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The 7 - Movies & TV - British comedies
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messenoir
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#1 Posted on 16.11.04 0214.06
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0215.00
I have a pretty unabashed and nerdy love of British humour. Monty Python, sure, but also, for example, Fawlty Towers (another John Cleese show). I will walk around yelling "you put basil in the ratatouie" everytime someone mentions basil. *shrug* you have to amuse yourself somehow.

Personally, I find this show even more amusing then Monty Python, though they are completely different, aside from both containing Cleese. Still, I don't think I've seen one episode I dislike.

I also love To The Manor Born, which is another slightly less well known British comedy, partially because not many episodes got made. It's also not as hard-edged as some of the other comedies. Definitely has no shrill annoying women like in "Keeping Up Appearances".

What comedies have other people seen they've liked?
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Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#2 Posted on 16.11.04 0230.20
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0231.01
Black Adder and Jeeves and Wooster spring to mind. Both great and seemingly well-liked. The only thing that bothers me about Bill Simmons ragging on House ("YOU'RE RISKING A PATIENT'S LIFE!!!") is that he dumps on Hugh (House) Laurie, who is an excellent comedic actor. I'd read a disgusting amount of Wodehouse before I ever saw Laurie playing Bertie Wooster on TV, but I have to say that he absolutely nailed the role. I can't think of anyone else as Bertie Wooster now.

But my favorite and (I think) most underrated British comedy is (I should say was) Black Books. A chronic alcoholic bookstore owner abuses all his customers, hires a really sweet and amazingly talented, helpful guy (whom he also abuses), and spends time with a grossly selfish female friend. By far my favorite episode was the drunk store owner buying a hugely elaborate security system for the store. He then left and got locked out, in the rain. To get out of the rain, he took a job at a fast-food burger joint -- where he greeted every customer with, "Has it stopped raining?" and, if they said no, proceeded to abuse or ignore them. Meanwhile, the helpful employee was trapped in the store; convinced he would never get out, he began drinking a bottle of absinthe he found. The absinthe made him go partially insane and forced him to eat the dead bees on the windowsill just to "survive." Meanwhile, the female friend didn't answer her phone (plaintive phone calls from the owner and employee ignored), because she was spending the day in her bedroom masturbating to the voice of the guy who does the North Sea weather report. If I remember correctly, she was actually dating the guy at the time, but didn't like him nearly as much as his voice.

I think I got to see three episodes of this show, and all were fantastically brilliant and cruel (in that Seinfeld way). Rumor has it that there were no further series, because the drunk owner-guy (the man who created the show) really is that much of a shiftless and unreliable drunk in real life. All the same, I'd love to get my hands on the first series.
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#3 Posted on 16.11.04 0343.43
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0343.44
Black Books was on Comedy Central a couple of years ago. I know the dangers of absinthe. { Sorry, you must be logged in to see this text! } I'll have to take a pic of the bottle.

For those not in the know, absinthe is a liqueur that has, you guessed it, absinthe in it (It's also called wormwood). It is green, has a high alcohol content by volume. It's prohibited in the US because it's considered toxic. It's still legal in most European countries though.

What does it taste like? Black licorice.

My personal favorite series have been the Ben Elton/Rowan Atkinson series, Red Dwarf, Ab Fab and The Young Ones.

I was very surprised to see Laurie in a serious dramatic role. I hope I can remember to tape House.

I love Keeping Up Appearances. Hyacinth was my mom. No Joke. Funny thing is, before she died, I got her watching the show. Guess who her favorite character was?

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#4 Posted on 16.11.04 0359.51
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0400.28
It's been a while since I've watched any British comedies, but I always dug "Waiting for God" and "Absolutely Fabulous." Stephanie Cole is hilarious as Diana Trent. AbFab is a trainwreck of excess; like E! without the sadness of reality.

"Keeping Up Appearances" relies too heavily on predictably awkward social situations, but it has it's moments. A friend of mine that also watched the PBS block of British comedies and I were driving along a stretch of rural farmland and both of us said "Mind the cows" at the same time, which probably got a better reaction than we ever gave the show.

I never enjoyed "Mr. Bean" all that much, and "As Time Goes By" is so-so.

I liked "Allo', Allo'" using accents to designate the different languages and the cop that couldn't speak French properly.

I need to check out "The Office;" interesting to see the creators limit themselves to just two seasons on principle, given its popularity.
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#5 Posted on 16.11.04 0418.29
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0419.26
The big thing over here at the moment is quasi-sketch show called Little Britain, althoough try as I might I just don't find it all that funny. It's too stupid and crude. There are moments that are laugh-out-loud, but most of the episodes are like a 70/30 split of stupid/hilarious.

Now The League Of Gentlemen is another matter entirely. It's really dark and bizarre, but if it mtches your sense of humor then there hasn't been anything funnier in years. Personally, I love it. And fi you can, try and get hold of Spaced (the Shaun Of The Dead team's reference-packed sitcom) and Big Train (like Python if the six of them had sat down and said "this is good, but we need to make it a LOT more random").
Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#6 Posted on 16.11.04 0553.38
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0554.47
    Originally posted by Zeruel
    For those not in the know, absinthe is a liqueur that has, you guessed it, absinthe in it (It's also called wormwood).


Not to be picky, but absinthe has absinthe in it the way whiskey has whiskey in it. Absinthe is absinthe. It's a liqueur made from herbs, and wormwood is a fundamental product of the production of the drink. The reason why it's banned in the U.S. is that consumption of oil of wormwood eats holes in your brain. And not in the "I'm killing brain cells way." You can buy synthetic absinthe in the U.S., which reproduces the flavor and the alcohol content, but does not contain the wormwood. The latter is a natural component of the true liqueur, but it is by no means necessary to replicate the booziness or flavor. There's really no reason to drink the authentic liqueur unless you want an elusive and highly overrated buzz, and there's certainly no reason to become a regular drinker of absinthe... unless you just need to start charging down Epilepsy Road.
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#7 Posted on 16.11.04 0914.45
Reposted on: 16.11.11 0915.33
Young Ones, Bottom, Python, Black Adder, Fry & Laurie stuff, Reeves & Mortimer..Hilarious..

I am also a sucker for Coupling, the BBC version. Great characters and while presented with this weird edge the situations are actually very recognizable.

Also great are some of the quizzes the BBC airs.
Never mind the BUzzcocks, Have I got news for you..
Not so much about the quizz but all about comedy.


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#8 Posted on 16.11.04 1014.51
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1014.53
My local PBS station has been showing ARE YOU BEING SERVED for years now, and when I remember it's on, I tend to watch it. Sadly, it's on Saturdays at 8:00pm so I have to miss COPS when I do remember it's on.
The Goon
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#9 Posted on 16.11.04 1213.37
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1213.38
The US version died a horrible quick death, but the original BBC series Coupling is possibly the funniest show I've ever seen. I have the first three seasons on DVD and it stands up to multiple viewings. I really enjoy introducing new people to its hilarity.

However, Season Four suffers from the loss of Richard Coyle (Jeffrey). His replacement doesn't work the same magic. I am hoping season five picks up the quality again.
Zeruel
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#10 Posted on 16.11.04 1324.04
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1324.05
    Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson Lund
      Originally posted by Zeruel
      For those not in the know, absinthe is a liqueur that has, you guessed it, absinthe in it (It's also called wormwood).


    Not to be picky, but absinthe has absinthe in it the way whiskey has whiskey in it. Absinthe is absinthe. It's a liqueur made from herbs, and wormwood is a fundamental product of the production of the drink. The reason why it's banned in the U.S. is that consumption of oil of wormwood eats holes in your brain. And not in the "I'm killing brain cells way." You can buy synthetic absinthe in the U.S., which reproduces the flavor and the alcohol content, but does not contain the wormwood. The latter is a natural component of the true liqueur, but it is by no means necessary to replicate the booziness or flavor. There's really no reason to drink the authentic liqueur unless you want an elusive and highly overrated buzz, and there's certainly no reason to become a regular drinker of absinthe... unless you just need to start charging down Epilepsy Road.


I just grabbed all that from dictionary.com. The first defination for absinthe said "also called common wormwood." Shrug.
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#11 Posted on 16.11.04 1350.25
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1351.41
    Originally posted by The Goon
    The US version died a horrible quick death, but the original BBC series Coupling is possibly the funniest show I've ever seen. I have the first three seasons on DVD and it stands up to multiple viewings. I really enjoy introducing new people to its hilarity.

    However, Season Four suffers from the loss of Richard Coyle (Jeffrey). His replacement doesn't work the same magic. I am hoping season five picks up the quality again.



Are they even doing a Series Five? I saw Sarah Alexander on some other show on BBC America that she appeared to be a costar in ("The Worst Week of My Life" or something like that.).
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#12 Posted on 16.11.04 1512.07
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1515.35
I've been addicted to "Are You Being Served?" since I was a teenager and have probably seen every episode at least four or five times. Mr. Humphries just has this amazing ability to make me laugh, what can I say? Admittedly, the show goes downhill a bit after Mr. Lucas leaves the show, to be replaced by the weasel-like Mr. Spooner.

Black Adder is, in my opinion, the very best British comedy ever. Especially series III with Hugh Laurie as the Prince.

Red Dwarf, Monty Python, Coupling, all good things. While it's not precisely a sitcom, I really loved "So Graham Norton" on BBC America and regret that I don't have cable to see what he'll do on Comedy Central (has that started yet? Has it been cancelled?)

While also not a show, an Eddie Izzard comedy special is always a gift from on high.

Jeeves & Wooster (anything Fry & Laurie, really) is awesome as well. I adore all things Stephen Fry, and actually really recommend his books to those literarily inclined.
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#13 Posted on 16.11.04 1530.17
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1537.39
"Are You Being Served?" available on DVD. And yes, the humor wasn't quite the same after Mr. Lucas left.
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#14 Posted on 16.11.04 1549.38
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1550.06
    Originally posted by Grimis
    "Are You Being Served?" available on DVD. And yes, the humor wasn't quite the same after Mr. Lucas left.


The rotating Sr. Salesman didn't help either. I know Mr. Granger died between series, but then it seemed that they had a new Sr. every series.
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#15 Posted on 16.11.04 1602.54
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1604.52
    Originally posted by Battlezone
    Are they even doing a Series Five? I saw Sarah Alexander on some other show on BBC America that she appeared to be a costar in ("The Worst Week of My Life" or something like that.).


According to what I've read, they will be filming Coupling Series 5 early in the new year.
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#16 Posted on 16.11.04 1701.00
Reposted on: 16.11.11 1702.56
Are You Being Served and Fawlty Towers are probably my all time favorites. Every time I see Will & Grace, I think Mr. Humphries was the archetype for the Jack character. Fawlty Towers never fails to have me laughing my ass off, doesn't matter how many times I watch it.

Coupling is one of the best of the more recent crop. Father Ted is awesome too. Check that one out if you haven't seen it.

Also watch(ed) Python, Keeping Up Appearances, Mr. Bean, Yes Minister, Black Adder, The Office, Jeeves & Wooster.
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#17 Posted on 17.11.04 0611.00
Reposted on: 17.11.11 0612.05
    Originally posted by The Goon
    However, Season Four suffers from the loss of Richard Coyle (Jeffrey). His replacement doesn't work the same magic. I am hoping season five picks up the quality again.



I agree and disagree.
Jef was probably the funniest guy in the show, making me and my friends say 'Gusset' over and over.

The first time I saw his replacement (Oliver) it didn't work for me.
Later I realised he wasn't supposed to be 'the new Jeff' and I liked his character a lot more.
The episode where his room is just filled with porn magazines is great.

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#18 Posted on 17.11.04 0907.52
Reposted on: 17.11.11 0908.28
    Originally posted by orangeman
    Every time I see Will & Grace, I think Mr. Humphries was the archetype for the Jack character.
Maybe, but Jack is a little more flamboyant about it. Certainly Mr. Humphries had that panache about him, but there was something funnier about him in the 1970's comedic envrionment than the modern Jack...
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#19 Posted on 17.11.04 1113.21
Reposted on: 17.11.11 1114.23
    Originally posted by orangeman
    Are You Being Served and Fawlty Towers are probably my all time favorites. Every time I see Will & Grace, I think Mr. Humphries was the archetype for the Jack character. Fawlty Towers never fails to have me laughing my ass off, doesn't matter how many times I watch it.

    Coupling is one of the best of the more recent crop. Father Ted is awesome too. Check that one out if you haven't seen it.

    Also watch(ed) Python, Keeping Up Appearances, Mr. Bean, Yes Minister, Black Adder, The Office, Jeeves & Wooster.

Thank you...this thread was suffering from a severe lack of Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister love. Seriously, "The Key" episode of YPM might be my single favorite episode of anything ever.

The rest of the thread hits on everything else that rocks. And as someone who got pulled into House because of Hugh Laurie, I was not disappointed last night..excellent show.
orangeman
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#20 Posted on 17.11.04 2108.43
Reposted on: 17.11.11 2109.35
    Originally posted by dMp
    Jef was probably the funniest guy in the show, making me and my friends say 'Gusset' over and over.


The one line from Jeff I'll never forget was from the end of season 4 where Steve's at the hospital while Susan's in labor and Jeff (or his spirit) shows up as Steve's old math teacher, and says something like "You know what's handy about being a bloke stuck in the body of a 40 year-old lactating match teacher? It takes convenience snacking to a whole new level."
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