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The W - Movies & TV - British comedies
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messenoir
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Since: 20.2.02
From: Columbia, MO

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.27
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?



Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
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Imagine all the people
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Promote this thread!
Wolfram J. Paulovich
Frankfurter








Since: 11.11.02
From: Fat City, Baby

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.34
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.



The Obtuse Angle Archive.
Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 2 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
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?






The Catastrophic Annihilation War Room
And now, for a limited time only, it rhymes with "door hinge!"

rockstar
Salami








Since: 2.1.02
From: East TN

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.16
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.



oldschoolhero
Knackwurst








Since: 2.1.02
From: nWo Country

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.42
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").



Once upon a time in China, some believe, around the year one double-ought three, head priest of the White Lotus Clan, Pai Mei was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Pai Mei's infinite power contemplates - which is another way of saying "who knows" - when a Shaolin monk appeared, traveling in the opposite direction. As the monk and the priest crossed paths, Pai Mei, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave the monk the slightest of nods. The nod was not returned. Now was it the intention of the Shaolin monk to insult Pai Mei or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of the monk remain unknown. What is known, are the consequences. The next morning Pai Mei appeared at the Shaolin Temple and demanded of the Temple's head abbot that he offer Pai Mei his neck to repay the insult. The Abbot at first tried to console Pai Mei, only to find Pai Mei was inconsolable. So began the massacre of the Shaolin Temple and all 60 of the monks inside at the fists of the White Lotus. And so began the legend of Pai Mei's five point palm exploding heart technique.
Wolfram J. Paulovich
Frankfurter








Since: 11.11.02
From: Fat City, Baby

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.34
    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.



The Obtuse Angle Archive.
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 15 min.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.16
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.






*sigh* Why bother?
Cerebus
Scrapple








Since: 17.11.02

Since last post: 18 hours
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.34
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.



Cerebus: RIP 1977-2004.

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The Goon
Boudin blanc
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 13 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.08
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
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 2 days
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    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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Battlezone
Potato korv








Since: 27.2.03
From: Seattle, Washington

Since last post: 2180 days
Last activity: 231 days
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Y!:
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.61
    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.).



"It's the four pillars of the male heterosexual psyche. We like naked women, stockings, lesbians, and Sean Connery best as James Bond because that is what being a [man] is." -Jack Davenport, Coupling
FIRE JIM TRESSEL.
GodEatGod
Boudin rouge








Since: 28.2.02

Since last post: 1 day
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#12 Posted on
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.



"All I ever asked for in life is an unfair advantage." Microchip, Punisher Annual #2
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1304 days
Last activity: 1101 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
"Are You Being Served?" available on DVD. And yes, the humor wasn't quite the same after Mr. Lucas left.



Zeruel
Thirty Millionth Hit
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Silver Spring in the Land of Mary.

Since last post: 7 days
Last activity: 2 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.05
    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.




The Catastrophic Annihilation War Room
And now, for a limited time only, it rhymes with "door hinge!"

The Goon
Boudin blanc
Moderator








Since: 2.1.02
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Since last post: 16 days
Last activity: 13 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.08
    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.
orangeman
Salami








Since: 21.8.04
From: ...that would be telling

Since last post: 3082 days
Last activity: 3028 days
#16 Posted on
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.





"I don't know why we bother, we should let you all burn."
- Basil Fawlty on the importance of fire drills.
dMp
Banger








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 15 min.
#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.16
    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.





*sigh* Why bother?
Grimis
Scrapple








Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1304 days
Last activity: 1101 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
    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...



spf
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

Since last post: 25 days
Last activity: 12 hours
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.55
    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
Salami








Since: 21.8.04
From: ...that would be telling

Since last post: 3082 days
Last activity: 3028 days
#20 Posted on
    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."





"I don't know why we bother, we should let you all burn."
- Basil Fawlty on the importance of fire drills.
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