PM
I'm American born and raised, but for some reason, I much prefer British humor over "most" of the stuff done in the US. (Some rare exceptions - I like some of the older US shows, like Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, etc.). I think overall, British humor seems to have more thought behind it (for example, John Cleese said that they spent several weeks writing just one episode of Fawlty Towers and that every moment of the show was choreographed. FT is my favortie show of all time, but I also like Black Adder, Keeping Up Apearances, and I usedd to love "The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin" (I wish PBS or BBCAmerica would play that show again).

For my money, John Cleese is the most brilliant comic ever born.

10-22-2002, 05:14 PM
I'd have to throw my 2 cents in for "This Hour Has 22 Minutes". I beleive this Canadian show is most like Brit humour. What a great show.....or it was until Rick Mercer left...Ahhh well....Would you agree 28Z ?

10-22-2002, 05:28 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Les:
I'd have to throw my 2 cents in for "This Hour Has 22 Minutes". I beleive this Canadian show is most like Brit humour. What a great show.....or it was until Rick Mercer left...Ahhh well....Would you agree 28Z ?<hr></blockquote>

That was a great show. I loved the interviews with Americans at famous colleges!

10-22-2002, 05:30 PM
I forgot about "Rick Mercer Talking to Americans"..I beleive it was a full hour show on July 1st....

10-22-2002, 09:34 PM
It would be really funny to see the author of that article take a football to the groin... graemlins/lol.gif

I grew up watching a mix of American and British humor. Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Dick Van Dyke, Bob Newhart, etc. and typically appreciated the British humor more. But then, the British humor we see here is their best.

I did find it amusing that the author of the article – which was a criticism of the American sense of humor – appears to owe his livelihood to that same American sense of humor...who said Americans don’t appreciate irony.

10-22-2002, 10:02 PM
I think that he has fallen into a classic mistake by judging the 200+ million of us by the actions of the few he has personally met. Whether or not that judgment was even more slanted by his being on the left coast where PC seems to have more seized the minds of the people is another matter. I, for one, have had an appreciation of the British, American, and even the more bizzare German humors. Granted there hasn't been much in the US of late that rises above the level of the toilet water, but even 3yr olds eventually get tired of poopie jokes, maybe there is hope.

With my oh so useful (See the sarcasm, see it? we do have it.) English degree, I have experienced the literature of most nations, and each comes from a separate idoim, and it takes a special effort to understand one another on this level, I feel certain that humor would be no different. The writer has not grasped the basic concept of the US. That is that not one of us is like another, and we are durn proud of the fact we can't make heads or tails of each other, either. I think that is why when it comes time to tally what, if any, contribution the US makes to world humor, we need to look at the campy indivudualistic taste we have for the absurd. Think of the old route 66, what other country could you spend the afternoon driving from the natural caves, to the cement dinosaurs, and then spend the night in a tee-pee shaped hotel room. Did these people think that the world needed a 40 foot tall muffler man? No it just struck them. That is our humorous strength, the benelovent wacko down the street with the 30 windmills in his yard.
So, my fellow Americans, Celebrate your heritage, cast off the shackles of community rules that bind you to foreign views of the astetetic, and plant a plastic flamingo, weld some of your spares into a critter you like that will annoy your neighbors, or smear cement over some chicken wire and call it archeology. Then watch as people in the cars going by smile, like you know you do when you see it whipping by at 55.


10-23-2002, 12:47 AM
Maybe we should give him a break. After all, he said he developed his opinions from 7 years spent in LA-LA land...I spent 12 years and it hasn't affected me a bit (this concludes the sarcasm portion of this message).

10-23-2002, 03:19 AM

This article was drawn to my attention this morning, and I thought that a lot of you might be amused by what it says. There are of course exceptions to every rule, and I have found that more than a few of you do not conform to the writer's descriptions of Americans and their sense of humour. I would be interested in your comments......

10-23-2002, 03:55 AM
I think it is a different sort of humour as opposed to no humour at all. As the article mentioned Brit humour is more ironic and sarcastic but American humour is more slapstick and physical (football hits man in crotch). Not to say its black and white like that but generally. The Simpsons is quite ironic at times is a blend of Brit type humour and silliness

Being born in the UK and having British parents but growing up in Canada I can appreicate both types humour - Simpsons or Black Adder, Married with Children or Monty Python.

[ 10-22-2002: Message edited by: 78Z ]</p>

10-24-2002, 03:03 AM
What's truly funny is the jokes the writer quoted were not especially funny to begin with. Ninety nine to share the experience? Variations of that pun have been floating around for years-the entire TV show "Dharma and Greg" was based around it! Saying that B.C. stood for before Christ isn't especially original, nor is it going to sound even remotely funny to anyone who hasn't either A) been there, or B)studied geography. No wonder nobody's laughing, mate! You're not funny!
As for telling someone you've just been bored by that you've had a great time speaking with them, that isn't being sarcastic nor humorous. It's just lying-and who hasn't done that to get out of a bad social situation?
Sorry to have gone one like that, but, as a writer, I find bad examples, with big holes in their logic, to be utterly offensive.

10-24-2002, 11:25 AM
Anyone ever watch Kids in Hall? Great Canadian comedy.

10-24-2002, 12:41 PM
Now 'Kids In The Hall' did nothing for me, which illustrates the outlook on humour perfectly. I know people who rave about that show, muttering quotes relating to heads being crushed. Born and bred in the UK, I grew up with Spike Milligan, the Goons, Michael Bentine, then Dave Allen, Ronnie Barker, Monty Python, to name but a few. Benny Hill never did anything for me either. Blackadder I, II and III, Fawlty Towers, Mr. Bean, Thin Blue Line, are all outstanding comedies. I have occasionally offended Americans who were not on the same wavelength as me, and I still feel bad about that, similarly I have sometimes made a comment which people have just not "got".

For future reference, if you don't already know this, if after getting to know a Brit, Aussie or New Zealander, he or she starts slinging barbed comments or insults your way, then you should take it as a compliment. It is common practice to indulge in "banter" with friends, referred to as mates, and is a sign that the person delivering those comments likes you! Never be offended by that, because it never gets nasty. Likewise, if I post a reply on this board that ruffles anyone's feathers I apologise unreservedly, and refer you to the start of my second paragraph. Every day is a "roast". graemlins/devilgrin.gif

10-25-2002, 09:39 AM
I get it perfectly, Steve….quote from one of my students several years ago (told to another teacher) “If McCabe doesn’t give you a hard time, he doesn’t like you!”

I have to say, Rick Mercer (plus those Molson Beer ads)was really a clever "view" of Americans.

Also, Steve: Enjoyed the Tim Curry article in the Daily Mirror….but talk about irony! Were you aware that it may have been part of an elaborate double entendre? Here’s a news article on the entire matter.
__________________________________________________ ____________
Los Angeles lawyers for wealthy American film producer Steve Bing on Wednesday threatened to revive his multimillion-dollar libel suit against the Daily Mirror after its editor suggested one needed a sense of humour to fully appreciate the apology. Rival papers said the apology was so grovelling that it suggested being a parody.
Bing, vilified in the British press last year for initially disputing his paternity of actress Elizabeth Hurley's child, had agreed to drop his suit in return for an apology from the Mirror for publishing his phone number and urging readers to call to berate him. DNA tests later established that Bing was the father.
The apology initially satisfied Bing and his lawyers, who issued a statement saying he was "delighted that the Mirror has set the record straight". However, the heavy-handedly abject tone struck some as sarcastic, a conclusion bolstered by the paper's placement of the retraction opposite an op-ed piece headlined, "Why Americans Can't Understand Irony Or Sarcasm".

As for Tim Curry, I think he’s hilarious and I’ve been to “Rocky Horror” about a dozen times (with “props”)……but he needs to be careful about his “British-ness”…..his surname is Celtic. In fact it’s a “Cavan” name….common in the part of Ireland where I’m from.
That said, I’m sure the Brits think that Irish humor is for “silly ar$$es”…..and, of course, the Irish think that “British humour” is an oxymoron. I’ve lived in both countries, and I like it all….for different reasons. (side note: don’t you Brit-lads *ever* get tired of TV comedy sketches where men dress up in women’s clothes?)
One of the interesting things about culture is the humor of different people (and groups). We see it in our students (Engineering is probably the most “diverse” major in most colleges)……our Indian students seem to tell jokes that are hopelessly corny, but they “bust a gut” at some of their own stuff. Our Chinese and Russian kids have a sense of humor that so complex that I’m lost before they get to the punch line (I guess it’s like their literature). South American kids are like Rodney Dangerfield….all “one-liners”. I was in Tehran years ago…..you might think that it would be a scary and serious place….what a party town! The residents are a riot, even better than New Orleans! (and apparently it still *is* this way….albeit, a bit “underground” now).
Even our engineering department has it’s own culture of humor that may be “lost” on others (Currently Popular: “There are 10 types of people……those who understand binary, and those who don’t!”)
For me, I suppose humor is like gender “Viva La Difference!”.

10-25-2002, 02:27 PM
Anyone ever seen "The Newsroom", and its spinoff, "More Tears"? Now there's a well done black comedy. Good stuff, wish they'd release that on DVD instead of Friends.
-William graemlins/jester.gif

10-28-2002, 06:09 PM
I'll go along with the "different strokes" theme; everyone has their own idea of what's funny. The bulk of the British comedy shows that have made their way to the US via PBS and the BBC have been funny and worth watching to me. Fawlty Towers (although I have to admit the marathon telecasts of them are a bit much), Good Neighbours (IE: the Good Life), One Foot In The Grave, Keeping Up Appearances, and Father Ted, etc. I've never figured out the fascination with "Are You Being Served" and the later spin-offs, but that's me.

To be perfectly honest I can only name three American broadcast comedies I've cared to watch in the past almost 6-7 years; Seinfeld, King Of The Hill, and occasionally the Simpsons (I never watched that show until it went into syndication).